Yesterday about half of our medschool class headed south of town to High River, to go to a skills workshop put on by the docs in the hospital there. We practiced suturing, intubation, casting, and good old IVs. It was a great session.
Afterwards, we headed out to a Hutterite colony not far from High River. They're a Germanic religious group, originally founded in 1528, apparently. They're basically a reformist Protestant group with a strong anti-war philosophy, explaining their movement to the US from Russia (where they had eventually ended up) back in the 1870s; it also explains the move of seventeen of their eighteen colonies from the US to Canada during the first world war. Funny enough, anti-communal laws established in Alberta in the 1930s eventually led to their reexpansion into the US. I knew that they lived in colonies, but I thought that was for religious and customary reasons. I didn't realize that they were communal, with all income going to their colony leader, who then budgets it out on farming equipment, housing, carpentry and metalshop equipment, supplies, allowances, etc. The reason for their belief in communes is due to references to communal living in the Bible.
Pretty nice bunch of people, and it was interesting to see that they still read and write German using Gothic script, something you almost never see anymore. When I was a kid, I read a lot of books in Gothic, so I enjoyed myself reading stuff posted on one of their fridges.
You may wonder why a medskills trip was combined with a visit to the Hutterites, but it makes sense. Hutterites are one of those groups that makes for interesting genetic analysis, and so the conditions carried within their community is something that docs around Calgary need to be aware of.
I need to clean today...