Sunday, January 25, 2009

Change is gonna come . . .

Yes, change can come, even way down here in Loreto - at least ripples of political change can reach the shores of Loreto Bay by way of our television sets. This week marked the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama, the first elected President with African American ethnic roots. That fact didn't escape the notice of the ex-pat residents of Loreto Bay and the initive was taken by Liz and Jim in FN 383 to invite many of their neighbors to an Innaugural Brunch at their home Tuesday morning.

We were asked to bring a plate of food to share, and as you can see, the new administration was launched (lunched?) with a full tummy! There was even an “OBAMA” cake to help celebrate the event. Well over 20 people attended and we watched live TV coverage for about two hours until the lure of a table full of food proved to be a bigger draw than the news feed.

During the broadcast however, all attention was focussed on the events leading up to Obama's swearing in and speech. Although I would guess that Americans were in the majority at this event, there were lots of Canadians sharing the enthusiasm of the day and an air of celebration filled the room. As similar as the US and Canada are in so many ways, our political traditions and ceremonies are very different.
Compared to the incredible “pomp and circumstance” surrounding this presidential inauguration, the closest equivalent in Canada would be the swearing in of a new government cabinet which is presided over by our Governor General, (the Queen of England's representative) and takes place in their residence, Rideau Hall in Ottawa, in front of a crowd of maybe a couple of hundred invited guests, and with a TV audience that I'm sure would be much smaller than the live crowd filling the plaza that day in Washington.
Compared to the worldwide attention for Obama's day, estimated to be the largest single audience for a TV event in history, our modest and restrained affair seems very, you know, Canadian! And of course, the events on the steps of the Capitol were followed by the luncheon in “Statuary Hall” which sounds impressive. Even the lunch took on elements of high drama, when Senator Kennedy, (who had pledged to attend the ceremony, in spite of his health) was rushed off in an ambulance after suffering a seizure. And all of this was before the parade!
The dark side of such global attention in these days of war and terrorism, is the staggering security measures that are now necessary to protect the most powerful man in the world, which, unfortunately, are raised even higher by the colour of his skin. The Secret Service was quoted as saying that from now on, this President would be protected by bullet-proof glass at all times when he apppears in public venues. It was also reported that he was wearing protective clothing under his elegant topcoat, and that he was riding in a new Presidential limosine which had been made to heightened security standards by Cadillac. At what price, comes such power?
Gradually the action shifted upstairs to Liz and Jim's spacious terrace where it was a picture perfect day and we all were enjoying their fantastic view over the golf course and conversation over plates of delicious food. I also admired Jim's current project - a cedar strip kayak, built from scratch using a kit he brought with him from the US. The hull section appears to be almost complete, but Jim told us about the many steps ahead that will go into sealing and finishing the wood. The top half of the shell is built separately and then the two halves will be joined together. A truely impressive project, and someday this will no doubt be a showpiece kayak in the waters around Loreto Bay!
But the conversations on the terrace included more than Jim's handiwork. It seems that since the New Year, whenever two or more Loreto Bay residents get together it's not long before the conversation shifts to the latest news/rumour concerning the future ownership of our development. Earlier in the week, when I was thinking about this posting, I had hoped that there would have been some announcement by this time, so I could offer you all my thoughts about the outcome. However, since there has been no news as of the day of this post, I will tell you that on this Inauguaration Day much of the talk was about (appropriately enough) change.
Even as the new President has run for, campaigned on, and been elected to bring change to: the Office, his Country, and, as a result, the World, that wind of change is blowing pretty hard all the way down here in the Baja! For those of you who are familiar with our current situation, I ask for your forbearance for a moment.
The current majority owner of Loreto Bay is Citigroup Property Investors, who are actively negotiating the sale of the project with several prospective buyers. If you are interested in the outcome and are following any of the public or private sites, you, no doubt have heard several versions of the situation, and I don't want to turn my little space here into any sort of a forum for promoting or discounting any one of the many current possibilities.
However, I am struck by how a concept like change can simultaneously find relevance, both in the center of the world's power, and in a beautiful oasis of a few hundred homes clustered in one of the few pristine and beautiful places left in this part of the hemisphere where ordinary people can live extraordinary lives. Yes, change is also coming here to Loreto Bay.
As the world changes, and the economy changes, and those changes affect people, (past, current and future Homeowners here, included) Loreto will change. With a new Owner/Developer will come a new vision, new economics, and hopefully, new vitality and confidence. For those of us who have been involved here in Loreto Bay since the beginning, we have already seen much change. From wobbly chalk lines in the sand, through the various evolutions of the concept of sustainability, to restructuring, rethinking, and, perhaps too often, rebuilding; we've seen a lot of changes. The change we are anticipating now is probably the biggest yet in the history of our development, but it certainly won't be the last and there will almost certainly be bigger ones to come.
So change is here to stay (I rather like the sound of that!) here in Loreto Bay, in the Oval Office, and around the world and so I would like to leave you with a belated New Years wish: May the Change be with You! Because change is important part of Living Loreto.