Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Travel the World - Chad

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...


Chad, officially the Republic of Chad, is a landlocked country in northern Central Africa. It is the largest of the 16 landlocked countries in Africa.

It is bordered by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest and Niger to the west.

Chad is the only country in the world whose name is composed of a single syllable with a single vowel.

Chad is home to a dramatic array of landscapes ranging from sublime oases, pristine forests, and remarkable rock formations.

Chad has three main geographic zones. In the north is the Sahara Desert with a typical desert climate. The central part of Chad is the semi-arid Sahel region which is mostly dry and has a short rainy season. The southern zone or Sudanian Savanna is a broad belt of tropical grassland and deciduous forests.

Chad has often been called the “Dead Heart of Africa” due to its harsh climatic conditions and isolated landlocked location.

Chad is also known as "The Babel Tower of the World" because of its cultural diversity. It has over 200 ethnic groups and 100 languages spoken in the country.

Arabic and French are the official languages.

Chad is a former French colony; having gained its independence in 1960.

The people of Chad are called Chadian.

The capital of Chad is N'Djamena. Located in the southwest of Chad, N’Djamena is the largest city in the country and its cultural and financial hub. It is also home to Chad’s only university and the country’s main international airport. 

By land area, Chad is world’s 21st largest country.

Chad is about the size of Spain, Kansas, and France combined.

The goat and lion are the national symbols of Chad. The goat represents the northern part of the country while the lion represents the South. 

The country is named after Lake Chad. The lake is the largest wetland in Chad and the second largest in Africa. The lake is also the world's 17th largest lake.

Lake Chad is located in the sahelian zone, a region just south of the Sahara Desert. It was the seventh largest lake in the world and the fourth largest in Africa. It has shrunk dramatically during the last few decades and is now down to less than 10 percent of its former size, due to increased water use and low rainfall.

The lake is an important source of water for millions of people in the four (Niger, Chad, Cameroon, and Nigeria.) neighboring countries. The lake was once the center of Africa’s lucrative salt trade.

The Sahara Desert covers much of northern Chad and occupies roughly 1/3rd of the country’s total area.

The Guelta d’Archei is probably the most famous guelta in the Sahara. It is located in the Ennedi Plateau, in north-eastern Chad, south-east of the town of Fada. The Guelta d’Archei is inhabited by several kinds of animals, most notably the Nile crocodile. Caravans come at the Guelta d’Archei to replenish water supplies, wash and rest.

Chad's Ennedi Massif is a mountainous region that is home to unique natural sandstone formations and rock art dating back 7,000 years. 

The site is also home to a population of desert-adapted West African crocodiles, herds of Barbary sheep, as many as 525 plant species and at least 180 bird species.

Mount Koussi, also called Emi Koussi, which lies in the Tibesti Mountains of northwestern Chad is not only the highest summit in Chad but also the highest point in the Sahara that rises to an elevation of 11,204 feet. 

Chad's Tibesti Mountains are home to some of the best camel racing in the world.

The Tibesti Mountains are home to the Toubou tribe (mountain people) who engage in camel racing as a sport. Competitions are held occasionally to determine the village champions. Tourists from across the world visit the mountains purposely to participate in camel racing.

Aloba Arch is the name of a natural arch located in Chad. Large natural arches are somewhat rare outside the southern and western regions of China and the Colorado Plateau of the southwest United States. Aloba Arch’s span is considered to be the 8th longest known natural arch, and the longest outside of China and Utah

Chad is home to about 134 species of mammals, 509 species of birds (354 species of residents and 155 migrants), and over 1,600 species of plants.

Chad has 4 national parks and 18 other protected areas.

Zakouma National Park in Chad is home to the "Big Five" game animals of rhino, lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo. 

Daylight Savings Time has never been observed in Chad.

Music is an integral part of Chadian culture and incorporates instruments including the kinde (a type of bow harp) and the kakaki.

People of Chad use Kakaki, a long metal trumpet in traditional ceremonial music. The instrument signifies power and is always played by men.

It is common for Chad men to have more than one wife.

More than two thirds of young women will have been married in Chad before they turn 18.

Chad has one of the world's lowest life expectancies. As of 2020, it had the third-lowest life expectancy at just 54 years.

Sadly, Chad is one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in the world.

About 87% of Chad’s rural population lives below the poverty line. 

Only 1/3 of the country's adult population is literate.

Chad has only one television station. Radio is the country's main source of media coverage.

The majority of Chad's fuel is supplied by one local refinery.

Crude oil has been the primary source of the country's economy since 2003. Earlier, cotton played a significant role in bringing wealth to the nation.

A $4 billion pipeline linking Chad's oilfields to terminals on the Atlantic coast was completed in 2003.

Chad has ample reserves of gold and uranium.

Chad is home to a male beauty pageant where the men of a polygamous tribe called the Wodaabe battle it out to be selected as partners by unmarried women. The competition is said to be more fierce than Miss Universe. At the Gerewol Festival, the Wodaabe, a tribe of nomadic cattle herders, meet to celebrate the end of the rainy season and enter a one-of-a-kind beauty contest in which the men rather than the women are on display. The Wodaabe males spend hours preening, coating their faces with red ochre, daubing on white dots in floral formations, and applying black lipstick. They then perform a teeth-gnashing, eye-rolling dance for hours in the stifling sun in an attempt to attract a mate. The criteria for judging beauty are well-defined: height, very white teeth, eyes, an elongated narrow nose, and a symmetrical face. On the final night of the week-long festival, three winners are chosen by three marriageable women, who simply choose the winners by tapping their favorite man.

Chad has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. 1,100 mothers die per 100,000 births.

Chad has the world’s fifth-highest fertility rate of 5.57 children per woman. Consequently, Chad has one of the world’s fifth-youngest populations with a median age of 16.1 years.

Grains including milletsorghum, and rice are staple foods of Chad.

Presently, Chad is home to at least 20,000 Nigerian refugees, 100,000 Central African Republic refugees and 360,000 Sudanese refugees.

My inspiration for this week's card is based on this fact about Chad... The country has a shortage of doctors. For every 23,600 people in Chad, there is only one Chadian doctor available. This is one of Chad’s biggest challenges in terms of overall development.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp/Die Set: MFT Bedside Manner stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Paper: Hammermill 110# White and SU Blueberry Bushel CS and DP from my scrap file

Dies: Gina K Master Layouts 2, Impression Obsession Wacky Stitched Circles, MFT Stitched Rectangles, and Simon Says Sentiment Labels

Embellishments: Brads

1 comment:

kiwimeskreations said...

Hmmm, think I will stay home - it sounds a fascinating country Jeanette, but...
Love your card - that is a lovely image you have used