Friday, March 30, 2007

That special something

There couldn't be a better place hang with friends than the roadside cook shack on the road to San Javier. What a Godsend Del Borrachos is to us frijoles and tortilla-weary norteamericanos. The food is home-cooked American style with specials every day like split-pea soup, or lasagna. There's a big screen television and pool tables and a huge bar with windows that look out over the ocean. It's fashioned like a frontier saloon with its wrap-around porch and post and beam construction and it's just as casual and friendly. Kids are welcome which is very nice for us mothers who like to meet once a week. The owners are so laid-back they allow our kids to bring their bicycles and scooters so to ride on the smooth concrete patio out back (probably the only existing smooth piece of concrete in Loreto.)

Mike (shown here in the photo), built the place with his wife (the cook.) Since codes and zoning are pretty loose in the Baja, he's been able to put together a unique place. Anything that catches his imagination is allowed to materialize which is what gives the site its magic. I'll be interested to revisit it a year from now to see what he's added. Besides the restaurant, he's building tiny cabins in the back for nightly rental. He's restoring a mechanical bull he found at a bull-fighting ring in Cabo. It's sits out back by his fishing boat. He installed a gray-water tank to nourish his landscaping. He's preparing to put up a giant pergola to shade the concrete patio that the kids ride their scooters on. They chase after a lizard or throw horseshoes, or pet his dog, Shady Lady. If they want a drink, they run in to get a coke from the cooler. And if they want to sit at the bar, that's okay too.
I sit with the Loreto moms and struggle with my Spanish. After a few hours I find myself mentally fatigued and tongue-tied. Who could understand the exertion it takes to think in two languages when you are such a novice? I hope one day it will all just come naturally, but when? I hear Sarah's little boy rattle off sentences in Spanish after less than one year here. Amazing.

I will miss times like these when everything comes together and I feel connected to something bigger than Loreto Bay, the grand village development. It will be the life we made on our own, outside of Loreto Bay, that I'll remember most. Hanging out with the Loreto moms on Thursdays at Santa Lucia on the Malecon, gathering at Sarah's or Roch's house for music and beer, guiding my daughter through the school gate every morning making sure she has her 10 pesos for a burrito and chicarrones while I stop to greet and kiss a dozen kids, moms, dads because you can't just get away with only a "hola" and "buenas dias" here in Loreto.

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