I Love Newfoundland

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Recently I was horrified to learn that my use of the word “Newfie” in this blog may have caused offense (see Mike’s comment in “Decisions”).  The truth is that I love Newfoundland (pronounced NewfoundLAND in the SAND Larry King, not New Finland) and I love Newfoundlanders.  At my graduate residence St. John’s College there are three people from Newfoundland: Erin, Derm, and Kristen (pictured below).  I love them and I’m pretty sure they love me, as can be seen from the photographic evidence below.

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When my Newfoundland friends found out that I was going to St. John’s NL for a medical school admissions interview, they were genuinely happy I would get a chance to see their home province and did everything to make my trip a good one.  Erin immediately offered to have me stay with her parents while I was there.  Derm gave me a list of his friends to contact while I was in St. John’s and drew me a detailed map of George street. 

I had a fantastic time in NL even though my trip was delayed for three days because of a blizzard.  The hospitality and friendliness I experienced in NL was truly special.  Erin’s parents drove me around to see the sights, such as Signal Hill, St. John’s Harbour, and Cape Spear.  They treated me as if I were their own son.  I slept in Erin’s own bed and ate home cooked food for my entire stay.  After my interview, Erin’s brother and Derm’s friends took me out for a night on the town (i.e. Water street and George street).  I was screeched in at Christians’s on a debaucherous Tuesday night.  I kissed a 20 year-old cod. B’ys o b’ys.  I have earned the right to be considered an honorary Newfoundlander. 

When I returned home to Erin’s parent’s house at 3 AM the night of my screech-in, Erin’s Dad was waiting up for us and we drank and chatted into the early hours of the morning.  I was a bit groggy for my flight home the next morning, but it was well worth it.

Erin’s brother Adam gave me his “I club baby seals” button right off the collar of his jacket just because I thought it was cool.  I have since affixed this button to a “Republic of Newfoundland” hat that Derm gave me (pictured above).  I often proudly wear this hat and button combination when going out.  How many people wear a Republic of Newfoundland hat with an anti- Paul McCartney & Heather Mills button while going out in Vancouver?  Certainly no-one that would intentionally want to offend the friendliest, funnest, and most hospitable people in Canada.  I do not risk the wrath of Vancouver’s militant animal-rights activists for nothing.

Newfoundland is awesome.  Is there another province in Canada that would declare an impromptu holiday for an Olympic curling match?  I don’t think so.  Cheers to a province that has its priorities straight.

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In summary, I use the word “Newfie” only when referring specifically to Derm because he has earned it.  In future posts I may tell a few stories about how he has earned it.  Suffice it to say that I use it as a term of endearment for a good friend.  I do not use this word when referring to Newfoundlanders in general.  I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by my use of “Newfie” in this blog.

I am grateful to have been accepted into medical school at Memorial University of Newfoundland.  I believe that the MUN med school is one of the best medical schools in the country.  As far as I know, MUN is the only school with a $6 million “virtual” patient.  The people of Newfoundland are even better.  I am happy that I had a chance to visit Newfoundland and I would return in a heartbeat.


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