Saturday June 3rd.
Very busy at the restaurant, three or four unannounced large parties along with regular customers put all of us under pressure. Elder didn’t show up for work and didn’t call. This put Primo under pressure with all the dishwashing and cleaning. I did as much as I could to help him when we had time between tickets. Juan complained of a headache. The heat in the kitchen didn’t help either. I suggested to Juan to drink water because I thought he was dehydrated.
On the other side of the kitchen the servers were having a difficult time. Andrea told me that the salads and other starters were taking too long to come out and as a result the customers were getting hungrier and crankier by the minute.
I looked at the ticket holder full of tickets and my oven full of pizza and casseroles and hoped that the night would pass quickly.
We went to bed at twelve am. It didn’t take long to fall asleep.
4:00 AM on Sunday morning. The alarm goes off. I sleepily hit the snooze button and drift away again. 4:10 AM the alarm goes off again. I turn off the alarm again pull myself out of bed and head towards the bathroom.
I have to be at Normal Street by 4:30 AM. The reason that I’m up at this time is because I volunteered for the Rock n’Roll marathon.
Andrea was good enough to drive me to my station.
This is how the world looks at four in the morning; dark and blurry!
I was working the gang from the Fleet Science Centre at water station number one; we were located 1 ½ mile into the marathon, so we expected to finish by 9:00 AM.
All the volunteers set up the tables and put out water cups, stacked three high, and filled them with water. The water came from a hose that filled a back plastic bag that went inside a trashcan. If I were running the marathon, I think I’d bring my own liquid. It’s also surprisingly difficult to fill cups with water in the dark!
My table with water cups and someone called Audrey.
At 6:10 AM we were given our instructions on how to hold the cups of water. ‘Hold them with all your fingers at the top of the cup’, Dick told us. Dick was the team leader for our station and he had a megaphone. If someone has a megaphone you should listen to him or her, they must have something important to say. ‘Make sure you wear your plastic gloves.’ I pulled them out of my pocket and put them on. Dick went on to tell us not to be offended if runners from Kenya didn’t take any water from us. The reason is that they have their own water station further down the track. Dick didn’t tell us any of this using his megaphone; I suspect that he only had it for show.
Although I didn’t really enjoy getting up at four in the morning I did enjoy the experience of helping at the marathon. It was inspiring to see the people in wheelchairs competing, the impressive Kenyan runners who dominated the race and everyone who took part for charity or for their own personal goals. Bravo.
More pictures later.