So, as a public service, c'mon everybody, let's learn about Burkina Faso!
To Americans, an itty-bitty Colorado-sized country with a weird name, somewhere in Africa -- that's the big scary continent Joseph Conrad said had a "Heart Of Darkness", somewhere in your senior year of high-school English. To residents, Burkina Faso is home.
The French settlement formerly known as Upper Volta burst onto the fashion scene and into its independence in 1960, setting new trends in population density v. low natural resources, in a neo-classical subsistence agriculture mode highly vulnerable to variations in rainfall.
Wearing Mali and Niger as a hat, Burkina Faso has consistently flaunted fashion ideals -- detractors argue that sporting landlocked savannah year-round leaves little room for flexibility in times of drought. Several hundred thousand residents head south to Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire annually for the relentlessly trendy lifestyle of the migrant farm worker, some waving at the nation's highest point, Tena Kourou (749 m), on their way.
Though lacking coastline, Burkina Faso has close ties to Lake Volta to the south, and is frequently seen in the company of the lake's 3 principal rivers, the Black, Red, and White Voltas.
With a daring religious distribution amongst the Burkinabe of indigenous beliefs [40%-ish], Islam [50%-ish], and a touch of Christianity [10%], Burkina Faso is a country obviously serious about its cosmopolitan mix of culture and language. French is the nation's official language, and 90% of the population speak native African tongues of the Sudanic family.
For governmental affairs, the Burkinabe step out in an always-appropriate-for-evening French-influenced parliamentary system, deftly accessorized with a native constitution and legislative, judicial, and executive branches all their own. Ouagadougou, like all national capitals, drips with a plethora of acronymed political parties and pressure groups.
A regular exporter of cotton, animal products, and gold, Burkina Faso imports machinery, food products, and petroleum from nearby Cote d'Ivoire and not-so-nearby France.
Burkina Faso's flag, two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and green with a yellow five-pointed star in the center; uses the enduringly popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia.
The well-dressed web Burkinabe can often be seen in the sleek ".bf" Internet country code, so be sure to say "bonjour" when you meet them!
Boring Statistics and Facts The CIA World Factbook
Attitude and Fashion Commentary Sidra Vitale