Americas: October 2010 Archives

Mabou, Cape Breton...unsheepishly "fuaragish" here

Recently, Nacha Raman took us to the majestic Loenarhorgi mountains of Norway, and introduced us to a sheep's-head dish called Smalahove, complete with mouth-watering cheeks. Some of the trimmings made some Canadians feel right at home.

Writer Jim St.Clair of Mull River, Mabou Cape Breton  tasted a familiar dish:

Your item concerning sheep's heads reminded me of the special food served in Gaelic homes in Cape Breton at this season - a halloween and all saints dish of great antiquity. Even our local hospital serves it to patients in obsevation of the tradtion - FUARAG- a Scottish Gaelic word - a mixture of fine raw otatmeal and whipped cream  specially beaten for the occasion- sometimes a little brown sugar added. (Read more, click below)

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October 28 & 31, 2010: from Rio de Janeiro - Dublin - Voss, Norway - Huntsville, Alabama - London

High-school students tuck into a meal of smalahove in Norway (photo/Nachammai Raman).

Brazil reclaims lost communities: an ambitious plan to transform the capital's most dangerous shantytowns.

Why hundreds of sham marriages are taking place in Ireland, and there's not much police can do about it.

The Wikileaks whistleblower defends his decision to publish documents that pillory the Pentagon.

Is the key to clean energy buried beneath Nevada? We have the story of thorium in a drum.

And, fancy another helping of sheep cheeks? Norwegians line up for an acquired taste.

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Havana...sticking like crazy glue here

Dispatches aired an interview recently with Patrick Symmes, about the month he spent trying to live off the rations and income of a typical Cuban. He spoke about shortages, and about bartering with a neighbour, or even stealing from the government, to get a little extra of this or that.

It's an experience that echoes in a recent blog post by Yoani Sánchez, one of Cuba's best-known bloggers and a vocal critic of the Castro government.

We first heard about Yoani last year in a  Dispatches piece by Sheena Rossiter, on how Cuba's bloggers get around the fact that they are banned from using the internet. People get connected, so to speak, when only those with connections are supposed to get connections.  

Now Yoani's writing about Crazy Glue...and why sticking everything back together is par for the course:

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October 21 & 24, 2010: from Palermo, Sicily - Los Angeles - New York - Kandahar - Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Traditional cooking in Assam, India. Photo/Hanna Ingber Win.

Where there's smoke: Cook stoves pollute and kill millions. Designing a smokeless stove is caputuring some creative imaginations.              

Okay in custody: Why Canada built a playground in an Afghan prison.

Journalists on the take: It's more common than we knew!

Saying "no thanks" to the Mob: An effort to get tourists to support those who stand up to the bosses.

Heard about India's civil war?  Thousands have been killed, and the number's rising.

All this and a musical memory from fall of apartheid in South Africa.

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Haiti...Rumours Of Glory here

That Song: Tom Ross, Middleton, Nova Scotia
Dear Rick:  Interesting project coupling music with world events and stories on Dispatches... You recently ran a piece about a physiotherapist in Haiti (October 7)
I am physiotherapist in Nova Scotia and spent 2 weeks in Haiti in April '10 working at the field hospital of Project Medishare, under the auspices of the Univ. of Miami. The song that ran through my mind during this experience was Bruce Cockburn's Rumours of Glory from the 1980 release Humans. The lyric that particularly resonated went:    
                  "beneath the pain/fear, etched on the faces
                    something is shining like gold, but better" 
Many of our patients had the most remarkable smiles under extremely distressing circumstances.  

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Falkland Islands...music of the long march

That song: Iain Main of Ottawa has his nomination for a song that he associates with a particular place and event:

Dire Straits Brothers In Arms and the Falklands War.

It was produced by Knopfler during the aftermath of that war.  There had been the long trek by the British soldiers to the opposite side of the island in order to surprise the Argentinian troops.

I knew a young soldier who did that long march across the Falklands and when he returned he told me of the "....misty mountains...." they trekked through with hearts in mouths, not knowing what lay in store for them.  The eventual contact with the Argentinian troops led to friends of his being killed and badly wounded. Sadly I don't really know why, or about whom, Knopfler wrote that song.  But really this tune gives me goose bumps whenever I hear of the death of one more young woman or man in any conflict.