Month: July 2016

87. Haiti: Diri Ak Pwa (Rice and Beans)

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Haiti, it’s impossible for anything you’ve seen on tv to prepare you for what Port-au-Prince (capital of Haiti) looks like after the earthquake in 2010 that killed about 300.000 people in a day in 2010. And it’s cliche the worst kind of cliche to say life goes on, but of course it does. This is a city of 2.000.000 people as in so many places in the world you do what you need to do get by, you fight to live.

Six years after the earthquake many of the damage that the earthquake caused is still there. The main religion in Haiti is Voodoo, on of their gods in Baron Samedi he is the keeper of the gateway between this world and the next, to the believers certainly a creepy guy. Would it help you if I told you his also the saint of procreation and humor?

On the day of Baron Samedi, parades are organized with the cemetery as a destination. Although I can’t imagine going to cemetery is a happy occasion, the Haitians see this differently. On the day of Baron Samedi they celebrate life and bring offers to their ancestors. Offers like food and coffee.

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Things you didn’t know about Haiti:

  • Haiti produces Rhum Barbancourt, an award winning brand of rum that is referred to as “the rum of connoisseurs”.
  • Haiti issued free visas and passports to 70 Jewish families during the Holocaust, about 300 lives saved. It has been speculated that one of the reason they couldn’t give more was the debt Haiti was paying to France, which was basically money the French decided Haiti owed them for freeing themselves from slavery. Haiti’s debt was “forgiven” after the devastating earthquake that hit the country in 2010.
  • In 1791, Haitians began what became the only successful slave revolt in the history of the world. Yes, the only one.
  • The English word barbecue is that it’s a derivation from the Haitian word barbacoa. The Haitians were referring to the framework of sticks used to cook meat over fire, but Spanish explorers who encountered this cooking method also referred to the results – the cooked meat – as barbacoa.
  • Colorful busses called taptaps take you from place to place named after the tap a passenger makes on the bus when they would like to get on or off.

Rice and beans a classic dish from Haiti but also from the entire Caribbean! So o easy to make, so simple yet soon delicious!

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86. Guyana: Egg Curry

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The event that put Guyana on the map for a lot of people is the catastrophe that happend in 1978. Guyana was still a British colony back then. In the middle of jungle a cult called “Peoples Temple” settled and founded their own town “Jonestown” under the leadership of Jim Jones. A total of 909 Americans died in Jonestown, all but two from apparent cyanide poisoning, in an event termed “revolutionary suicide” by Jones and some members on an audio tape of the event and in prior discussions.

That is what put Guyana on the map nowadays there is much more to Guyana. Few places on the planet offer raw adventure as authentic as densely forested Guyana. Although the country has a troubled history of political instability and inter-ethnic tension, underneath the headlines of corruption and economic mismanagement is a joyful and motivated mix of people who are turning the country into the continent’s best-kept ecotourism destination secret. Georgetown, the country’s crumbling colonial capital, is distinctly Caribbean with a rocking nightlife, great places to eat and an edgy market.

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Things you didn’t know about Guyana:

  • The official name of Guyana is the “Co-operative Republic of Guyana.
  • The national motto of Guyana is “One People, One Nation, One Destiny
  • The Omai Gold Mine in Guyana is one of the largest open-pit gold mines in South America.
  •  Slavery in the state was banned in 1834. There was a great demand for plantation workers after slavery in Guyana, which led to the immigration of the East Indians into the nation

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