your comments 13 part two (to add to the other)
To Rick MacInnes-Rae, the Dispatches team and all the Dispatches Correspondents:
I have intended to write to you for so many months, even before CBC announced the end of Dispatches. At that time, I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed and appreciated you as host and the show. I wanted to let you know how relieved I was when Margaret Evans went to London for I was worried about her, with her wonderful courage and poetic reports. I was, again, worried when she went to Syria and so afraid that courage would lead her to danger.
Extreme family medical situations delayed that email to you but can no longer be delayed as this is your last show and you have done it in such style and grace that I have tears....
Rick, thank you for the concept created, for the poetry and stories you have given home to and for being a host I loved hearing twice every week. May you find a new and frequent home on our air waves and may you know there are many like me who will miss you and may not have had the chance to tell you so.
With all my mind and heart, thank you.
Suzanne MacKenzie, Peachland, BC:
I am more than sorry, I am disappointed that this broadcast is finished!! Conversations have come up with friends about different subjects, and I have been surprised when I have some inside knowledge of the topic...then wondered just where I heard the information that I had just sprewed forth..then realized I had heard it on Dispatches!!
Donna Smiley, Ottawa:
To All Those Who Have Brought CBC's Dispatches To Us:
I just listened to the final episode of Dispatches. I will miss all the wonderfully insightful stories from your talented contributors.
Over the past several years, I have sent repeated emails to John Baird, until recently my MP, protesting the cut to CBC without a single response. May I suggest that those disappointed Dispatch listeners in Alberta, especially Calgary Southwest, call and write and email their MPs, to
demand restore funding to the CBC, because it seems they might be only Canadians who's opinions actually matter.
It baffles my mind as to why this program is being cut. I am a recent listener to CBC Radio One and Dispatches has become one of my favorite.
Too bad it will no longer air. What a mistake.
Dispatches was able to take my mind away to far away places I would never get a chance to see or bring stories I would never read anywhere else.
Marguerite Warner, Winnipeg, MB:
I am so sorry about the cancellation of Dispatches. Listening to the Sunday repeats is a favourite ritual in our household, one that is going to be deeply missed. Our two young adults, who sometimes catch up with a program on their ipods, are frequently moved by the journalists' stories, and we've had great family conversations about situations/issues covered on a Dispatches program....
Joan Newman, Calgary
Rick, thank you and your team of correspondents and technicians for bringing such enlightening, in-depth reports from the many troubled areas around the world. I can't believe that Dispatches was one of the programs cut by the CBC executive--it's the documentary programs that make CBC different from the dumbed-down morass of media. These are sad times for Canada, and for you and your team. My heart goes out to you. Please know that you have made a real difference in enlightening Canadians.
Howard Krosnick, Montreal:
I happened by chance on your final show today. I have been both saddened and infuriated by the decision to cancel the series. Over the years I have learned so much about what is happening in the world, have heard voices that I would never have heard otherwise, have learned and been moved and have become a better, more informed citizen. Dispatches is what the CBC is (has been) about and the cost of shutting it down to save a few dollars has made every Canadian poorer. We are less as a country because you are off the air.
Congratulations to each and every one of you responsible for the program. I salute you.
Alison Watt, North Vancouver:
Dear Rick and crew,
I just want to thank you for the amazing stories I have had the privilege of hearing on your program over the years. I am so sorry that this program has been cut. It is one of the best programs in all of CBC Radio. Thank you for all the work that has gone into bringing us the world. Today the world has shrunk a little (a lot) smaller for Canadians.
Jan Beattie, Indian Head SK:
It is with great sadness to have listened to the last of these very informative programs after 12 years on the air. CBC is one of Canada's treasures and the envy of world-wide listeners. Programs like this are a feather in CBC's cap & we listeners are the better off for having been gifted with all the world news we have heard over the years. CBC is my 'newspaper on the air' and little by little it is being chipped away at by the 'powers that be' and as a result we citizens are the poorer for it.
Dispatches has given us a glimpse of how life really is in parts of the world we would otherwise never have heard about. Without this kind of information we will get very myopic & unaware of the blessings we have here. With cuts like this, we will become less & less aware of the happenings in our world.
Thank you CBC for giving us Dispatches...... from now on we are the worse for the lack of the wider horizons this has brought into our lives... less aware, less humble. We are still blessed to have CBC but today is a sad day for CBC listeners.
Thomas Knutson, Saskatoon:
I was very dismayed to hear the cancelling of one of the best programs on CBC, Dispatches. For me, the power of the stories has, at times, compelled me to drop whatever I was doing to focus solely on what I was hearing. The correspondants have always treated each subject with great sensitivity, and with the utmost respect to its participants, so many of whom display great courage and tenacity in the face of oppression. Where else in Canada would we come to know such stories?
Stephanie Wells, Hornby Island, BC:
To Rick, all of you at Dispatches, and all the contributors,
I'm almost in tears listening to your final programme. Dropping Dispatches is a terrible mistake. I have worked as a journalist in southern Africa and travelled extensively in Asia and the Middle East. So many of the places and people I came to know are just not on the media agenda. Only Dispatches has paid attention to the regular people in forgotten places. I have always listened to your show, often re-listened.
I cannot thank you enough for your brilliant, touching, original and unique work. I will certainly miss you, as will many, many Canadians. I believe it's nothing short of a tragedy that Dispatches has fallen to the budget ax, what a terrible loss.
Hello Rick and crew,
Oh well, it was a good run and often enough a change is as good as a rest. Thanks for some of the best radio ever, on par with the Golden Days of As It Happens, Gzowski et al.
I'm not sure where I'll go for international coverage from a Canadian perspective in this time of the Global Village (another great show gone).
Casey Wolf, Vancouver:
I am furious that yet another great CBC program has hit the dust I do not want to listen to endless repeats of musician interviews, however much another might enjoy these. I turn on the radio to learn something, to be moved, to be informed about my world, and that right--it seems to me a right, foolish as that may be--is being lost cut by cut. I am curbing my tongue out of respect for myself and you. That your tongues are being curbed is to me very wrong.
Beth Moyer, Lethbridge, AB:
As an inveterate CBC listener, I am so sorry that Dispatches has fallen victim to the unfortunate cuts at the CBC. I have always enjoyed listening to your programme which was able to offer so much more in-depth reporting from other countries. Having lived in Tanzania, as well as some globe-trotting, the 'dispatches' from your correspondants were so meaningful. Maybe one day Dispatches will rise again, phoenix-like.
David Galloway, Whitehorse:
What a wonderful show...what a wonderful effort to create such a wonderful show. Thank you for your dedication and hard work. I have really appreciated it over the years....you guys are what CBC is all about. Thank you....all of you.
Love and Hugs
Hugh Logie, Medicine Hat, Alberta:
Rick and Colleagues:
I just finished listening to your final show, and when it was over and the last strains of that familiar theme faded, I confess that I broke down and wept.
Your program has been my ever-present companion for a very long time now, and it was one of the major reasons I found it very easy to stay loyal to CBC Radio over the years. To me, Dispatches epitomized all that was finest about the CBC and it's journalists. Your program never failed to inform, enlighten, and challenge me. In a world where it is sometimes hard to know what is truth, where misinformation is rampant and it seems that outright lies from politicians and others in authority are not just accepted but expected, you earned and kept my trust.
I've watched one of this country's greatest national institutions absorb round after round of attacks by short-sighted and small-minded governments. I've seen the blows fall, some of them devastating, and yet the CBC staggers back to its feet and soldiers on regardless. But they've lost something very important this time around, and the world just got smaller for myself and the rest of your listeners. I was at one time simply proud to be Canadian, but of late that is tempered with three elements - humility at realizing just how lucky we are in this country, shame at the way that this current government is destroying decades of fine Canadian work worldwide, and finally, anger. We don't get angry much in this country, it seems - but perhaps it's time we did. Then perhaps we can shake off our complacency and get to work making a difference in this world.
Terry Chantler, Pender Island:
Dear Rick MacInnes Rae and staff:
I'm sorry and outraged about Dispatches' cancellation, as if Canadian taxpayers can no longer afford the education on essential matters that you've provided so well for so long. Who thinks we won't continue to need that information?--only those who either don't listen to it or are devoid of empathy. Huge thanks for all the contributions you've made over the years toward helping the over-privileged understand the helpless. Without information where will compassion come from? It's frustrating to have to merely express outrage at Canada's loss of this program and at the world's consequent loss of the inestimable benefits that would otherwise have continued to arise in future years from the insights the program provides...
Yvonne A. Zarowny:
I literally wept at the beauty and sensitivity with which you did your last program. So Canadian! I look forward to your return once we get our world turned around, proper funding returned to the CBC, CBC producers "free" to pursue critical investigative reporting as well as Canadians telling their stories and those of others from here and there. Meantime, I shall work my way through the archives ... and hopefully you will be returned to air before I am finished. I know ... I dream big ... but we have to turn this world around so we will. Meantime - you folks take good care. I know whatever you move on to do, it will be with good taste, sensitivity ... and a sense of wry humour. Thanks.
Elizabeth Inkster, Tlell, Haida Gwaii, BC:
Hi Rick: Living in such an isolated place for over 40 years, CBC has informed and entertained me and my family for many years. Sadly I have observed the decline in CBC programing, the many repeats, the end of local programming. But to learn that CBC, in it's great wisdom, has cancelled Dispatches truly disappoints me.
Your show is informative, shocking and fascinating. I greatly regret it's demise. With all the misinformation out there, we really NEED programs such as yours to help us to find a connection with all the corners of the world, to feel a connection with people of varied and different backgrounds. Surely stability and peace will only come when we have some empathy with people we will never meet, and your program drew us into a better understanding of their lives.
Jack Reef, Los Angeles:
Rick (and everyone involved in Dispatches),
Fantastic program. Quintessential radio journalism.
You should be very proud.
What can I do to help save Dispatches?
Maybe it can be picked up by NPR or the BBC?
Please tell me how I can help!!!!
Kati Martini, Tofino:
A huge thank you for the years of insight and access to the world.
And my own small protest. I have been a CBC listener for over 30 years, since I discovered the spot on the dial in our student apartment in Toronto. Many miles and years later, I have enjoyed, learned from, and occasionally endured what CBC AM/1 has brought to air. Weekly installments of 'Dispatches' will be missed more than I can say, and I cannot imagine the rationale for the decision to end this program.
In-depth, insightful reporting connecting Canadians to the world -- it's been huge, and will be much missed.
Graham Punnett, Penticton:
I will always remember the haunting sound of "What It Is" coming across the room or vehicle followed by Rick's distinctive scratchy voice and his intimate intros and questions for all you correspondents around the world.
I just don't get it -- that Dispatches and Mark Kelley's Connect should be gone. Tears drift down my cheeks. Good-bye, and you will not be forgotten.
Rob Roy, Kamloops:
What's wrong with Canada!
Listening to the last radio cast of Dispatches a few minutes ago, I was filled with frustration, anger and ultimately a sense sadness and loss.
The loss, the sense of Canadians being as interested, concerned and when possible involved in the lives of others globally.
I guess just as we were once known as peacekeepers, this to must fall as we are completely enveloped by a gelatinous morass of American style pop journalism culture. The quick headline like sound bytes attempting to coerce our sensibilities into believing that they're, as the late Jack Webb would annunciate, " just the facts m'am, just the facts. "
Wendy Cameron, 83 Mile House, BC:
Hi Rick and the Dispatches Crew:
I listened to your last program this afternoon and it left me quite sad. I have been a regular listener over the years and you have entertained and educated me, and have brought me the world. I don't understand why the CBC has ended your show. I think it was one of the best on the network and I will miss you terribly. Good luck in the future.
Rosa Quintana Lillo, Vancouver:
Today, Thursday June 21st 2012 is one of the saddest days in my 30 years of listening to CBC Radio. I am so sad to hear Dispatches come to an end. Who will bring us the world? I have learned so much about the world through Dispatches that I am afraid of what will become of me. Will I become afraid of the world for I will know so much less about it without Dispatches and all your brave reporters. I thank you for educating me and making me into a more worldly person.
I often think of Mark Twain's quote "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness". Dispatches took me to places I would never be able to visit or know about and let me learn of other people's experiences and for that I am grateful.
Thank you for all your good work.
John Brennand, Langley, BC:
Hi Rick & Co.,
Goodbye and thanks for all the fish.
Somebody will have recognized the Douglas Adams quote... but it is you leaving us. My schedule has meant that I have probably missed more episodes than I have listened to but I have to say that everything I DID hear was well worth my time.
As I have family connections to both Britain and Zimbabwe I have always tried to catch episodes covering those countries. Zimbabwe is particularly terrifying these days.
The cuts to the CBC budget and the resulting programming losses are a personal bug for me (I have made sure my MP and Stephen Harper know that I am displeased), "Dispatches" and radio drama are the ones that stand out most.
Thanks for all the great radio, good luck in your next assignments.
Maki Van Dyke, Rosebud, Alberta:
Dear Rick and Dispatches Team,
Thank you for 12 years of fantastic journalism! I'm currently listening to the last broadcast and sad to see you go. The dispatches stories were intelligent, raw, and heart rending. Many times I would listen to dispatches and cry out in outrage or hold back tears. I've always appreciated the compassionate and humane treatment of horrific stories without becoming maudlin. You are to be commended and I wish everyone on the team much success in their new endeavours.
Pauline Brunton, Cawston BC:
I was saddened to listen to the final episode of Dispatches today. It is one program that I always stop to listen to on the radio. The subject matter is of interest no matter what part of the world it came from. An excellent job Rick and your team. Thumbs down to CBC for slashing it.
Bobbie Cann, Cumberland, BC:
Hello to Rick MacInnes-Rae & your wonderful team, I am so sad. My husband and I have enjoyed your show for years. It is one of our VERY favourites. I cannot tell you how shocked and disappointed we were to hear about the cancellation. It makes no sense to me. I've learned a great deal over the years because of your program. There is nothing like it, and now I wonder what you and your team will be doing, ...I will miss you. Thank YOU!
Sharon Lax, Montreal:
From what I wrote my MP:
...The program 'Dispatches' is CRITICAL to our understanding not only of the world, but to our understanding of ourselves, as Canadians, and our role in the world. This is my main concern right now. I believe that without such radio documentaries, we cannot compete with the large U.S., my other country (dual citizenship). I have worked in the US., for t.v. and radio. I can say, through experience, that alongside a mammoth country like the U.S., with the cancellation of 'Dispatches,' Canadians are losing a fundamental tool. The CBC, like the BBC, is crucial to the English speakers not only of Canada, but of the world. 'Dispatches' is the epitome of what the CBC means to Canadians here and living elsewhere."
Dan Lee, Ann Arbor, Michigan:
As an American who has access to the CBC airwaves, learning of the end of Dispatches on the opening segment of Q was very sad. We in the USA are starved for real in depth journalism with no spin. Rick Maclnnes-Rae is a great interviewer and everyone on the show did a great job. NPR doesn't have a show that comes close to Dispatches. This is a real blow to North America and the world.
Denis Salter, McGill University, Montreal:
Dear Mr MacInnes-Rae and all the staffers: Thanks for the show: it has been a constant source of instruction and delight. I just have to (had to) hear the intro' theme song / music and I became eager in anticipation of all kinds of auditory treats. I think it is wrong that, no matter how acute the budget cuts, that the CBC decided to cancel your show: it is, after all, a great way to engage with a conversation from around the world; us learning about them; them learning about us. This is (was) singular. You will be missed.
Bridget Wall, Duncan BC:
Thank you, Rick, and many correspondents around the world for your illuminating Dispatches. You have brought us knowledge, compassion, horror that requires recording, humour, international events, glimpses into the lives of people whom we will never otherwise encounter ...
The vacuum resulting from your absence on CBC will affect the lives of so many Canadians and their families throughout diasporas across the world.
I am ashamed that I have never expressed my heartfelt appreciation of your Dispatches about and from my country of Zimbabwe. You, Laura Lynch, Bruce Edwards and others have informed millions about the sad current state of Zimbabwe - and you have inspired those of us in the diaspora to work harder at supporting viable projects in Zimbabwe.
I thank you for excellent journalism, a unique kaleidoscope of the world around Canada, and thought-provoking perspectives. Shame on the people who have cut a programme that relates this country to the huge world around us.
Sadly and sincerely
Michael Linehan, Sooke, BC:
I only discovered Dispatches within the last year. A WONDERFUL program. Long enough to be informative, interesting and useful. Short enough to be able to have a wide assortment of information. You've told me so much I wouldn't have known, otherwise.
Barry Bucknell, Edmonton:
I'm sorry to see the end of this program. I spent a few years in New Zealand and Australia and this show became a bit of a touchstone. It also became clearer to me that it has been a real gift; a viewing place into the humanity of our world.
Nelson Melgar Jr, currently in London ON:
I'm going to miss Dispatches like a friend who is gone but never forgotten. Having travelled through East Africa last year I always had episodes of Dispatches on my iPod listening to it made me feel like I always had a piece of home where ever I went. I want to thank you all, your dedication to reporting is outstanding and inspirational. I will never forget all you have taught me, educated me on, and inspirited me to make a positive change in the world. Thank you for the best of CBC programming.
Sam Punnett, Toronto:
Here's to Dispatches! Absolutely one of the finest current affairs shows on radio.
I wish they'd asked me where they could have made budget cuts. I probably listen to more CBC radio than the programmers themselves. Radio is the first medium in my book. This decision is a huge "fail".
Rick MacInnes-Rae is an exceptional host bringing all the best qualities of radio (IMHO) to listeners. Dispatches has a personality I haven't found anywhere else while listening to a great range of Internet radio. The story selection and format have always been some of the most engaging listening anywhere. I know my household is going to miss Dispatches.
Nancy Reid, New Maryland, NB:
Of all the stupid things CBC management has done lately, cancelling Dispatches has to top the list. I will miss this superb program. Thanks for keeping me company all over the world, thanks for opening interesting windows on the world for me as well.
Ted Nasmith, Bradford, ON:
To Rick and to all your colleagues--whether on staff at CBC, or your many correspondents out in the world--I want to express my sincere gratitude for one of the most interesting and consistently excellent radio documentary programs anywhere. The cancellation of this of all programs can only be seen as being necessary because CBC has been put in such a position of underfunding that such shocking cuts have been reluctantly deemed the lesser evil.
Still, I can't begin to get my head around the loss of such a journalistically excellent and vitally informative show, one that has been a staple of CBC1 radio for so many years. Rick, your warm, intelligent, personality has kept me company on so many occasions when I worked late in my studio, or during its daytime slots. My partner Marian and I share a sense of grief at this latest blow to Canadian broadcasting excellence, and I know she shares my sentiments. I've since joined Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, and will do my part to oppose the slow strangulation of CBC. ...
Guy LeBlanc, Moncton:
Dear Dispatches crew,
I have traveled the world through my radio with Dispatches for may many years and you have put on a top quality show. I am very sad to see the program get cut.
Thanks for may years of great entertainement.
Michael Rachlis, Toronto:
Thank you for 11 wonderful years. You filled my Riverdale kitchen with the sounds of the world. I will miss your voice. All best to all of you at Dispatches but especially to Rick and Alan
Shayna Plaut, Vancouver:
I am so sorry that Dispatches is no longer going to have a home on CBC. As someone from the states who works internationally and was involved in Chicago Public Radio's "Wordview" -- Dispatches truely did welcome me to Canada when I arrive in August 2009.
And Rick, as a person, reconfirmed my commitment to continue building and believing in bridges between journalism and human rights.
Last October I met Rick at a conference "Can Media Halt Human Rights Abuses" in Montreal.
I had heard his voice coming out of my radio ever since I came to Canada i -- I made sure to never miss an episode of Dispatches -- but nothing prepared me for the mountain of a man I met and interacted with over those couple of days.
It was not just his size -- although you are a very large man, Rick -- it was his passion. His unmitigated, unapologetic commitment and passion to the people who crossed his path -- not just as stories, or sources or even colleagues but as PEOPLE -- people who have stories. His passion and commitment to human rights that guided not only his online radio personality but, as I noted over the conference, also his engagement with other journalism professionals, policy makers and us, the audience.
Too often we are asked to choose between passion and politics and professionalism -- particularly within the journalistic profession -- it was such a refreshing change to see another example of how to be a solid, professional journalist and a deeply commitment and dignified man of principles.
Lee Bigelow. St. John's:
This morning I was having breakfast at Blue here in downtown St. John's, Newfoundland when I noticed Jian Ghomeshi sitting at the table across from mine. First I thought, "What's he doing in town?" Then the cancellation of Dispatches came to mind and I thought I should ask him if he would give Rick a hug of thanks for me when he next saw him kicking aroud at the CBC. As well as the hug I figured I should also write a little thank-you note.
It would say how much I would miss the show and how much I had learned about the world from it. The Lost City of Z, The Fourth Part of the World, the Burnesh of the Balkan's, and so much more. Where else am I to learn of such diverse things?
Jian and his friend looked to be having a nice meal which I didn't want to disturb so I decided to send you this email instead. Rick should still ask him for the hug though. Tell him Lee said it was important.
Rob Lofstedt, Charlottetown:
DAMN YOU STEPHEN HARPER!
This was my favourite CBC program ever.
Susan E. Forster:
To Rick M.R and the team that has informed and entertained for many years, I say a sad farewell. CBC cuts to intelligent radio programmes breaks my heart. I lay the blame at the feet of a right-wing government that fears scrutiny of its decisions in foreign affairs and, equally, an educated public. I see no light on the horizon. But thank you anyway.
Liz Tyrwhitt, Ottawa:
I have listened to your program almost from the start. And in recent years, I always looked forward to your program on Sunday evening!
Was always moved by the stories I heard. Was amazed with the variety of issues presented.
I am so sorry your program has been cut. This was one of the best on CBC!
Denise Campeau, Fredericton, NB:
I am disconsolate to be listening a final Dispatches. The stories told by your correspondents have been resonant on so many levels, bringing me into other peoples' lives and spaces over these years.
Travelling vicariously with Dispatches has always made me mindful of the privileges of being a Canadian with one eye on my homeland and the other eye cast abroad. Listening to Rick on Sunday evenings has been a powerful experience in nostalgia in me, for both travel and for home. What a loss to CBC and the Canadians who tune in...
Ray Roddick, St.John's:
Thank you Rick and crew ...Your virtual presence has been much appreciated over the years. A warm voice of reason in an insane world has gone silent. Truly sad. Good luck and good night.
Jackie, Dundas, Ontario:
Completely stunned over the Sunday night dirty dishes to hear your last broadcast! It is outrageous that a programme of such outstanding calibre, a veritable nonpareil, should vanish. The sophomoric nonsense which has overtaken our airways in many time-slots promises very little for the intellectual reach, and cosmopolitan understanding, of future listeners. Thank you to all the producers, presenters, technicians and all involved in a programme we can all be proud to have participated in, however passively. You brought me the World, and it changed my understanding of so many things.
Jim Morkin, Calgary:
It's a sad Sunday evening for me, knowing that Dispatches is off the air.
I'm a regular and have never taken the time to thank everyone for an incredible programme.
I've learned a lot and have been moved regularly by your stories.
The story about the Argentinian prisoner returning to Argentina to testify against his torturers brought me to tears. What a shame that this "window to the world" is going to be heard again.
Valerie Johnson, Victoria:
A lump came up in my throat when I heard about the cutbacks. Tears flowed when I heard the broadcast earlier this week and again just now. Could we have done anything to save the show? We should have written earlier. This program has been very close to my heart as we have personal interest in some of the stories. For example, my daughter was called to Haiti after the earthquake and worked there for six months. She has also worked in Tajikistan and Romania (so far). I assess newcomers' English and it gives me topics for conversation with my clients and makes me aware of the issues i may not want to allude to...
Ingrid Veilleux, Richmond, BC:
Dear Rick and the whole Dispatches crew,
Thank you for bringing such moving and heart-felt stories to the airwaves for so many seasons. Your show is the only one on CBC that regularly moves me to tears. You have made the world both a bigger and a smaller place for me. My world is bigger because I have been able to travel through my radio to places I may never visit and meet people in their homes. My world is smaller because these people's stories make me feel closer to them.
Congratulations on an absolutely great final show, up to the standard we have come to expect from Dispatches: th eiconic blend of soundbites, longer content and personal notes.I always particularly liked your ground-level, people-in-their-homes-and-on-the-street take on international stories. I am going to miss hearing you. I am very disppointed that an important show of your calibre is cancelled, and so much of the vapid drivel will continue to air (no names). Thank you for your interesting stories and professional delivery with good writing & good editing over the years.
Andrew Orr, Vancouver:
I just want to thank for the past 12 years. My wife Kathleen and I rarely missed a program, and of all the thoughts I could share, I choose just two.
The first is the small way that Dispatches took us back every Sunday. A dozen years ago, I was regional director for Africa for CUSO, based in Accra. We would sit down for dinner after 6:00. The sun had set, the wind had died down, the heat and humidity remained, and the relative coolness of the night had not yet arrived. The air was heavy with the stillness. As we ate, we would listen to Focus on Africa. And Kathleen would note that she could perfectly time the show the sweat trickling down the crack of her bum.
We didn't have many bum trickles listening to Dispatches, but it took us back there in spirit.
The second has to do with what your 3 correspondents had to say, and what I will miss most. Layers. Having have the great fortune to lived overseas 3 times, including twice in Africa, I appreciate the layers. There are no short stories. Things that can't possibly be connected are. And unless you spend you whole life there, you can never fathom them all. But you can only start to appreciate the richness, and also what you are missing.
Dipatches is one of the few programs that has, in a very small way, conveyed that.
I was so sad to hear that this week was your last episode. I tried to catch your show whenever I could, this week 1 1/2 times. It was my Sunday night companion to doing tedious paper work and home office cleaning. I always enjoy hearing the "Dispatches" as it reminded me of my 3 years living and working in Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War.
I always meant to write in with my story of arriving back in Riyadh from my safe haven in the south just in time for the first SCUD missile attack. From the look on the Saudi 2 TV reporter's face, to the routine of hearing air raid sirens, then listening for the Patriot missile launch and then hoping you didn't hear any other further loud crashes, to becoming involved in the "Scud Watching"- running to the high ground as soon as the air raid sirens went off to watch for the Patriot missile to take out the Scud Missile mid air and then cheer with the rest of the crowd.It was a surreal experience for sure, but small and weird compared to all the changes that have happened in the middle east since then.
I guess that is why I enjoy listening to others' stories as well, big and dramatic or small and weird. I will miss your show, but I guess I still l have some time to listen online which I will do.
Elliot Drobetsky Ph.D, Full Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal:
Dear Rick and Crew,
I only heard about the cancellation while tuning in to the very last show. I was initially shocked, then greatly saddened. I am still speechless one day later.
Best of luck to all of you. I sincerely hope to hear one day soon that Dispatches, perhaps the greatest CBC show ever, has been revived.
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