Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Day 1 - Friday July 20/Saturday July 21

Well, my Jamboree experience started with a pleasant surprise when I flew from Ottawa to Heathrow. Since I was assigned a seat in the front of the economy section when I went to board, the gate agent said 'shows already boarded' just as another agent was announcing 'anyone else for London'. I jokingly said I was planning to fly to London but maybe not, since I don't have a seat. Just then the gate agent said 'you have been assigned another seat in Business class - here is you new boarding pass.' My surprise was the plane was one of Air Canada's new 767's which has these new angled individual compartments for Business class, where you can recline the seat so you can actually sleep like a bed. Many THANKS Rod for making my start of the trip a very enjoyable one.

When I arrived in Heathrow, after such a nice flight, I arranged for my coach (bus) ticket to Stansted airport to catch the shuttle bus to the Jamboree site. While waiting in the waiting area a lady noticed a small duffle bag tucked behind a payphone/vending machine area, kind of hidden. She asked if it belonged to anyone and when no-one answered, she informed the bus security who imediately radioed in to report it. After two quick announcements, for the owner to claim the bag, they started to evacuate the area and brought in the sniffer dogs. It was amazing to watch a beautiful beagle and black lab work with precision to snift the entire area. Since it didn't show signs of explosives, they removed the bag and gave the all clear. An interesting welcome to London, but a fantastic demonstartion of how serious the Brits take security.

After a 1.5 hour bus ride to Stansted and a 1.5 hour wait for the shuttle bus I finally made it around 1 pm. After a long hike and check-in, I was directed to where I could set up my tent where I found other Canadians seting up their tents. Here is a photo of my tent with the Canadian flag on it.

After setting up and getting everything inside my tent there was a huge downpour which lasted 30 minutes, then cleared. Glad to have been able to set up before the rain. Helped other Canadians set up their tents, then we went for supper around 6:30 pm. Here is a photo of the Canadians that arrived early to help build Canada House and our activity area at the World Village called 'the build team' at supper. Tomorrow is up for 6 am breakfast and then a 7:15 Canadian built team meeting.

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