An Opportunity for London 2012

Gord and I are excited and hopeful that we will be chosen to volunteer again for the Summer Games next year in London. We sent in our application several months ago and are waiting to hear if our experience in Vancouver might make us eligible to be in London in 2012 for the Games.

If our Vancouver Games experience is a model, it likely will be late fall 2011 at the earliest, or more likely early to mid-winter 2012 when we will hear if we are selected for July 2012.

Biggest challenge if we are selected will be to find housing at a reasonable price – but we’re up for the challenge!

First Day on the Job

Gord dropped me at the skytrain at 615am where I boarded the Waterfront line bound for the Olympic Village. It’s a great system, 2 cars per train, very clean with nice big windows to see the scenery, lots of standing room with bars to hang onto, and decent seating. Large tracts are outdoors so the views are terrific.

The Olympic Village stop is at False Creek just before the downtown core. The stations are modern, clean and busy enough to feel safe even late at night. Lots of police presence and they are friendly and helpful. I’ll be glad of this when I finish my evening shifts. A 15 minute walk gets me to the Village where I must remove my jacket, cell phone, keys and such to get through the scanners which are manned by friendly volunteers charged with protecting the Village and ensuring that the hundreds of volunteers get in and out efficiently each day. They operate 24/7 because of the number of volunteers coming and going on each of 3 shifts.

Once in the Village I check in at Workforce where I am greeted warmly, my badge is stamped , I am given a bottle of water, a lunch or dinner ticket, a newsletter and a cheery message to have a good shift. If I’m early I can go to the meal tent where there is always coffee, tea, hot chocolate, snacks and lots of other volunteers in their blue jackets and vest. I realize I will meet some very interesting people in this tent!

I’m greeted casually in the Polyclinic where a group of nurses, doctors and admins like me are invited to sit in for a report which is a scattered dialogue among a group of people getting to know each other and the work to be done. When we introduce ourselves, we realize people have come from far and wide to be here – and all volunteers – even clinic managers who have been working for months to get things ready.

I’m shown briefly how to use the computer where I will register patients for immediate appointments and schedule others in a booking system. It’s all fascinating and I get involved figuring it all out. The bad new is that its all pretty casual, seat-of-your-pants learning opportunities, the good news is that it is all pretty casual, no one takes themselves too seriously, there’s always someone to help out and we all settle into the day’s work. I’m going to enjoy this!