The Gift Ceremony at Port Resolution on Tanna

Take Off
Jörgen Wennberg
Thu 13 Jul 2017 12:12
This day is a very special day for the Kastom Village in Port Resolution. For the 9th year in a row this stop of the World ARC is one of the favourites according to the World ARC’s founder, Andrew Bishop. He has a special relationship to this village and since 2008 the village has been welcoming the World ARC boats with generosity and lots of presents according to what they can give. For this World ARC organises a Gift Ceremony where we, "the yachties", come with all the needs they cannot provide being no shops or services on Tanna. The World ARC provides us with a list of tools and other needs that we have been purchasing already since Fiji.

We started the day by visiting the school. Walking along the path to the school we could hear beautiful kids’ voices and so we entered the building being welcomed by a magnificent kid’s choir from all ages. This is an English school with 124 pupils.


Alex and Inez had been choosing what to give away among their toys, pens, coloured papers, books… Very proud they gave away “their” box.


The skipper on the American boat “Lexington” contacted his former employer to see if they had any old computers they wanted to get rid off. In fact the company changes their computers every 3rd year, so they had a whole stock of computers to give away. “Lexington” had also new crew coming in to Fiji so they brought the computers along with them and the school received 8 computers! The first time they ever had computers at the school. Imagine the extremely happy faces, especially the headmaster. Another very smart way of recycling!


Now back to some teaching.

Meanwhile Alex and Inez had found the kindergarden and got a private session with the teacher.


By noon we were “WELCOMED” (done with white sand) at the place where James Cook once landed on Vanuatu discovering the island of Tanna. It is here he named the bay “Port Resolution” after his own ship “Resolution".


The gifts waiting for us and very excited children waiting to take part of the ceremony.

Families, grandmas, small children… everyone from the village was here to attend this special day.


The “yachties on one side ... 


… and the village people on the other.


At first we were welcomed with their traditional joyful dancing where the village people dress up in any joyful outfit.


A beautiful and proud woman.

The men as usual stand in the middle singing their songs …

... while the woman with children stand and jump in a ring outside and go off and on dancing around the men.

And of they go again singing, dancing and running.


The kids seem also to enjoy the moment dancing and singing.


Once the dancing ended, the kids of the village all led the way to where the Gift Ceremony was to give place by singing blessing songs. It was really beautiful and touching!


Here we received our first gifts: hats made out of palm leaves, flowers around our neck and coconut to drink.


All the yachties standing with their new hats and the kids of the village standing on the other side singing their beautiful songs. 


All well dressed à la Vanuatu!


The Chief of the village gave us a welcoming, thankful and blessing speech….

… while everyone was listening from each side.


Now every yacht go to introduce themselves and where we come from.

While this was going on we had some fun too...

Now for the Gift Exchange itself. The village people started by putting all their gifts in a plie: bags, fruits baskets, etc… all made mostly from palm leaves with flours from bougainvilla….


… while we brought along the gifts we had bought in Fiji. It has to be mentioned that 3 wheel barrows were brought along by the smallest boat in the fleet : Ain’t Fancy.


Inez enjoying the Gift Ceremony.


This is what we received. Amazing gifts!


The Gift Ceremony ended with a thankful speech and more wonderful singing from the kids.


Jörgen and Dirk. The 3 beautiful ladies: Emma, Louise and Bettina.                                          


Inez happy too with her new handbag.


In the evening the Yacht Club of Port Resolution invited the World ARC fleet for an excellent buffé. 


Alex and Inez had a great time playing around with lots of new friends!