A visit to North America

trip to north americaMy wife and I visit North America at least once a year. We always go during the first week of May to visit my God-daughter, Natalie and her family in Omaha, Nebraska. The trip takes about 24 hours of travel one way. We make it a point to visit friends, business associates, eat a lot of T-bone steaks and I give a talk or two in dentistry too.

Omaha is an interesting place – it is situated right at the center of the USA. Over the years, we have made friends in the medical/dental profession as well as many other trades, such as farming, the financial industry, local folks and wall-street boys too. One thing for sure, the steaks in Omaha are out of this world, in my humble opinion !

The night before we left for Vancouver, we went to a little steak house called Piccolo’s in Omaha. The owner’s family moved to Omaha from Sicily, Italy decades ago. Moon and I think that they probably serve the best steak in town now. We had a table of 10 and we were dining right next to Mr. Bill Gates. Well, a restaurant with clients like that can’t be serving bad food. Right?

Last fall, I went for the American College of Prosthodontists meeting in Las Vegas and met up with numerous new and old friends. One of them was Dr. Chris Wyatt. Dr. Wyatt obtained his advanced prosthodontics training at the University of Toronto (under Dr. George Zarb) when I was on staff there. Now, Chris is a graduate program director himself at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, Canada and we both serve as Prosthodontics specialty board examiners with the Royal College of Dentists, Canada.

Two years ago, after our Omaha trip, we stopped by UCLA and I gave a 2 hours lecture to the UCLA graduate prosthodontic and maxillofacial prosthodontic group. This year, we decided to stop by UBC and see the boys and girls in Chris’s group instead.

We arrived in Vancouver on May 5, 2014 and we were picked up by an old friend from Singapore, Kelven Tan. Kelven moved there a few years ago and it seems like his family are enjoying their new lives in Canada. Kelven showed us around the beautiful water front, we had a great lunch and then he sent us off to the UBC campus. The accommodation we got at the UBC campus was excellent.

The next morning I had a solid 2 hours lecture with the UBC graduate prosthodontic residents, a refreshing experience indeed. We had a lovely interactive exchange of ideas. I set out to ‘lecture’ but instead I learnt a lot from them. I am proud to say that Chris has taught them well.

We also met up with Dr. Alec Cheng, whom I had worked with a little when he was getting his dental training back in Toronto. He went on to obtain his specialty training at the University of Iowa, USA. Alec is now a happily married family man with two daughters and he runs a successful Prosthodontic private practice in Vancouver. Moon and I are happy for him.

All in all, I am grateful to have met up with all the people during the trip.

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