Tuesday, September 14, 2021

2021 Travel the World - Week 36

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...


Timor-Leste, formerly known as East Timor, is a beautiful country in southeast Asia. It forms part of the island of Timor and is bordered only by Indonesia to the west. It also has a coastline along the Timor Sea to the south and the Wetar Strait to the north.

It occupies the eastern half of the island of Timor.

Timor-Leste has gained independence twice – firstly from Portugal in 1975 and then from Indonesia.

The country gained its independence on May 20, 2002 when it became the first new sovereign state of the twenty-first century.

As such, Timor-Leste is also Asia’s newest country.

The total land area of Timor-Leste is 5,640 square miles.

Residents of Timor-Leste are known as Timorese.

Timor-Leste’s people come from Australia. Because of the country’s proximity to Indonesia, many suspect that the people of Timor-Leste come from this territory. However, they are descended from the aboriginal people of Australia.

The official languages of Timor-Leste are Portuguese and Tetum, although Indonesian and English are also spoken.

Archaeological remains found in East Timor suggest the area has been inhabited for at least 42,000 years, making the site one of the region’s oldest sites of modern human activity.

The country's terrain is mostly mountainous and surrounded by stunning sandy beaches and crystal clear water.

It has 439 miles of coastline.

There is a large cave on the island of Timor-Leste called Lena Hara. There, scientists found beads and fishhooks that were dated to 30,000 years ago using radiocarbon tests. In addition, there are carved faces on the walls that are dated back 10,000 years and paintings that are believed to be up to 6,000 years old.

Timor-Leste is located within the Coral Triangle, a marine area in the western Pacific Ocean home to an incredibly high number of corals (nearly 600 different species of reef-building corals alone). The region also sustains six of the world’s seven marine turtle species and more than 2,000 species of reef fish.

Saltwater crocodiles are found in the wetlands of Timor-Leste.

At least 22 species of cetaceans (aquatic mammals such as whales, dolphins and porpoises) have been found in Timor-Leste’s waters. These have included spinner dolphins and blue whales.

Dugongs can also be found in Timor-Leste’s waters. Dugongs are considered sacred animals to some locals, and are not hunted. However, they are still considered a “Vulnerable” species due to a number of other threats.

The Timorese enjoy a tropical climate with hot and humid weather and distinct dry and rainy seasons from May to November and December to April, respectively.

The culture of the entire country is patriarchal.  Dress codes for women are to be strictly observed.  No bare-arms, low-cut tops, short skirts, or bikinis. 

Timorese women do not usually go out alone.  Also, single Timorese women are not even allowed to go out alone with a man unless the man is related to her.  

Shouting and/or arguing in public is considered rude in Timor-Leste.

The people view the head a sacred.  Touching anyone’s head is therefore strictly not allowed.  This includes playfully roughening little boys’ hair. 

Timor-Leste is one of only two predominantly Christian countries in Southeast Asia, the other one is the Philippines.

Timor-Leste boasts a wide range of wildlife including water buffalo, monkeys, deer, pigs, horses, crocodiles, cattle, goats, chickens, ducks, rats and bats.

Timor-Leste grows coffee, corn, sweet potatoes, rice, soybeans, bananas, mangoes, vanilla, maize and cassava.

The country's industry consists of printing, handicrafts, soap manufacturing and woven cloth.

The main exports include coffee, sandalwood, marble and oil.

Timor-Leste is one of the least visited countries in the world. It only received around 74,000 tourists in 2017. For comparison, Indonesia received nearly 13 million.

A popular tourist attraction in Timor-Leste is the 89 foot high Cristo Rei statue of Jesus. 

The statue, which was a gift from the Indonesian government in 1996, has 570 steps leading up to it.

One of the poorest countries in the world, Timor-Lest is the world’s second hungriest country and suffers from “alarming” levels of hunger.

As such, Timor-Leste is also one of the world’s least obese nations. The country is ranked 186th out of 191 countries when measured by the prevalence of obesity among adults over 18 years old.

The cuisine of Timor-Leste consists of regional popular foods such as pork, fish, basil, tamarind, legumes, cornrice, root vegetables, and tropical fruit. East Timorese cuisine has influences from Southeast Asian foods and from Portuguese dishes from its colonization by Portugal.

Unlike most Southeast Asian countries, the primary staple food in East Timor is corn, not rice.

Many people in the country do not have clean water to drink, nor electricity.

There are not enough doctors in the country to treat the sick.

Only 48% of the adults in Timor-Leste can read.

People who send snail mail to East Timor should be careful to include “via Darwin, Australia” at the end of the address. Otherwise, it is likely that the mail will never reach its destination.

My inspiration for this week's card is based on this fact about Timor-Leste... The country is known world-wide for its coffee which is 100% shade grown. Most of the coffee is grown for exporting, but the Timorese are also great coffee drinkers, with a preference for it black and very strong.

The inside of the card reads: But please don't make me prove it.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp/Die Sets: Honey Bee Coffee and Jaded Blossom Gnome Brewed stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers and Queen Kat Coffee Stain stamped with Lawn Fawn Doe Ink

Paper: Cougar 110# White and Recollections 110# Black and Kraft CS

Dies: MFT Stitched Rectangle

Embellishments: Gina Marie Enamel Dots and SU Resin Heart

1 comment:

Lynn McAuley said...

How cute is this gnome in his coffee bean hat!! I love it, Jeanette!!