Arriving in Vila

After a seventeen hour flight, I’m back in Port Vila,Vanuatu. I arrived somewhat on the heals of Independence Day which was July 30. There are still lingering fireworks, but the main events have passed on. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Independence from England and France.

Fast and reliable internet is still hard to come by, but I’ve noticed that many of the cafes are now offering wireless. This tiny island nation has come a long way. Needless to say, I continue to have issues with internet. However, as I look at other net users, nobody seems to be grimacing with impatience like me. So it’s probably just me, or my computer, or both… but, hey, it’s island time- what is there to be in hurry for? Really.

Anyway, let’s jump straight to some good news regarding the National Archives of Vanuatu. Upon my arrival at the Cultural Center, I learned that, indeed, the Government of Australia has decided to fund the new National Archives and Library building as a thirty year anniversary gift to the country of Vanuatu. On Independence Day, there was a lavish ceremony at the Cultural Center (I wish I would’ve been here for this). I was told that some passionate speeches were given. In fact, Ms. Quentin Bryce, Governor-General of Australia, had these nice words to say, “…We want to see your story nurtured and safeguarded, and your future shine.” The event was highlighted by the placement of a “Dedication Stone.”

We anticipate the opening of this building will take place in 2012. Until then, we keep our fingers crossed that all will go well.

Now, we just have to attend to the issues at hand, and that is getting the records ready for the new building. The picture below tells it as it is, and reminds us:

But this is just part of the story, and another report… stay tuned…


About islandculturearchivalsupport

Island Culture Archival Support (ICAS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of records pertaining to the cultural identity of island peoples in Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia whose national and public archives, libraries, cultural centers, and business organizations are underprivileged, underfunded, and understaffed. The specific purpose for which this nonprofit corporation was formed is to support the needs of these South Pacific cultural heritage institutions by helping to preserve and make accessible records created for business, accountability or cultural purposes. The organization will endeavor to add value by providing resources or volunteers to advise, train, and work among island residents to support their efforts in building their future and preserving their collective memory through the use of modern archival techniques.
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