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Open Letter to the President, the First Lady, the Great People of Burkina Faso and the Continent of Africa
The early history of Africa came before the four ancients recorded history of Indus, Mesopotamia, Egypt and China.
The fossil record from Africa shows Homo sapiens living in southern and eastern Africa at least 100,000 and possibly 150,000 years ago. Around 40,000 years ago, their expansion out of Africa which launched the colonization of our planet by modern human-beings did not come about in 8 seconds, 8 minutes or 8 hours or 888.
According to DNA evidences and from documented slave trade as well as cultural retention in Haiti, my ancestors are found in Africa in modern day:
3. Burkina Faso
6. Congo (Congo-Brazzaville)
7. Equatorial Guinea
11. Ivory Coast
19. South Africa
21. Zaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
As an African descent whose ancestors were sold into slavery in the 18th and 19th centuries and were brought to Saint-Domingue or modern day Haiti to work on the plantations by the French, I am honored and excited to go back to the Mother Land of Africa to launch the first-ever American 888 Lucky Craft Beer Tours of 21 countries in Africa where the lineages of my ancestors have been identified.
Date of travel: To be determined
Location: To be determined
In retrospect, as a child growing up in Haiti, I was always intrigued and fascinated by the Chinese culture and especially Kung Fu movies.
Hence, in February of 2015, I visited the beautiful country of China and spent a month in Chongqing. It was a dream that materialized just like a movie. The Chinese people were very friendly, hospitable, left a profound joy and admiration in my heart.
After experiencing the social lifestyle and the tradition of cheers, "ganbei" or 干杯 in China, upon my return in the United States of America (USA), I was inspired to start a craft beer company from a recipe I developed as a homebrewer.
The style of beer that I developed is the American version of the British India Pale Ale or IPA. The IPA style is known for its strong hop character, dates to the 1800s and is the fastest-growing and best-selling style of craft beer in USA.
In memory and in reciprocity of the warm and heartfelt welcome that I received from the Great People of China, I would like to offer the following toasts:
I. First Toast or 干杯
Mr. President, First Lady and the Great People of Burkina Faso, please allow me to offer you an imaginary first toast or 干杯 of our 888 Lucky IPA Beer by raising my glass up but much lower than all of yours to wish you Luck, Wealth and Prosperity.
II. Second Toast or 干杯
It will be a great honor to personally offer a second toast or 干杯 during my second visit to your country to introduce the first-ever American 888 Lucky IPA craft beer in Africa.
III. Third Toast or 干杯
I am offering a third toast to the Great People of Angola because I am certain that you will like, the 888 Lucky IPA named Best Tasting Beer in New York, USA and 888 Pilsner whose recipe won Gold in Maryland, USA, Made in Washington DC USA by a descendant of your ancestors.
IV. Fourth Toast or 干杯
According to a Chinese proverb: "Hearing a hundred times is not as good as seeing once."
I am excited and cannot wait to visit and see with my own eyes the countries of my ancestors, greet and meet many of my brothers and sisters from the Mother Land of Africa which will be far better than ten thousand words can ever express.
Therefore, please allow me to offer you one last Toast or 干杯, Mr. President, the First Lady, the Great People of Burkina Faso and the continent of Africa, I wish you once more, many years of Luck, Wealth and Prosperity or 888. Learn more at http://www.paugustin.com
Pierre Richard Augustin, MPA, MBA
President and CEO, AdMerk Corp. Inc.
Food & Daily life in Burkina Faso
Four-fifths of people in Burkina Faso live in rural communities. Although houses are different styles and shapes across the country, all Burkina’s traditional dwellings are made of mud.
Buildings have thatch or corrugated iron roofs. In certain regions, the mud walls of houses are painted with distinctive designs (see photo below).
In the south, the walls of houses in Kassena country are painted with dark geometric patterns, often in black and white.
Burkina is also known for its impressive mud mosques, like the Grand Mosque at Bobo-Dioulasso.
Inside the home
Ceramic pots of all shapes and sizes can usually be found in the home of a Burkinabe. The largest earthenware pots are known ascanari and are used for keeping water cool. Others are used to store grains, such as those for brewing millet beer.
Many pots are decorated – for example, by pressing cord into the clay – and glazed inside. For women, the number and types of pots she owns are seen as a sign of her status.
The calabash is also a lifelong kitchen companion, because the skin of this gourd/squash can be used for a wide range of receptacles, from bowls and drinking cups to paint-pots and trays for food.
In some parts of the country, a woman’s calabash will be ceremonially broken at a certain time and place after she dies. It is the only object to be taken with her into the afterlife.
Tô (Saghbo) is a dough-based meal of cooked millet, sorghum or corn, served with a sauce of vegetables (tomatoes, peppers and carrots) and maybe a little mutton or goat.
Staple foods include sorghum, millet, rice, maize, nuts, potatoes and yams. Dishes often have sauces of vegetables, fish or meat served with these staples.
Chicken dishes are a favourite. In the towns and cities, grilled chicken is cooked in the streets and called “poulet-bicyclette” (literally ‘chicken on a bicycle’, because the birds are carried on bicycles from the villages into town). Brochettes of meat cooked on a skewer are also common.
Because fresh milk goes off quickly in the hot climate, yoghurt or soured milk forms a regular part of the diet. Gapalo (soured milk with millet grains) is popular and usually drunk from a bowl.
The local beer
With its relaxed Muslim culture, many Burkinabes enjoy a dolo or chapalo, a home-brewed millet beer. Drunk mainly by men, it tends to be made by women, who sell their beer in local markets to earn a small living. Although they may give their husbands a first taste for free, after that, spouses are normally expected to pay too.
How is dolo or chapalo made? Beer is made by mixing ground millet with water and boiling this over hot coals. Yeast is then added and this is left to ferment overnight. The following morning, it’s ready to drink. But the fermentation process continues through the heat of the day, making the brew stronger and less sweet the later it’s drunk.
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