3. There are a lot of Canadians in Vancouver. I was briefly stunned by the number of Canadian flags flying outside windows in condos downtown. Each time someone would announce that "we won another Gold," Heather and I would have to conciously remember who "we" are. It's them - in the streets - clanking cowbells, wearing maple leaves. The Canadians. And of course it is.
4. Everybody needs a little love. Sussing out the individual motivations of volunteers kept the early days at the venue interesting. Generally, they want to participate- and they have the time to give. Most gave up vacations - to stand, proudly, at a curb. To welcome their constituency: media, sponsors, athletes; depending on the load zone. As a paid employee, my job is primarily making them feel it is worth it. By whatever practical means.
5. Canadians embrace process. Thinking outside previously-set parameters is not particularly rewarded. They speak of "process" (with a long "o...") and "chain of command." It can be frustrating, but it has a discipline to it. It's just confusing to American event people who like the more pirate-y aspects of this career path.
11. (Because mine goes to 11.) Dorothy was right. When I return home, I will have been gone six out of the last seven weeks. Gavin is wildly tolerant, and the children - while nothing could have prepared them for the absense of mom for that stretch - have adapted reasonably well.