Tuesday 23 July 2019

Port Resolution Yacht Club - gifts ceremony

To start the proceedings, each WARC skipper was asked to introduce their boat and crew. I said how pleased I was to return to Tanna after my first visit here 14 years ago on a smaller boat from New Zealand, and this time to be able to bring my family to this very special place. I thanked the chief, all the villagers and particularly Moni and Wherry (who run the Yacht Club) for their warm and generous welcome, and we look forward to sailing back here again in the future.

All the skippers in the World ARC fleet boats were then asked to place their respective gift items on the grass; the villagers made their pile beside it, comprised mostly of woven baskets filled with fruit from their gardens, and beautiful home made small decorative bags. The chief picked up a large bundle of kava root symbolising his acceptance of our offerings, then Stefano collected 'our' kava root on behalf of all the sailors.

After songs from the school children and speeches we were asked to pick up the gifts from the villagers; our baskets contained fresh papayas, limes, peppers, passion fruit, spring onions and lots of decorative flowers, plus a green vegetable we have never seen before. (Laura and Matthew took the decorative woven bags back to Canada as NZ Quarantine / Biosecurity rules prohibit them.)

Our gifts to the villagers were carefully shared out between all the families, seemingly very fairly and with no arguments. We hope that Tintin's various gifts of pots/ cooking utensils, a machete, clothing, first aid items, sunglasses, baseball caps and writing materials and paper are well received by the villagers and the school.

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