Tuesday, May 25, 2021

2021 Travel the World - Week 21

I started a 50-week series in 2019 that I called Travel the World. Each week of the series I visited a randomly-selected country, sharing bits of information about that country. I then chose one tidbit of information about that week's country as inspiration for a card. As I explored those 50 countries in 2019, I knew I would continue on until I've visited every one of the 195 countries in the world, so I continued the series in 2020 and here I am in 2021, the third year of traveling the world. 

This week's country is...

Guinea - Bissau

Guinea-Bissau is a country in West Africa, off the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. It also includes numerous offshore islands of varying sizes.

Off the coast of Guinea-Bissau is the Bijagos Archipelago, a group of about 88 islands and islets located in the Atlantic Ocean. Only some 20 islands are populated year-round. 

Its nearest countries are Senegal to the north and Guinea to the east and south east.

Bissau was added to the country’s name to prevent confusion with Guinea, which means officially, the country is now called Guinea-Bissau.

Since Guinea-Bissau won its independence from Portugal in 1974, it has experienced almost non-stop political instability. Presidential leaders are frequently ousted – or even assassinated and a new leader steps in. Because of this instability, the country is one of the poorest countries in the world.

The average salary of a working person in Guinea-Bissau does not reach the equivalent of fifty US dollars per month.

Portuguese is the country's official language.  However, only 11 to 15% of the country can speak the language.

Other languages used in Guinea-Bissau are Creole, Balanta, Fula and Manjaca.

Residents are called Bissau-Guineans, not Guinea-Bissauans.

The capital city of Guinea-Bissau is Bissau. Built on a low-lying estuary where the Gêba River flows into the Atlantic, apart from the hectic traffic, Bissau is a low-key, unassuming capital.

The Guinea-Bissau Carnival is a cultural extravaganza that explodes onto the streets of the capital Bissau during February when the weather is also at its most pleasant. The carnival takes place over the four days before Lent, is like no other.

Guinea-Bissau has 217 miles of coastline. It is dominated by a few scattered beaches and swamps of mangroves.

Those taking a guided trip into the Guinea-Bissau’s eerie mangroves  may get a glimpse of the country’s national animal – the charming Red River Hog. It has earned its name because of its reddish-brown fur and distinctive white mane.

The network of protected areas in Guinea-Bissau covers about 16% of the national territory. It is made up of 6 national parks, plus nature reserves, hunting reserves and other types of protected areas.

The most famous tourist attraction and national park in Guinea-Bissau is the Orango Islands National Park.

The Lagoas de Cufada Natural Park (established in December 2000) is a Ramsar Wetland site meaning it has an ecosystem worth protecting and as such, animals like chimpanzeeshippopotamus, waterbuck, Roan antelope, African buffaloleopardhyena and African dwarf crocodile. These  all co-exist in the 345 square mile park. 

Laws in Guinea-Bissau do not prohibit the eating of human beings, but laws do exist to prohibit the use of crocodile meat.

The country's terrain is mostly flat and low lying with glorious sandy beaches, with the Savannah to the east.

The Saltinho Waterfall is one of the most alluring waterfalls in Guinea-Bissau. Located under the bridge, along the main road from Southern Guinea-Bissau, it also has a famous hotel called the “Pousada do Saltinho” which overlooks the falls.

Many people here are farmers, living and working on small family farms. The main crops include cashew nuts and fruit.

The country is the sixth largest producer of Cashews in the world.

The natural resources are fish, timber, bauxite, clay, granite, phosphates and even unexploited deposits of petroleum. The major trading partners are Pakistan, Nigeria, India, Senegal, Portugal, Brazil and Cuba.

Guinea-Bissau exports shrimp and fish, as well as lumber.

Gumbe is the most popular form of music in Guinea-Bissau. It is a unique style of music comprising polyrhythmic motifs between vocals and percussions. Gumbe drums, kulute (a traditional flute made from the gourd), kola (calabash) are the primary instruments.

Rice is a staple food for people in the coastal regions while millet is the staple food for those in the deep interior. While rice grown in the country, they cannot keep up with the demand so rice is also imported.

Throughout Guinea-Bissau there are villages full of delightful, traditional homes made from dried mud to create circular huts which are then thatched.

There are no cinemas in Guinea-Bissau.

My inspiration for this week's card is based on this fact about Guinea-Bissau... A Biosphere Reserve in the Guinea-Bissau Archipelago serves as a natural habitat for thousands of bats that reside in the abandoned ruins there.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp Set: Sugar Pea Designs Fangtastic stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and Lawn Fawn Lemonade Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Paper: Cougar 110# White and SU Pineapple Punch CS and DP from my scrap file

Dies: MFT Stitched Rectangle

Embellishments: Ribbon from an unknown vendor


Aracelli Merla said...

Wow! You always share such interesting facts from these countries. I love your bright and cheerful card. TFS!

Beth Norman-Roberts said...

Very interesting. I thought that being president sounds scary.

On a more fun note, your card is adorable.

kiwimeskreations said...

Fabulous facts once again Jeanette - and I love your card!! That is so cute!!
Stay safe

Lynn McAuley said...

New to me country and hog! Thanks for this fun trip through Guinea-Bissau! Love your sweet bat and the night sky behind him!