Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Outside the lines

I know other homeowners are concerned with the big issue of the future of Loreto Bay as well as the upcoming condo regime meetings, but me, I'm living in my little world, happy in my belief that every little thing's gonna be alright.

I'm one of the homeowners on the ground working on community building, a concept I understood the original Loreto Bay founders wanted to promote. Having lived in the suburbs all my life I was intrigued by the idea of living in a village where neighbors were encouraged to interact. Loreto Bay appealed to me on that level. Here, there are no garages to pull into undetected. I like seeing familiar faces daily and sharing the experience of navigating life in a foreign country together. As the years pass we are establishing a history together and becoming dear friends. That might not be the goal of many who bought here, but for some of us I'm sure it's an desired outcome of village life.

There is a core group that spends a good portion of each year here. We are one of them. Since we have a young child I find myself compelled make our environment as enriching as possible to her. I'm always looking for ways to bring kids together and ensure that their time here is as rich as possible (plus, it gives me something to do.) On Fridays I hold our house open to kids who want to do arts and crafts. So far the number is small; there are not that many children in Loreto Bay. Their recent project I hung on a clothesline outside my house thinking that other residents might enjoy their work, might enjoy anything different and unusual on their strolls through the neighborhood. Today I was asked (politely) to take it down due to condo regime rules. God forbid I dirty up the pristine atmosphere of the stuccoed environment. However, I think my point was made that real people are living here and we're bound to spill outside the lines.

It's time for a community center, a common place for neighbors to gather. I'm hoping somehow I can wrangle a space from whoever-the-powers-that-be are for this purpose. I envision having a commercial space along the Paseo reserved for homeowners for hanging out. It could have a lending library, card tables, games, television, worktables, a bulletin board. It could host workshops, Spanish lessons, etc. Nothing so fancy, just a hang-out. I know this is nowhere near the top of priorities for Loreto Bay and even for homeowners who are still struggling to get their homes built, but it seems worthwhile to me and I hope we can get it started.

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