Today marked a new beginning for millions around the world, including the citizens of the Cayman Islands. Even though President Obama is not of our government, his spirit and message will be felt here and as far away as Africa and Iceland. In his inauguration speech, he pledged that "On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics." 
People around the world relate to Obama's themes. A world made weary by war, recession, joblessness, and fear celebrated with him. At the United Nations complex overlooking the Danube River in Vienna, Austria, someone wrote "YES, WE CAN!" in giant block letters in the snow. 

An Irish village called Moneygall covered itself in red, white and blue bunting Tuesday in honor of Obama's ancestry, a great-great-great grandfather named Fulmouth Kearney who emigrated to the United States in 1850. 

In Kenya, birthplace of Pres. Obama's father, feasts were prepared, beer with Obama's name on it brewed, and movie screens erected so neighbors could join together for the moment. 

"Obama fever is all over the whole world, " said Cyndee Peters, an Afridan-American singer who grew up in North Carolina and New York, and now lives in Sweden. "I was congratulated by I don't know how many Swedes after the election. I think what he stands for needs to be celebrated. "No one is doing their favorite songs or greatest hits. We're doing songs about hope." 

He has been praised for a trait unusual in politicians - an unwavering message: a heartfelt call to service, to help each other. He said today, "At this moment- a moment that will define a generation" it is precisely this spirit (of service) that must inhabit us all." So we wish him well, and hope the countries of the world will work together to realize his visions of honesty, tolerance, and the brotherhood of all peoples.

Located on Little Cayman Island, about 400 miles South of Miami, the Southern Cross Club was founded in 1958 when Little Cayman boasted a population of just 12 people. The island now has a bustling population of just over 100. If you dream of escaping to a place with world class diving, fishing, peace and relaxation, few places in the world can compare with the charm, comfort and hospitality of the Southern Cross Club. 

For the month of January, Southern Cross Club is offering all locals from Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac a chance to get away from it all while supporting the local marine environment. 

Each local guest will receive a gift bag with vouchers and merchandise, valued at $50.00, and a free upgrade to a deluxe unit, on an availability basis. In addition, Southern Cross Club will donate 10% of the accommodation charge to the Central Caribbean Marine Institute

Beautiful Oceanfront Townhome in South Sound. See it here. 
Magnificent private beach home/condo with private pool in a great residential area. The only party wall is the garage. One of only six units in the Strata. The privacy of a house with the convenience of a condo. As convenient a location as you will find. Square footage above is title floor area. Actual under roof is approximately 4200 sf. 

There is no doubt about it: there are a lot of homes on the market. Understanding that, how do you as a seller make your home  stand out from your competition? Home staging, says Barb Schwartz, CEO of, is an oft overlooked function of real estate selling. 


Home buyers need to mentally 'move in' to a home to see themselves living there. If you cannot accomplish that then you've lost them. Schwartz offers six simple tips to help sellers in a downtrodden market improve their position: 


1.) Get them inside. Staging is not only inside. Curb appeal is not to be overlooked because if they don't like what they see from the sidewalk chances are that their hearts and minds won't be swayed by what they see inside. Cut and trim the landscaping, rake the leaves, power wash the drive and walkways. Go easy on potted plants and remove all dead plants. Put the Big Wheels back in the garage and put trash containers back immediately on trash day when emptied. 

2.)Pretend you're camping. When you go camping you only take essentials, right? So go through each room and divide everything into a 'keep' or 'give up'. Those items that you keep will be used for staging, and those items that you give up should be stored elsewhere. Cluttered rooms appear smaller to buyers who have a hard time mentally removing all of your belongings. 

3.)Balance hard and soft surfaces. If you have hard surface floors, whether wood or tile, make sure you have plenty of rugs to balance. Look at your furniture: if you have cushy, 7-foot long sectional sofas and then 2 or 3 La-Z Boy chairs you have too many soft surfaces. Consider getting rid of the La-Z Boy chairs and replace them with wingback chairs.

A Parable for our times: 

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousand of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. 

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule. 

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk. 

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work. 

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on. 

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition. 

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars. 

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats averaged $100. 

Although circulated through email, this may be a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context? 

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing? 

Consider the Cayman Islands. We're waiting for you.