Almost half way!!!!

Trip Start Jul 08, 2004
Trip End Aug 30, 2004

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Saturday, July 31, 2004

Hi all,

Yes that's right I have passed the half way point for my placement in Canada and this coming week will mark the half way point for my stay altogether.

My placement is still going well, although as of this week the pace has picked up a bit. It has almost become a bit too much like hard work for my liking. I have been trying to get by on minimal work outside clinical hours to free up time for doing fun stuff, but the time has come where I have had to put in a few more hours. I guess I can put up with it for another couple of weeks and then I'm planning on having a pretty relaxed time over the final two weeks of my stay.

Despite being a bit of a challenge most of my patients are great. Strangely enough my favourite patient has become my HIV, HEP B & C positive, borderline personality disorder, intravenous drug using, spinal cord injured patient (yes that is all one person!). She is actually really motivated to walk again and is currently making pretty good progress towards this goal. She is pretty unpredictable though, you never quite know what she's going to come up with next.

Everyone at GF Strong has been really friendly and has tried to include me in things they are doing. Last week I had dinner and drinks with most the staff in honour of one of the girls getting married. Since I had only met her twice I thought it was pretty cool for me to be included and it was great to see everyone in a more relaxed setting. I must say my bike ride home up the hill wasn't quite so pleasant after a couple of drinks.

On Wed night last week there was a professional cycling street race held in downtown Vancouver, so after work I met up with Ian and some workmates and we went along to have a look. Well it was pretty fantastic, there were over 160 riders competing in the mens field and they did 60 laps of a 1.5 km circuit. You could even feel the wind they put off as the flew by. It was great to see that there a few kiwis in the feild, including Glen Mitchell from Hamilton who finished up a pretty respectable 7th after footing it with the leaders for most the race.

I went for another mountainbike ride myself on Sat in 35+ degree tempertures. I had a blast and was riding with new found skill and confidence courtisy of my new body amour. You will be pleased to know that I didn't put it to use though. I even managed to blow off one of the locals I met up with who was rinding a fairly decent fully suspended bike. Needless to say I gave him a bit of a surprise.

Later on Sat evening I headed into town and walked over the famous (and quite spectacular) Lyons Gate Bridge and into Stanley Park. I was on a misson to meet up with Ian at his work, so I didn't have a lot of time to have a good look around, but what I did see of the park was enough to inspire me to head back pretty soon and explore all it has to offer. On our way back to Ian's as we passed over China Town on the Skytrain we spotted something that looked pretty interesting. There was a lineup of many many minis. We jumped off at the next stop and went to check it out, soon finding out that it was a record attempt for the most number of minis in one place at one time (137 if I recall correctly). It was pretty spectacular in itself and there were also some pretty nice cars there to keep us drooling for a little while. Eventually they started them all up and begun the longest mini dragon ever.

On Sun I stumbled over the most amazing food market on Granville Island while hunting round downtown. There was sooo much fresh produce, baked goods, meats and seafoods etc. I couldn't stomach all that I wanted to try and eventually settled for a banana and pineaple smoothie, some 10/10 fudge and some blackberries that brought back so many childhood memories. Now that I've found this place I think I'm going to have to pay it a few more visits.

Tonight I am heading into downtown for a big fireworks display. There are four in total over the following week and apparently they are second to none. The first was on Wed night, but I decided I had a little too much work to go in and watch (gggrrrr). There will be hundreds of thousands of people crowded round the seawall to watch them being fired off from bardges moored in the harbour. I am meeting up with some friends from work and they are going to take me to their secret veiwing spot, so it should be all good.

I checked out the Whakapapa ski report on the web this morning and it is looking pretty fine with a good base of snow, so I hope a few of you are heading down to take advantage of it.

I hope those who are on placement are having and equally good time and I wish you well if you are sitting you clinical exam soon.

Anyway it is a really nice day today, so I'm off to make the most of what is left of it.

Smiles :-)

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