Monday, June 14, 2021

2021 Travel the World - Week 24

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...

Sao Tome & Principe

Sao Tome and Principe is a twin-island nation found on the equatorial west coast of Africa. 

Sao Tome and Principe is the second-smallest African country.

The total area of both islands is 386 square miles, with São Tomé about 6 times larger than Príncipe

Both the islands are part of Cameroon volcanic mountain line. They were created as a result of volcanic activity that is extinct.

The country'a main language spoken is Portuguese, owing to the fact the islands were discovered by Portuguese navigators in the 15th century and only gained independence in 1975.

More than two-fifths of the population is less than 15 years of age, and another one-fourth is younger than 30.

The islands are great for people who love nature. Almost 30% of Sao Tome and Principe’s territory is covered by rain forests. And unlike mainland Africa, there is no threat of large dangerous animals or poisonous snakes. 

Mosquitos are plentiful in the country; as a result, the risk of contracting malaria is common.

The islands of Sao Tome and Principe are home to a large number of birds, including the world’s smallest ibis and the largest sunbird. 

Among the 114 bird species found on the islands, there are 26 native species.

Marine life abounds, too, with deep, whale-friendly waters close to shore allowing humpback whales safe harbor.

The idyllic beach of Praia Jale in Principe is famous as it is a nesting site for green hawksbill and leatherback turtles. Between November and March, large populations of female turtles make their way to the beach to lay eggs.

A very interesting natural formation in The Obô is Pico Cão Grande. It is a volcanic plug peak shaped like a needle. It reaches 370 meters above the terrain that surrounds it and the summit is 668 meters above sea level. This plug was formed when magma solidified in the vent of an active volcano. However, the mountain range where it belonged does not exist anymore.

Cocoa is the main crop of the island nation and it represents 95% of the country’s export. It was once the world’s largest producer of cocoa.

Before cocoa, they produced sugar. When coffee and cocoa were introduced in the 19th century, they stopped producing sugar.

Sao Tome economy is largely an agriculture-based economy. Its primary crops are cocoa, copra, palm kernels, and coffee.

The Sao Tome and Principe cuisine is based on tropical root crops, plantains, and bananas, with fish as the most common source of protein.

The only national park in Sao Tome and Principe is the Obo National Park. Established in 2006, it covers around 30% of the land on both islands combined. 

Greeting others is important in Sao Tome and Principe.This includes showing interest and inquiring about the welfare of the person and that of his/her family.  This is essential in everyday social encounters.

Visitors to Sao Tome and Principe are not expected to know and observe their customs and etiquette.  If you greet them and walk away without inquiring about their welfare and that of their family, they will not take offense.  They’d just know you are not a native.

It is highly important to know and pay due deference to the status of a person.  This is all round: financial, educational, family.  For example, older men and women are treated with great respect.  This is especially so when they have many children and grand children.

Being allowed to enter into a person’s home is a great privilege that is extended to someone as a mark of honor.  This is also true of being allowed into someone’s garden.  

Acquaintances converse or carry on conversation on the road as they walk or stand.  They also converse across garden hedges.  This is more common than being invited into someone’s home or into someone’s garden.

When it comes to their general communication system, the people of Sao Tome and Principe are very direct and straight to the point! 

In the country, at least one third of the households are headed by women.  Also, marrying a woman who has inherited land, or who has either money of her own or inherited money does not automatically give the husband access to such land of money.

My inspiration for this week's card is based on this fact about Sao Tome & Principe... One of the sweet places to visit in the country is the Chocolate Museum, where one can observe the chocolate-making process and sample some of the world's best chocolates.

Here's the inside:

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp Set: Kat Scrappiness I Love Chocolate stamped with Memento Rich Cocoa Ink

Paper: Recollections Ivory and SU Cinnamon Cider CS and DP from my scrap file

Dies: Rubbernecker Rectangle with Pierce

Embellishments: Heart-Shaped Brad from an unknown vendor


Lynn McAuley said...

I took a break and gave in to my chocolate cravings yesterday!! It sure lifted my spirits!! Great card, Jeanette!!

kiwimeskreations said...

Another country I did not know of, and it was an interesting article, thanks Jeanette. Loving your card - not onlhy is it fun, but it looks fabulous
Stay safe

Shelly Schmidt said...

What an interesting country this is! I loved reading about it. And, I love your card- and the sentiment inside is a stitch!