24 x 18
oil on wrapped canvas
I have lived in Vancouver most of my life and have never seen anything like the last three weeks of Olympic partying. I commuted most days downtown to my volunteer job at BC Place where the opening, closing and medal ceremonies were held and before long was starting to go early and stay late just to experience the amazing energy of the friendly crowds and the crazy fun entertainment. My volunteer experience itself was brutal and one of the hardest things I've had to do in my life. The first ten hour day started with an unexpected all day posting outside in inadequate clothing and I was left feeling dismayed and humiliated when I found out I was not allowed into the very venue at which I was working. I was given a half cup of chili and that was it for food for the entire ten hour shift. By the time I arrived home I'd been standing on cold concrete in winter weather for twelve hours, couldn't get warm and it took several hours to fall into a fitful sleep. Most of my shifts were like this so I began to pack extra clothes and my own food and I had to sleep and rest on most my time off. I was yelled at on a daily basis, an easy mark in my 'blue jacket' for those frustrated with the Olympics and the inconveniences they were experiencing or for those who found the venues difficult to get around. I was often posted as an Access Control or at the security checks where I had to deal with angry work force, arrogant media or impatient ticket holders. I suffered from the rain and cold all the while working alongside paid security people who were given winter clothes and shelter under a heated tent. One night the security team kept bringing me in under the heater as they could see I was turning blue. I got sick of course, lost six pounds and am still trying to recover. Were there any good moments, something that made it all worthwhile? Well I wouldn't go that far but I did get to see the opening and closing ceremonies, met my favorite singer Sarah McLachlan, made some good friends and had some pretty funny moments that still make me laugh. Would I do it all again? Not a chance. I am so happy to be home and painting again!