Wednesday, July 25, 2007

We all made it, finally

Hello from England.  All of us made it and the final bag caught up yesterday morning.  When we arrived, there were about 400 people in the IST camping area and there are now 8000.  Most of those arrived yesteray.
Our assignments have been great so far.  On Monday, our group of 45 packed all the arrival bags for 8000 IST workers and 30,000 contingent youth teams.  That took 6 hours.
Yesterday we helped check in the 6000 IST adults who arrived at the staging area ( North Weald airport).  Chip went in the morning, greeted arrivals and directed them into the check in area.  Sam and I went at 3PM and did similar work.  The two of us stayed there till 4AM when the last bus arrived to go back to the Jamboree site. 
As a check-in assistant, looked at 600 passports and tried my best to communicate to the arrivals about their ID badge and job description.  Most understood me - or at least nodded yes.
Mike was with a different team and we haven't caught up with him today.  He's probably been adopted by the Italian or Swiss teams.  He makes new friends readily.  Mike will be working in Contingent support - which I think is similar to Commissioner work to the contingents.
Sam Chip and I will be stewards.  This job is a mix of security and communications.  We'll have 8 hour shifts to patrol the perimiter, be visible, and help anyone who needs help.  We'll have radios and cool yellow vests.  Some times, we'll be on bike.
There are several unexpected things we've found.  The most obvious is the young age of the IST.  The average age from non-US countries is about 22 (my guess) and the average age of US IST is about 50.  All are very friendly and eager to talk.
More later.