Friday, May 26, 2006


Hello all, from a wet, wet yes wet Yorkton. It has been raining for about 24 hours, is grey, cold and miserable, I feel like I'm in Cape Town again.

We are in the process of deciding what to do once I'm done here in August and there are so many options. We know Yorkton is not where we want to be but there is plenty of work here and it could be a lot worse. Most of the other doctors here don't move even though they can because hey make SO much money here. Its very disturbing to see, mostly because for a split second every so often I agree with them. People get trapped by greed and their lives turn into a never ending quest to make more money. They work way to hard, become boring, unhappy wealthy people. Okay, maybe the unhappy is a little unfair - enough money can buy a certain amount of happiness, nice car, nice house, airplane, golf clubs, horses, big TV etc. But none of them have friends, they're not even friends with eachother, nobody does anything together, nobody cares. I want to leave before I become infected with the bug of materialism. We watch ourselves closely, I am making more money than we need, I could make much more if I wanted to kill myself working, but I don't. I just want enough for what we need, a little extra for ice cream and then I just want a friend. Even one.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

High in the sky

And also the mountains. Okay, so the mountains aren't that high, but they are very ducky. Full of the damn things. It was a bit like when you first start out on a game drive and just as you enter the gates you see a buck. You stop, and everyone clambers all over each other to see and you take a MILLION photos (on film, not even digital), and you feel like you really had an awesome amount of luck. Twenty minutes , and a two hundred thousand boring buck later and everyone is saying "if I ever see another buck in my life, it will be too soon". It was like that. Only ducks, not bucks. I guess it explains why its called "Duck Mountain".

But it was a pretty place. There was something written somewhere on a plaque or whatever, saying that its the southern most boreal forest in Saskatchewan and is much more like northern Saskatchewan than the south-central region where we actually are. Interesting hey? No! But again, it was pretty.

Real live beaver dam.

And there were some mozzies - LIKE MILLIONS!!!

Oh, and if anyone happens to know whats in a "brown-eyed susan" doughnut, let me know. I just couldnt. Was curious, but scared.

I know its kind of going back in time, but on Sunday (Duck mountain was Monday) we went flying. Baasie phoned me, and in his true talkative style, said:"Wanna go flying?".

So we did. And it was rad.
We flew in this:

Looked like this:
saw this (great spirit lake):

... and our place (next to the white building on the left. Thats the "city centre" at the top of the pic):

... and the Hospital. Across the road is the office Claire was in for the first two months or so.

It was great.

Back a little further in time, on Saturday, we found ourselves on the backs of some horses. Thats right, a real ranch weekend. Okay, just the horses bit. But the one horse got kinda weird and scared and stuff, so we came back. Riding inside a fence is one thing, but riding out in the open fields on a skittish, nervous horse is a whole other. It was still cool. I said "Whoa boy" a lot.

Oh - last thing. Congrats to us. 4 years now. We had a lovely day with picnics and Moet and flowers and presents and ... and love. Lots and lots. More today than ever. I'm a soppy kind of a guy (as you all know), and am getting soppier as times goes on. I blame (and thank) my Oupa. My gran I thank (blame, really) for the balding gene. Lets look at more photos.

That is all.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Slight Change

Hi Readers (Most of whom I know. Jacques, seriously man. Please tell me who you are. If you live in Canada, maybe we could even meet in person, since the people in this town aren't really friendly.) Anyway, I seem to have been hit by a spammer. Someone commented on the Winnipeg post saying something like "adoring your site so excellent and the graphics be greatness" or something equally grammatically flawed/non-english speaking. Underneath was a link to some or other credit risk agency. Me-thinks it were a people what can like to be using my "adorable" blog for its own uses-ness.

So, the change will be that when you leave a comment (each and every one of which we LOVE and makes us feel a little closer to home) you will need to type in the letters/word you see all twisted and bent on the page. Its to help prevent automatic "hackers" from leaving comments like the one above. Thank you for your patience.

In the news this week, we have plans for Vancouver, flying in the skies over yorkton, some golf, and some (highly amusing and annoying) ranting. Stay tuned, its all coming up, right here, on the Snowblindness blog!


That is all.

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Rest of Winnipeg

So, when I left "Espresso Junction" and had taken Claire her between exams lunch, I decided to stroll around the city centre. Its nice enough, with a few historical buildings dotted around, and the "golden boy" on top of the legislative buildings, but not super exciting. Our dinner in the french quarter that evening would prove to be much more culturally interesting. After searching around a bit and buying my first puck, I found the winnipeg art museum. I didn't have much time to look around, but it turns out I didn't really need much. Some great stuff including some up and coming artists, and a whole lot of "first nation" art - mostly sculpture.

The next day was "Andrew keeps himself busy day" and so I went to the zoo. It was, as zoos tend to be, a little shabby and the animals didn't look to excited, but I did see some things you just have to see, and learned a little thing or two.

I also took a rather fun test drive, in this puppy:
And popped in here to see if Tom was in.

He wasn't. Oh - and it says "Free personality TEST". If they were offering free personalities, Tom would probably have one.

The drive home was long, but uneventful. We've now seen about enough of the flat-lands. Time for some lakes and oceans and stuff I think.

That is all.

Filling in the Blanks

Well, I've been fairly good with blogging, and you are all pretty much caught up on the news and what-not. However, I keep forgetting the little things I want to tell everyone. You know, the stupid little "we had some old lady in the shops tell us about her grand children, for no reason" and "everyone says 'Have a good/great morning/day/evening' every time you finish talking to them" things.

That last one is particularly bad. People get offended if you don't add your "you too". Like they feel you might be thinking "I hope your day is sucky - but REALLY sucky" if you don't. Odd. One lady told her child to tell the doctor to have a good day when Claire finished treating him. Indoctrinated. If only they did something useful with the brainwashing like telling the kids: "Gravy soaked 'fries' are not a good idea" or "Cheese does not need to be dipped in cheese".

Oh - tragedy stuck. They ran out of triple caffinated death roast coffee (they call it black bear) and I was forced to have regular blend. That's not the bad part. I took a sip and before I knew what was happening, my brain registered enjoyment. The decline has begun. Pretty soon I'll just be spooning mud into a cup of hot water.

Did we mention that Canadians are weird?

I like the way the planes always cut lines in the sky. Yes, you've all seen it, but these ones last for hours, literally. Check this one out (and the cool coulds too - Saskatchewan=Land of the living skies).

Fatty, fatty boom-boom

For breakfast I had a "cinnabun" and some "blackbear" coffee. For lunch I had a chicken sub. For supper, I had the food I had previously sworn I'd never have - KFC. A rounder(here they call it a chicken "sandwich") and chips.

Help me, I am becoming American.

To be fair, I am on call and we just got back from Winnipeg and had nothing at home. I swear I'm not fat yet and am doing everything possible to keep it that way. We should do monthly postings of us in our swimming cozzies so we can keep track of the fat, or hopefully not.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Hello from Yorkton Regional Hospital

Hello:) I'm on call again. Man its been a busy week, and its not over yet. It started with a 24 hour call, followed by a 5 hour drive to Winniepeg, then 3 days of long exams, the return drive and straight into this which will be follwed by a day at the office, and then perhaps some calm.

I have recenlty had a long chat with a 85 year old man who had recently lost his wife. They were married over 50 years. He was easily the saddest man I have ever met. He couldn't help himself, he just cried unashamedly and laughed and cried. He is still so in love with his wife, he was speaking about her like she was a beautiful 16 year old girl. It was a such an insight for me, he told me how he forgets that she is gone, and its the little things that don't happen, like her telling him to pick up his socks that make him miss her most. He says he is not suicidal, but hopes he dies soon because he has got nothing left to live for. He has no family, no kids, she was his life. I can't imagine his pain. It made me think about whats really important when it finally comes down to it. Life is really only about love, about how much we love and the effect that has on others. Everything else is meaningless when it comes to the end, your money, your power, your looks, your intelligence - worthtless. This man's wife has living proof of how much she loved and unfortunately that proof is a sad, hopeless grieving old man who wouldn't trade his pain for anything because it is a reminder of how much he has lost.

Okay, so sorry about the downer. On a lighter note another thing Canadians say is - "thank you much" weird people.

K. Bye

Friday, May 12, 2006

Welcome to Winnipeg

Hi from "Espresso Junction" at The Forks in Winnipeg. I dropped Claire and her new little friends at the Health Sciences Centre this morning for the second part of her "C.A.P.E." exams. Formalities formalities. I don't think those of us who aren't doctors can fully appreciate how annoying this type of thing must be for them. Imagine finishing something as difficult as Medicine, and working as a doctor for years (like 35 of them for some people) and then some stupid country says "We don't REALLY believe that you are a good doctor. We are too lazy/busy to assess you ourselves, so we make it your responsability (and expense - sheesh) to prove it to us. Yes we need you all desperately, but we aren't going to make an effort."

Okay, so Canada isn't a stupid country, but its easy to get annoyed when you bust your hump to get to the first COMPULSARY day of the exams only to have a half hour "Dont cheat" talk. We made a big effort (I picked Claire up from a 24 hour call with the car packed already and drove like a ... South African to get here on time), but there were people who had an even harder time getting here. It's silly. You can have a cheque cleared over night though, so its all good.

What else? Well, day one was quite a stressful drive, an awesome hotel room, and then a bit of KFC. Then we went to find somewhere to do a bit of shopping (Yorkton has very little worth buying) some eating. We found a lovely little place called "Confussion corner" on a very confusing corner and sat down to find THIS on the menu.

We asked about it, and apparently its some kind of "citrus vinagarette" or something. We suggested they change the name.

Yesterday was pleasant enough - Claire did her first hour long oral exam and I explored Winnipeg a bit. Nice place. We got told by everyone we spoke to that its rubbish, but it really isn't. Feels nice and international and cosmopolitan and first world. Pretty in places too.

The contrast between the winter and the spring is striking. We spoke to two other South Africans doctors on the way to the exam this morning (we gave them a lift from the hotel) and they were saying it struck them too. The one guy said that they used to use a "lake road" but now the lake is water again they have to drive round. And that took only two weeks to happen.

Well, enough of that. I've had 4 espressos now and used up more than enough bandwidth at the cafe, so I'll leave it there. Still have loads of "city-ing to do, so will get on with it.

That is all.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Connor is a boy's name. She is a girlie donkey. Photo will follow when its light enough to take one. Although I have my new fav boots on, its cold. Then you can all send you suggestions for the name. Sorry Geoff.

Monday, May 08, 2006


So, whats up with the van der Rawson Team? This and that. You know? (Reader: Man, get Claire to the keyboard, like, NOW!)

No, really, we had a very pleasant weekend, with a thing or two worth noting. We did some more "Blading", as we've come to call it. Take a look. How hot are we?! Take note, the "from behind" shots of Claire are "chase cam".

The knee and elbow pads are SO not necessary. Ignore the fact that i have already rolled in the grass once, and wobbled LOADS! The most wobblying happened when we (foolishly) decided to go out for a quick "Blade" (see, told you we used it) and found that when the temp dips to 3 degrees, its not good to move fast through it.

As you can see, the weather has warmed up a lot in general. The "in general" is the important part of that last sentence. It still dips WAAAY down on the odd day. The horses don't seem to mind though. Just look at those happy faces:

One more picturesque shot for good measure. You folks seem to like that:

We have been gyming like MAD people. As we were climbing into our Chevy on the way to one of these sessions, I noticed the back door "squeaked". So I swung it a little, and it squeaked again. Suddenly Claire squealed like a girl (thank goodness she IS a girl) and jumped out of the car. "There's an animal in there!", she said. She was wrong. Well, sort of. There was actually some "wildlife" in the wheel. Apparently chipmunks are Chevy fans too.
A little poke in the bum (with Claire securely locked inside in case this brut ripped off a limb or something) and he scuttled down a hole under the barn.

However, the highlight of our weekend was definately chatting with our "peeps" in Joburg. We were lucky enough to catch Dawn, Nick, Tyrone and Paulette all in the same place. We are simultaneously sad and happy. It was wonderful to hear their voices and catch up on their news, but it made us miss home terribly. With that:

That is all.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Spring has, well... you know...

Pictures only for now. Okay, except for this.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Busy busy busy

Also, fun fun fun. We had quite a weekend. To start with, let me clear something up. Lindie, we thought your wedding was FRIDAY. Those weren't predictions. We thought it had already happened. Who knows how the confusion occured, but it did. It's not like we turned up at an empty chapel or anything, but we did scramble back from the hospital where Claire was on call and sit like fools waiting for the wedding to begin so we could watch. Still so happy for you guys.

I've started noticing something very disturbing. Claire's accent slips. She has on THREE occations now said something in "canadian". It's only under VERY specific conditions, but it's worrying. It's always when we are in a situation where a canadian asks her something, and she responds using one or more of the words used in the question. For example:

Waitress:"Can I get you a glass of water?"
Claire:"Yes please. Just a smallglass<end canadian>!"

The words all appear to be "A" related. I have, so far, spotted "glass", "ask", and one other (I forger what it is, but it's another "A" word). I will continue to use the highly effective shaming method and hopefully it will clear right up. When she starts with "right on" or "sounds good", there will have to be some sort of stern action taken. I'll have none of that.

On Friday, Claire's phone ran out of airtime (Reader: Oh boy. These guys have REALLY run out of things to write about). Loading airtime is simple, no? NO! Holy crap. These canadians have a total fetish for voice recognition phone systems.

"Please say your 10 mobile phone number"
"13065210235" (that is my number, by the way - sms me with pleasure)
"I heard '365220234' is that correct?"
"I'm sorry, I can't find that number on our system. Please hang up and try again"
"%$#&-ing stupid ...."

Half an hour. Honestly! Technologically advanced my bum! Cell phone tech is way ahead in SA. Everyone look at your phones and smile. They work.

We also tried a couple of new Canadian products. I was thinking of doing a product exposé. Anyone interested? I'll take a picture and do a full review. There is some interesting stuff here. For example: Hamburger Helper. It's mince mate. For some reason, they call "mince meat" "Hamburger". Its much the same as the SA one, except we accidentally got the rice one. WEIRD?!
Now for the gross one. We saw it on the shelf, and began a morbid fascination. There appear to be several varieties and they seem pretty popular. Its cottage cheese. Flavoured cottage cheese. For eating with a spoon. Like yoghurt. GROSS!!! So we bought some and I ate it. Just look at how appetising it looks:

Like pale brains or month old milk. Yum. It was odd to say the least, but I will probably finish the 4-pack. Whether I will buy more is yet to be seen. I will however DEFINATELY buy more of the following:
That's a clutch pencil added to the picture for scale. An enormous Patrick Star easter egg. After easter, everything went on sale (YAY!) so I picked it up for nothing. I love this place.

We got out and about in the sunshine. It's getting green and warm here (24 on Saturday) and we took the plunge and bought rollerblades. What fun! We've been up and down and up and down. Already done about 16kms on them.

Lastly, I got Claire out on the driving range. I plan on making some serious improvements while here. Its the game of choice during the summer months.

Okay, it's taken me all morning to create this post because of internet issues. I will leave it there.

That is all.