Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Travel the World - Week 39

This is the 39th week in my Travel the World personal challenge. Each week I am randomly choosing one country (there are 195 countries in the world) and doing a little research on that country. I then select one tidbit of information about the country as inspiration for the card I make.

This week's country is...


Togo is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Ghana to the west, Benin to the east, Burkina Faso to the north, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south.

Togo is approximately twice the size of Maryland.

It is a tropical, sub-Saharan nation, highly dependent on agriculture, with a climate that provides good growing seasons.

The green stripes in Togo's flag symbolize hope and agriculture.

Togo is the world's 4th largest producer of phosphate.

Although it's one of the smallest countries in Africa, Togo enjoys one of the highest standards of living on the continent owing to its valuable phosphate deposits and a well-developed export sector based on agricultural products such as coffee, cocoa bean, and peanuts (groundnuts), which together generate approximately 30% of the country's export earnings.

Cotton is the most important ground crop.

Togo's terrain is diverse. In the north the land is characterized by a gently rolling savanna in contrast to the center of the country, which is characterized by hills. The south of Togo is characterized by a savanna and woodland plateau which reaches to a coastal plain with extensive lagoons and marshes.

Togo has 35 miles of coastline, but there is a pretty strong undertow making its beaches generally unsafe for swimming.

The highest mountain in the country is Mont Agou at 3,235 feet above sea level.

Northeastern Togo is home to the Batammariba whose remarkable mud tower-houses have come to be seen as a symbol of Togo.

Togolese usually have two to three meals a day and they are very hospitable. Each meal consists of a large portion of starch such as maize, cassava, and rice. Proteins served with day meals usually include goat meat, fish, and beans.

Greetings are important in Togolese tradition. They are not only used for an introduction but also for bonding, expressing best wishes, and blessings. They include a handshake and a verbal "Hello" in French (Bonjour), Ewe (Woezolo!), Kabiye (Alafia-we), or another tribal language.

Togolese tradition also places a great emphasis on the respect for elders. The elders are a source of wisdom and blessings. Tradition expects the younger generation to appreciate the elders' role in their lives and to relieve the elderly of carrying heavy burdens. Carrying heavy items for them, standing up for the elderly to have a seat, bowing your head while greeting the elderly, and serving them food are some of the ways to show appreciation and respect to these individuals. It is a common belief that those who treat their elders well receive blessings, wisdom, and happiness from them. 

Togolese carry everything on their head - one banana, a fully-assembled ceiling fan, up to 300 eggs, firewood, a big basket of chickens, or a 5-gallon pan of water.

Wild animals are not found in great numbers in Togo, especially in the southern and central regions. A few lions, leopards, and elephants can be seen in the north. Monkeys, snakes, and lizards are numerous in many areas. Crocodiles and hippopotamuses abound in the rivers. 

They make sandals out of worn-out tires in Togo. These sandals are known to be extremely durable. They are almost impenetrable by thorns. This makes them loved by desert communities and those in areas with thorny vegetation. Toys can also be made from worn-out tires.

The Sacred Heart Cathedral is a Catholic church in the capital city of Lome. It was built in just over a year (April 1901 to September 1902) by the German colonial authorities. It then became one of the iconic buildings of the new capital of Togo. On August 9, 1985, Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass in the  cathedral.

Traditional African religions account for over half of the religious population in Togo. Voodoo is the oldest traditional form of African religion.

Football is the most recognized and national sport of Togo.

There is very minimal showing of affection in public in Togo. Only men and boys are allowed to walk holding hands.

There is a high mortality rate in the country. Approximately 100 children out of 1,000 die before they reach five years of age, owing to lack of resources such as water, road infrastructure, medical facilities, and good education on nutrition to parents.

Human trafficking is widespread in Togo. Children, especially girls, are sold into exploitative arrangements, which amount to slavery.

Shoppers are expected to bargain for everything they purchase at the markets, first offering half the seller's asking price.

Education in Togo is compulsory for only six years, mostly due to teacher shortages.

I decided to let this Togo fact be my inspiration for this week's card... Music and dance are very important to Togolese culture.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp Set: Art Impressions Perfect Duet stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Papers: Recollections Black and 110# White and SU Ballet Blue CS and DP from my scrap file

Embellishment: Music Note Brad from an unknown vendor


Lisa :) said...

Another cool card and interesting info on a country I previously knew very little about!

kiwimeskreations said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kiwimeskreations said...

Wow - I never knew about the mud tower houses, off to google more info on them! - a fascinating subject.
Love your card Jeanette - and beautifully illustrates your chosen fact :)

Lynn McAuley said...

Love this cute singing couple!! Fun card, Jeanette!!