Ben Oostdam's
Autobiography:



page 3

1957 - 1960
Montreal
Canada



Just before the Canadian Thanksgivings weekend when I had signed up for my second MOC weekend visit, I had another malaria attack which resulted in a 5-day stay in Montreal's famous hospital, from Monday October 7 to Friday October 10. I was diagnosed with malaria cerebralis, and because of its rarity in Canada I was used as a teaching tool, and dozens of future doctors came to feel my enlarged liver.
One of my worries, rather than the minor one of missing classes, was the effect the medical expenses would have on my budget.
This was resolved in two independent ways: first, I applied for a student loan, for which I had to fill out a detailed form which resulted in establishing a need for $ 400 - instead of the $ 100 I had thought would do the job. I was approved for this loan, and would not have to repay it if I received a "B" average - which I did. Secondly, I joked to my doctor that the hospital ought to pay me for using me as a teaching subject, rather than bill me. Shortly after that, he came back to tell me I would not be billed - if that compromise would be acceptable to me. So in fact I made money on this and only experienced one more malaria attack, in Spokane, Washington, in August 1958, which I then "killed" by alternating hot and cold showers.
The Thanksgivings weekend in Shawbridge, Quebec, was a good rehabilitation cure. The forests were very colorful in this first "Indian Summer" I experienced. I made several new friends, including Mike Beique from Montreal, Michael Addinall, a veteran, Philip Jones, a Commerce student from Wales, a peppy British girl, Carol Anne Dear, a Jamaican student of English literature, Dorothy Blake, and an Anglo-Brazilian, Dave Williams. I also did some mountain climbing and used various ropes, pithons and clamps. The total cost of this fine weekend was less than $ 10, since I had taken to live like a monk.


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