Living on Easy Street — riding the wave of constant change 

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"This was not a top-down thing," she explains. "It was totally grass-roots. Entirely community-driven." And it worked. Like many of MDC's original investors, Bob and Kashi still live in the house that they built on Easy Street back in 1983.

"Seems so long ago now," sighs Kashi. And then she laughs — like only she can. Clear and happy and guileless. "Still, building a house here in those years provided us with so many opportunities..."

Back then, you see, finding a place to stay at Whistler was a major headache. People would pay astronomical sums for winter accommodation. So why shouldn't the new homeowners take advantage of the housing shortage? For Bob and Kashi it was a no-brainer. "We used to joke that we couldn't afford to stay at home," laughs Kashi. "I mean, we could rent our house out for the winter and visit the rest of the world on that revenue." So they travelled: to the West Indies, and Thailand and Burma; to Nepal and Sri Lanka and India. And everywhere they went, they made sure to take a piece of their experience and bring it back to Whistler.

Travel is great and all. But by 1986, Kashi and Bob were ready for their next adventure. With the birth of their first daughter, Claire, Whistler's newest parents discovered a whole new dimension to the Whistler experience. By the time Mia was born two years later, Kashi had fully integrated into the valley's irrepressible "mom network."

"This is such a great place to raise kids," she enthuses. "The Whistler community is alive and well and has been for a long time." She points to the valley's school system as a prime example of that. "We knew all the kids' school teachers personally — they were part of the community. When our kids graduated, more than half of the class had been together since kindergarten!"

She's also a huge fan of the high school's outdoor program — and the man behind its success. "I can't say enough about that program or about Mitch Sulkers. He's become an important mentor to so many of the graduates." This is how her eldest daughter explained it to me some years ago: "The program," said Claire, "comes at a time in school — Grades 11 and 12 — when most kids are getting bored with the 'Whistler Scene.' What Mitch does is introduce them to a way of experiencing the outdoors that is both positive and incredibly inspiring." The result? The kids are asked to take on a lot of responsibility, and most rise to the occasion. "It really makes you reflect on who you are," concluded Claire. "Makes you a stronger, more confident person."

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