Monday, February 22, 2010

Tuvalu, New Country # 234, and other goodies, including Liberia mail

I guess it's time I get back to this blog. I have been watching so much of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games, that there just hasn't been much time for blogging. I also had the great pleasure of attending birthday parties for two of my grandsons during the past week. So blogging kind of got put on the back burner. Hopefully I can make up for the lack of updates with a good report today. I received a number of postcards, including one from a new country in my collection, #234. I also received a cover from Macedonia and a cover from Monrovia, Liberia.

So, let's start with the new country. Tuvalu-pretty good eh ? I have been trying for a Tuvalu postcard for over three years now and it's finally happened, thanks to Amy. Tuvalu is a Polynesian island nation located in the Pacific Ocean , midway between Hawaii and Australia. Formerly known as Ellice Islands, its neighbours are Kiribati, Samoa and Fiji. With a 2009 population estimate of 12,373 it is the third least-populated sovereign state in the world. Tuvalu is also the fourth smallest country in the world with just 26 square kilometres.
I promised myself that whenever I received a postcard from Tuvalu, that I would highlight Tuvalu's biggest problem. It's not enough that Tuvalu has almost no natural resources, very few jobs and it's main income is from foreign aid, it is also threatened by global warming. The highest elevation on Tuvalu is 4.5 metres above sea level, which gives it the second-lowest maximum elevation of any country after the Maldives. Because of this low elevation, the nation may be greatly threatened by any future sea level rise. At the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in December 2009, Tuvalu's chief negotiator stated "Tuvalu is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change ".
Tuvalu also doesn't see many tourists, only about a hundred a year visit. Which leads me to believe that is one reason why postcards from Tuvalu are not that easy to come by.

My card shows a reproduction of a Tuvalu stamp issued in 1988. It was one of a set of 16 bird stamps issued . The Pacific Golden Plover is shown on my card. The stamp used is from a 2006 set of 12 definitives featuring shells and corals. Amy who sent the card, is from Taiwan and was a Youth Ambassador of Taiwan last year. She went to Tuvalu for a cultural exchange program with a Tuvaluan high school student. She returned again this year simply because she missed living in such a beautiful paradise along with the Tuvaluan students . Thanks very much Amy.

Now with Tuvalu checked off, I get to concentrate on Nauru, Wallis & Futuna , Penrhyn Island and Tokelau Island. It's still not getting any easier, is it ?

Another card I received is from Germany. It actually shows a KLM aircraft landing ( I believe) at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. Another great addition to my aircraft and airlines on postcards collection. Igor of sent along this card. He used 2 great current German stamps, one issued for the 2010 Winter Olympics and one for the 2010 Winter Paralympics.

The next card is from Barcelona, Spain. It is from Postcrosser Gabrielle. It shows Park Guell in Barcelona. The park was designed by Antoni Gaudi , an architect of the Moderist Style. Gabrielle used a rather large stamp from 2009. It is 1 of 2 values in a souvenir sheet featuring paintings of Margarita Teresa of Spain. The stamps are a joint issue with Austria.

That's it for postcards for today, but I still have a few items left. First is a commemorative cover celebrating 60 years of The Union of Philatelists of Macedonia. 1950-2010 . Ana of the blog My World of Postcards sent this cover which contained a limited edition ( only 300 issued ) flyer featuring flower paintings on stamps , by Zivko A. Popovski-Cvetin. The flyer was issued by the Union of Philatelists of Macedonia. Thanks very much, Ana. On the cover, you can see two stamps. The one on the left is from 2008 , and shows what I think is a bulldog. The other stamp from 1999 is 1 of a set of 4 issued with flowers and stamps. Bear with me , while I digress a little. Bulldogs and the bulldog stamp always reminds me of the Jim Stafford song Your Bulldog Drinks Champagne. It's a great tune, just one of many by Jim Stafford.

Now my final entry for today is a cover and the postcard that was inside. Even though I said earlier there were no more postcards, I want to show this one. But first the cover. It is postmarked and stamped from Monrovia, Liberia. I guess this dispels the thinking or rumor that there is no working postal system in Liberia. I have read this and have even been told this by a Canadian diplomat serving in Liberia. I have tried for a number of years for a stamped postcard from Liberia , and while I still haven't achieved it totally , I feel I am very close. I have received a postcard from Liberia, it just arrived in an envelope. I will keep trying though.
The postcard is a multiview of 6 pictures actually taken by the sender of the card, Elma. I like the crowded street scene , top right and the God Is Good on the canoe, lower left. Sounds like a good name for a canoe. Elma used a really nice stamp from 2008 on the cover. It is 1 of 6 in a mini sheet issued for 60 years of space exploration and satellites. It shows the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Thanks Elma.

That's all for this time. Now back to The Olympics. Canada's women's hockey team is playing Finland in an hour or so. I'm fairly confident of a win here, unlike the huge fiasco last night, with our men's team losing to the USA. Our guys weren't even in the game. It just makes for a longer road to Gold, I guess. Take care.


Anonymous said...

Thankfully your boy Crosby got er done!

KSzP said...

There is a working postal system in Liberia, indeed! You can even get a stamped postcard from there with a cancellation:
Nice cover,, though!