Tuesday, October 19, 2021

2021 Travel the World - Week 41

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...


Vanuatu is located in the South Pacific Ocean in Oceania. Vanuatu is an archipelago of about 80 smaller islands, 65 of these are inhabited.

The Vanuatu islands form an irregular Y shape and extend for some 400 miles.

Most of the islands of Vanuatu are steep and don't have stable soil for agriculture. There is also little permanent water on the islands. Thus only about 9% of the land are used for agriculture.

Some islands have active volcanoes and most of the islands are rocky or even mountainous. 

The Republic of Vanuatu belongs to Melanesia, which is is a region in Oceania. Vanuatu is the smallest country of the five independent countries in Melanesia. - The other four countries are Fiji, East Timor, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands - parts of Indonesia and French New Caledonia also belong to Melanesia.

The capital city of Vanuatu is called Port Vila is also the largest city of the country with about 53,000 inhabitants. 

About 300 000 tourists visit Vanuatu every year, about the same number of inhabitants on islands! Most tourists visiting Vanuatu come from Australia and New Zealand. Many come for the scenic landscape, traditional island living, sandy beaches and clear blue lagoons.

An individual from Vanuatu and/or a citizen of Vanuatu known as Ni-Vanuatu.

Most people on the Vanuatu islands work in the agricultural sector.

The main agricultural products also include tropical fruits such as pineapples and bananas, cabbage, vanilla, cocoa, coconuts, and yams or taro (which is a starchy root vegetable).

The main economic sectors are agriculture, cattle ranching, fishing, tourism and offshore financial services. Natural resources are manganese, timber (hardwood) and seafood.

Fishing and tourism are also among the main income sources. 

87% of the Ni Vanuatu people can read and write.

There are over 120 completely different languages spoken in Vanuatu and even more dialects.

Every summer, the Happy Planet Index ranks 140 destinations around the world on what matters most, sustainable wellbeing for all. Vanuatu is ranked the fourth happiest destination in the world, behind Costa Rica, Mexico and Colombia.

Vanuatu is home to Mount Yasur, considered to be the world's most accessible active volcano. It is possible for visitors to hike to the crater rim and peer into its cauldron.

Vanuatu is the most dangerous country in the world when it comes to natural disasters

Blue holes are massive marine caverns and very fashionable with individuals who like to dive. Vanuatu is chock filled with beautiful blue holes. If you’re not into diving, you’ll additionally discover loads of nice snorkeling in Vanuatu with unimaginable sea life to view, together with hawksbill turtles, colorful coral, and tropical fish.

The world's first underwater Post Office is located in Vanuatu.

One of the most famous sites in Vanuatu is the wreck of the SS President Coolidge. The ship was an American luxury ocean liner converted to a troopship. In 1942, the ship struck a mine and sunk off the coast of Espiritu Santo. Today it is regarded as one of the world’s most accessible wreck dives.

Vanuatu is known for its dense rainforests. Home to flying bats, Vanuatu has an endemic bat species, the flying fox. They are important for pollinating the native trees and are important for the rainforest.

The flying fox is definitely a fruit bat. They are nocturnal so that you won’t see them out and about through the day. These noisy little critters eat fruit and flowers, which is one of the facts about Vanuatu food. They’ve long been a staple of the ni-Van weight loss program, so if you’re at a restaurant in Vanuatu, you may simply discover a flying fox on the menu.

There are about 180 bird species in Vanuatu, among them the colorful rainbow lorikeet. 

Vanuatu is one of only 22 countries without a standing army.

Vanuatu invented bungee jumping. On the small Vanuatu island of Pentecost, when the yam crop begins to emerge in early April, locals build wooden towers between 20-30m high. Until the end of May, village boys and men perform the ritual known as Nanggol, diving from these rickety wooden structures with nothing but vines tied to their ankles. 

The islands of Vanuatu were well known as cannibals and the first British Missionaries who arrived in 1839 were killed and eaten on the island now known as Erromango. According to anthropologists, the last recorded cannibal killing on Vanuatu was a recent as 1969. 

Food in Vanuatu includes the different fruits and vegetables grown on the islands. Coconuts and coconut milk is used in many dishes. Food is mostly steamed or cooked over fire and rarely fried.

The nationwide dish of Vanuatu known as ‘Lap-lap’ and is a vegetable porridge, cooked with coconut milk.

Pedestrians walking around in Vanuatu often times carry machetes. They serve a important purpose. Jungle paths often become overgrown in a single day, so residents must "cut" their way through the growth to get to their destination. 

My inspiration for this week's card is based on this fact about Vanuatu... Pigs are thought of as a symbols of wealth in Vanuatu.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp Set: Hot Off the Press Hogs & Kisses stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Paper: Neenah 110# Solar White and SU Powder Pink and Rose Red CS and DP from my scrap file

Dies: Whimsy Wonky Window 1 and (on the inside) MFT Stitched Rectangles

Embellishment: Eyelet Outlet Enamel Heart


kiwimeskreations said...

Some of that was new to me Jeanette - an impressive array of facts. Loving your card - the design is fabulous, and that piggy image so cute. Talking of pigs in the Islands - in Tonga if you are driving, you dodge pigs, people and potholes IN THAT ORDER!
Stay safe

Lynn McAuley said...

That's a lot of love!! Super cute card, Jeanette!

I remember seeing Nanggol performed at the World's Fair in San Antonio when I was a teen.