Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The locavarian on a couch-a-tik





I began training at the Churchill Regional Health Authority (aka the town’s hospital) as a “casual”, basically a back-up for any health care aides, ultrasound clerks, or home care services workers who cannot make it into work. Instead of being behind the wheel of a bus, or bundled with many layers of down and fleece on a snowmobile, I was clad in scrubs, striding up and down fluorescent halls. My time at the hospital was short, yet intense. I learned a great deal about clerical work, the workings of a northern ultrasound clinic, and of course, caring for our sick and elderly. It was a valuable lesson to me, how to keep a strong face in the presence of nasty substances, particularly those emitted from a human. Now, I won’t go into the repugnant details, but be sure to give extra credit and consideration to the nurses and health care aides who cross your path, whether now or later on in life. It is sometimes only they who see the most intimate and embarrassing details of one’s physiology.

A fun social activity that I enjoyed doing this winter were poker derbies. These are done by snowmobile, or in my case in part, a four-wheeler with snow-tracks on it. Essentially, people man outposts, with bonfires to stay warm if it’s outdoors (as opposed to a cabin). These are supplemented with a deck of cards, and often with hotdogs and/or smokies, various snacks, tea, and of course beer. For one, we refurbished a komatik with a loveseat, a chair, a small coffee table, and an ashtray. This, we conveniently re-named the “couch-a-tik”, which acted like an awesome fancy plough as it barreled down the narrow paths, with sheets of slush flying up and onto the contraption, which made traveling on it a bit wet, to say the least.

As spring brought warmer weather, meaning windchills that were no longer staying around -30 and below, the birds began to migrate back and through Churchill. The most celebrated of them being the Canada Goose. This spring, I witnessed the whole process of attaining a water fowl meal (goose), from the hunting to the lengthy process of plucking, gutting and the removal of unnecessary appendages, then of course comes the seasoning and roasting… the rest you can imagine was similar to that of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners… mmm, mmm. I just recently read an article in a magazine called Up Here, that coined the term “locavarian”, meaning one who eats local foods. I think that has applied to me; with the delicious hormone-free wild game of Canada’s North, to the organic strawberries and raspberries from Nova Scotia’s fields.

1 comment:

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