belongs_to association not connected to FK attribute?

Greetings all.

I'm having problems with a belongs_to not reporting the *correct* info.

>> p = Patient.new
=> #<Patient:0x26284e0 @new_record=true, @attributes={"work_phone"=>nil, "city"=>nil, "postal_code"=>nil, "ACRES"=>nil, "health_insurance_province_id"=>nil, "province_id"=>nil, "country_id"=>nil, "address_two"=>nil, "firstname"=>nil, "lastname"=>nil, "health_insurance_expiry"=>nil, "health_insurance_version"=>nil, "id_orig"=>0, "PROVIDNUM"=>nil, "work_extension"=>nil, "sex"=>nil, "health_insurance_number"=>nil, "home_phone"=>nil, "PROVIDNAME"=>nil, "date_of_birth"=>nil, "middle_initial"=>nil, "other_phone"=>nil, "address_one"=>nil, "health_insurance_prov"=>nil}>
>> p.country_id = 100 #honduras
=> 100
>> p.country
=> #<Country:0x25a99d8 @attributes={"name_short"=>nil, "priority"=>"0", "name_long"=>"Honduras", "id"=>"100"}>
>> p.country_id = 105 #Indonesia
=> 105
>> p.country
=> #<Country:0x25a99d8 @attributes={"name_short"=>nil, "priority"=>"0", "name_long"=>"Honduras", "id"=>"100"}>
>> p.country_id
=> 105

wtf? why is Honduras returned as p.country? not honduras?

class Patient < ActiveRecord::Base

   belongs_to :country

...

I'm not aware of anything else that should impact the above symptom. Any ideas rails riders?

It somehow seems that the relationship Country isn't related to the attribute "country_id" ??

rails --version 1.1.6

cheers,
Jodi

wow - learn something new every day. every-single-day

Without much thought it seems to make sense that assigning a value to the FK really should suggest a cache clear on that association.

Thanx for your help Fred.

J