Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Travel the World - Ghana

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. By the end of 2021, I'd virtually traveled to 145 countries and plan to complete my journey to all 195 countries by visiting the last 50 this year.

This week's country is...

Ghana

Ghana is situated on the west coast of Africa and is a land of lowland hills.

The country shares borders with Côte Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, and Togo to the east. To the south are the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean.

Ghana covers a space that’s barely smaller than Oregon.

Ghana is endowed with great natural wealth including exotic waterfalls, beaches, caves, rivers, mountains, and more. Waterfalls like the Kintampo waterfalls, Tagbo Falls, and others are very scenic and act as tourist magnets. Most of them are hidden in dense forests and can be accessed by long trails through forested hilly or mountainous terrain.

English is used as the official language of Ghana with around 67% speaking English. Akan is the second most used language in Ghana; 29% speak this language. 

Although English and Akan are the two most spoken languages in Ghana, the Ghanaians still speak more than 40 languages throughout the country’s 10 regions. 

Ghana's 334 miles of coastline is mostly a low, sandy shore backed by plains and scrub and intersected by several rivers and streams.

Ghana's Lake Volta is the largest artificial lake in the world. It extends for over 320 miles and can be seen from space.

Another lake - Lake Bosumtwi - is considered to be a sacred place by many Ghanaians. The natural lake is situated in an ancient impact crater that is around 6.5 miles in diameter. The lake has no inlets or outlets and is only replenished by rainfall. 

A walk through the forest of the Agumatsa wildlife sanctuary offers a chance to see a large colony of fruit batsbutterflies, birds, monkeys and baboons. To get there one has to walk through the rain forest on a small footpath crossing 9 smaller streams in the process.

The capital city of Ghana is named Accra. Its name translates to “ants.” The name was gained because of the anthills that used to surround the city. 

In Ghana, you can find six national parks along with lots of smaller nature reserves that were established as a pro-active way of helping to protect Ghana’s wildlife. The wildlife there is rich and there are more than 650 butterfly species in the Kakum National Park alone. This includes the giant swallowtail species who are known for having wingspans of almost eight inches! 

Ghana is relatively rich in animal life. Large mammals include lions, leopards, hyenas, antelope, elephants, buffalo, wild hogs, chimpanzees, and many kinds of monkeys. Among the snakes are pythons, cobras, horned and puff adders, and green mambas. Crocodiles, the endangered manatees, and otters are found in the rivers and lagoons. Hippopotamuses are found in the Volta River. There are many species of lizards, tortoises, and giant snails. Among the numerous birds are parrots, hornbills, kingfishers, eagles, kites, herons, cuckoos, nightjars, sunbirds, egrets, vultures, snakebirds, and plantain eaters.

The ocean, rivers, and inland lakes are rich in fish and other forms of life. Sardines, locally called herring, arrive seasonally in the coastal waters in large shoals; other fish include anchovy, tuna, mackerel, soles, skates, mullet, bonitos, flying fish, lungfish, elephant fish, sea bream, and sharks. Edible turtles, barracuda, and stingrays are fairly common; mussels, crabs, lobsters, and prawns also are found.

More than half of the country is agricultural land. The main products are cassava, yams, plantains as well as citrus fruits.

Ghana is the world's second largest producer of cocoa beans. The main Cash crop grown in Ghana is Cocoa.

In 1991, a man from Ghana named Ferdie Ato Adoboe set a world record. He successfully ran 100 meters backwards in a remarkable 13.6 seconds!

The colorful national costume is made from handwoven cloth called kente.

Traditional salad in Ghana often consists of lettuce, tomato, onion, boiled eggs, tuna and a perhaps unexpected ingredient, baked beans!

Most, if not all dishes in Ghana are spiced up primarily with chilies and pink peppers.

Polygamy is legal in Ghana and people do not have a problem with the polygamous families in so far as the breadwinner can sufficiently provide for the families. However, marrying more than one wife is most often than not a reserve for the wealthier as well as powerful members of the society.

Traditional practices on widow inheritance are still prominently practiced in Ghana. A widow is expected to be married by a living brother of the late husband and as such assume full responsibility for the children left behind as well as his new wife.

Generally, Ghanaian culture lays more emphasis on being hospitable to everyone in the society, practicing good manners in every setting as well as respect for everyone.

When meeting a group of people in Ghana, it is good manners to begin shaking hands with the person on the right and move to the left, not the other way around.

Ghanaians enjoy dancing and playing the drums. 

A dancing festival is held annually in Ghana.

Ghana boasts of having the largest open-air market in West Africa located in Kumasi where people go to buy clothes, fabric as well as garments.

Ghana is where ‘fantasy coffins’ originated. Extraordinary artistic coffins are made to send people off to the afterlife, designs will be based around the interests and lifestyles of the departed.

My inspiration for this week's card is based on this fact about Ghana... Whale watching is popular among tourists during the months of July through December.



Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp: High Hopes Spouting Off stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers and Great Impressions Whale of a Good Time stamped with VersaFine Clair Nocturne Ink

Paper: Accent Opaque 120# White and SU Seaside Spray CS and DP from my scrap file

Dies: MFT Stitched Rectangles and Simon Says Sentiment Labels

Embellishments: Kat Scrappiness Blue Glass Bubble Mix

1 comment:

  1. What a fascinating country - so rich in resources animals and minerals.
    Love your cute card Jeanette - that is one cute whale :)
    Blessings
    Maxine

    ReplyDelete