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My Bouganville Library expedition


Well, I’m off to Arawa, Bougainville on Tuesday. This trip is the culmination of a series of events that started with the publication of Lloyd Jones’s book “Mr Pip” in 2006, his highly successful novel set against the backdrop of the civil war on Bougainville Island during the early 1990s. It’s led me, Lloyd and Pete Carter (a Bougainville Library Trustee) on a trip to attend the Library building opening on 21st June.

Our journey starts at 6 am 18th June in Wellington with a flight to Brisbane and then on to Port Moresby, PNG. There we change airlines and fly to Rabaul, a town in New East Britain, a large island to the Northeast of PNG. We’re staying the night there before proceeding to Buka Island at the northern end Bougainville. From there its banana boat and 4WD south to Arawa. All up, about two days travel. The opening is on Friday. While we’re there we’re going to check out an island off the coast from Arawa where the film “Mr Pip” was shot.

Before I leave I have to get a PNG visitor visa, anti-malaria pills, Hepatitis immunisation and various other advice on avoiding tropical diseases.

I’m really looking forward to seeing the building, meeting the people who constructed it and the community that are going to use it. I’m not sure what to expect but by all accounts the building is highly regarded by the locals and the “coolest place” in Bougainville. Email here.



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