Monday, September 21, 2020

2020 Travel the World - Week 38

FYI - my Travel the World card is a day early tomorrow as I have another commitment on my blog tomorrow. 

I started a Travel the World Series last year. (It should be noted that I did a similar thing in 2018, only it was the 50 states.) For 50 weeks in 2019, I visited a different country (virtually) and shared facts about that country. I then selected one tidbit of information about that week's country as inspiration for a card. Fifty weeks; fifty countries... BUT there are 195 countries in the world so that was just a little over 25% of them. Of course I couldn't stop, so this year I'm continuing with fifty more countries, one per week.

This week's country is...


Burundi is one of the 45 landlocked countries in the world. It is in the center of Africa and is located just below the equator. It is bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania tot he east and south, and Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west.

Its residents are known as Burundians.

The landscape in Burundi is distinguished by its hills and valleys covered with banana plantations, eucalyptus trees, and fertile pastures; however, the country's east with its savannah grasslands stands in direct contrast to its fertile areas.

The country is eleven times smaller than Poland. In US comparison, it is slightly smaller than the state of Maryland.

Burundi is the third most densely populated country in Africa, after Mauritius and Rwanda. There are concerns for its population due to overgrazing, deforestation and soil erosion.

Burundians traditionally built their houses of grass and mud in a shape reminiscent of a beehive and wove leaves together for the roof. The traditional Tutsi hut was surrounded by cattle corrals. Today the most common materials are mud and sticks, although wood and cement blocks are also used. The roofs are usually tin, since leaves are a short supply as a result of deforestation.

A majority of the population of Burundi lives in villages that are scattered throughout the highlands.

Over 80% of Burundians live in rural areas. Burundi is largely poor and underdeveloped. Having one of the lowest literate rates in Africa and the world, this means that youths lack modern knowledge and skills required to diversify their livelihoods away from dependence on rural agriculture.

Burundi gained its independence from Belgium on July 1, 1962. At that time it became one of the first black republics in the world.

Gustave is an enormous crocodile in Burundi. He is believed to be the biggest crocodile in the world at over 18 feet long and 2,000 pounds. Gustave reigns terror along the banks of the Ruzizi River and the northern shores of Lake Tanganyika where he is believed to have killed more than 300 people. Although he is yet to be captured, he has been seen by several locals. The crocodile is 64 years old, which is about the median age, considering that Nile crocodiles can live to be 200 years old.

Only 3% of the people in Burundi have access to the internet, making it one of the world's worst countries for internet access.

Burundi has three national parks: Kibira National Park to the northwest (a small region of the rainforest), Rurubu National Park to the northeast (along the Rurubu River), and Rusizi National Park which is the most popular tourist attraction in Burundi.

The Kagera Falls are a spectacular series of waterfalls in southeastern Burundi.

Cows are a symbol of happiness, health and prosperity in Burundi. A common Kirundi greeting is amashyo, which translates as may you have many herds of cattle.

Cows occupy a near-sacred place in the Burundian society. Its horns are considered especially sacred. While in most other traditional African societies horns are used as musical instruments and sometimes as part of magicians' paraphernalia, in Burundi, they are planted near the owner's home instead. To the Burundians, this is akin to planting blessings. In some ways, it acts as thanksgiving for the delicious meat provided  by the departed cow, but more so as blessings for more cows to come.

Burundi came in as the least happiest country in the world in the 2018 World Happiness Report and traditionally is one of the least happiest countries every year. (On the opposite end of the spectrum, Finland was the happiest country in the world in 2018.)

Drumming is an important part of the Burundian cultural heritage.

Crafts are an important art form in Burundi and are especially attractive to tourists looking for gifts to take home. Basket weaving is a popular craft for Burundian artisians.

Lake Tanganyika is the second oldest freshwater lake in the world, second largest by volume, and the second deepest. It is divided among four countries - Burundi, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Zambia.

The country does not have a coastline but that doesn't stop it from having a beach. The beach, which is part of the shore of Lake Tanganyika is a great place to take a dip and enjoy the warm water.

Burundi participated for the first time in the 1996 Olympic Games and won a gold medal. In doing so, Burundi became the poorest country ever to win an Olympic gold medal.

Ninety percent of the population of Burundi is employed in agriculture. Its exports coffee, tea, sugar, cotton, and hides.

Burundi's Livingstone-Stanley Monument overlooks Lake Tanganyika and marks a location where explorer and missionary David Livingstone and journalist and explorer Henry Morton Stanley visited and spent two nights in November of 1871.

Group jogging is banned in Burundi. In 2014, the country's president banned the activity, citing the reason that such walks can help people plan anti-government activities.

Burundi boasts hippopotamuses, monkeys, elephants, lemurs, squirrels, bats, cheetahs, leopards, mongooses, zebras, and buffalo, plus several endemic species of plants and animals.

Locals believe that a woman can lose her virginity simply by riding a bicycle, so cycling is mostly only a male activity in the country.

Burundi has varying amounts of the following natural resources: uranium, rare earth oxides, nickel, copper, vanadium, limestone, tungsten, gold, tin, niobium, and tatalum.
I decided to let this Burundi fact be the inspiration for this week's card... The nation's largest source of revenue is coffee, which makes up 93% of Burundi's exports.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp Sets
: Altenew Coffee with a Splash and CC Designs Latte Lucy stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Papers: Accent Opaque 120# White, Recollections Black and SU Calypso Coral CS and DP from my scrap file

Embellishments: Paper Studio Mini Brads and a Heart-shaped Brad from an unknown vendor


Shelly Schmidt said...

Very interesting facts about this country- too bad people are so unhappy there. Their leading export makes others so happy! LOL I love your sweet image and beautiful coloring!

MiamiKel said...

Cute CUTE card! Coffee is something I could defintely get behind :)

kiwimeskreations said...

A really interesting review Jeanette - and sad in a way too.
Love your card
Stay safe

Lynn McAuley said...

Enjoying this cutie as I sip my first cup of the day. I don't think it came from Burundi, but I'll need to check!

Barb said...

Cute card--great color combo!