The View from Here: May 2011 Archives

Montebaducco, Italy...what you don't know about donkey milk


Donkeys roam the stables at Montebaducco Farm, in Italy (Photo/Emma Wallis)

Land of milkin' donkeys

Here's one of those "who knew?" stories that we like on Dispatches. From the Italian countryside, here's Emma Wallis in Montebaducco.

Emma's View From Here.

And besides drinking the stuff, the ancients used to prescribe donkey milk for snakebite and nosebleeds.

Did they know something we've all but forgotten?

  Current Dispatches program

Radio's eyes, The Human Kind Of Eye

Ewa Scheer of Montreal writes:

Dear Mr. MacInnes-Rae,

Recently, my husband and my son heard a very moving story on CBC radio. As they were relating the story to me, I saw tears in their eyes.  I am referring to the story of Rosa Gomez and Antonio Savone aired on Dispatches March 10, 2011.  As I then also listened to the program, I could not help but feel despair and a sense of how cruel humans can be. There are so many stories of suffering. I've never experienced such cruelty but I grew up watching my mother struggle to free herself from memories of WWII in Warsaw.  But seeing how the suffering of others touched my 13-years-old son brought relief.  I wanted to thank you for bringing to light people's struggles. It is so important to us to know regardless how painful it is. 

I also wanted to ask if you might be able to help me in a project I am undertaking. I am an artist and for last few years I've been working on series of pencil drawings devoted to the human eye.  The series is titled The Human Kind of Eye.   Ewa's website

Ewa Sheer's The First Eye, pencil drawing. 

 It was inspired by the experience of witnessing ophthalmological examinations of the eyes. While looking into the patients' eyes with a slit lamp, I found the iris magnificent and the pupil, dark and pulsating, almost frightening. In the series, I draw the eyes of the young and old, of women and men, of those recognized for their achievements and those just beginning life. In a world preoccupied with consumption, novelty and fame for fame's sake, the eyes in the drawings speak of humility, humanity and beauty. 

A year ago Anton Kuerti agreed to allow me to draw his eye as the first of the series.  I am very impressed by Anton Kuerti not only by his incredible achievements but also by his humility.  It takes humility for a man of his stature to agree to collaborate with an unknown artist on a project in which the portrait is only of his eye.   I am also now in contact with Elizabeth and Romeo Dallaire and in process of acquiring permission to draw their eyes.

I thought that the heart wrenching story of Rosa and Antonio's torture and how the eye contact was what sustained them had an incredibly powerful message. I would love to include drawings of Antonio's and Rosa's eyes in my series. 

Sincere regards, Ewa Scheer 

Curently exhibiting Beautiful Organ at Studio 22 Open Gallery in Kingston, Ontario 

Kampala...words of hope from a gay bar

Page from a Kampala newspaper in April, discussing the proposed anti-gay bill (Photo/Dennis Porter)

In the craven world of homophobia, there is gay-bashing, and then there's Uganda.

It came breathtakingly close this month to becoming just the eighth country in the world to legalize gay executions. 

Recently, parliament adjourned without considering a bill to impose the death sentence on homosexuals with HIV, or convicted of same-sex rape.  But there is a chance it'll be re-introduced as soon as next month.

And the atmosphere it's fostered in Uganda over the past two years is chilling.

One newspaper even published pictures of men it claimed were gay, and the headline said "Hang Them!" Sometime later, an activist was found beaten to death.

And for now, it's still illegal to be gay in Uganda. And more than a little frightening in the one place they dare to gather, as we heard from Dennis Porter in Kampala.

Listen now to Dennis' View from Here.

And the names of some people interviewed in that piece were changed at their request for their own security. 


Ivory Coast... refugees look for hope in Liberia

David starts a fire to clear enough land to grow food for his family in Liberia after they fled Ivory Coast. Photo/Bonnie Allen

Ivorian spirit trumps setbacks

Thousands of Ivorians have fled post- election chaos.

Many crossed to refugee camps in nearby Liberia. 

That's where reporter Bonnie Allen met a farmer whose spirit in the face of tall odds made her break one of her own long-held rules.

Listen now to Bonnie's View from Here.

Click here for this week's Dispatches program.

Glasgow...Rangers/Celtic matches - no hate songs here!


Confrontation between fans of Glasgow's Rangers and Celtic football clubs have been ugly for more than a century. It takes hundreds of cops to keep them apart, and enforce the new ban on anti-Catholic songs  -- such as No Pope Of Rome and The Famine Song.

Maria Bakkalapulo,  at the match in Rangers Stadium

War brides return to Britain on QM2

British Consul-General Sir Alan Collins meets with Second World War British war brides and families travelling to the UK aboard Cunard's Queen Mary 2,


65 years after almost 50,000 British war brides came to Canada -- some are going back on a Queen Mary 2 cruise that lands this week.

CBC's David Common saw them off from New York -- and heard their memories of the trip over, on the original Queen Mary.  

David's on-board dispatch