The 29th September marked the beginning of UWC Red Cross Nordic’s Thor Heyerdahl Week – our College’s contribution to celebrations planned across Norway for the centenary of Thor Heyerdahl’s birth on Monday October 6th.

Thor Heyerdahl – archaeologist, author and explorer –  played a hugely significant part both as International Patron of the United World College movement and, at a later stage, in developing the concept of a United World College in Norway. We continue to be grateful for the support and energy he committed to the establishing of our College in the fjords. Please click here for the speech given by Thor Heyerdahl at the official opening of the College on 30th September 1995.

Thor Heyerdahl Week at RCN included: a presentation on the life and legacy of Thor Heyerdahl, a screening of the film ‘Kon-Tiki’, and a student-led raft-building project. Students this weekend have braved apocalyptic rains to build their own version of Kon-Tiki; the challenge is for the students to attempt to sail the raft across Haugland Bay. Here are some images of the work done so far on the raft.

Indeed on the day of the centenary itself, our Board Chair Tove Veierød, has invited the current Oslo-based Nordic ambassadors to a reception at the Nordic Association  where Rektor Richard Lamont will speak about the vision of Thor Heyerdahl and the other members of the founding team of this College. The text of his speech is here. A delegation from UWC RCN will be meeting with Maja Bauge, the Director of the Kon-Tiki Museum, on Tuesday 7th October.

Heyerdahl taught us of the possibilities of living on a raft or papyrus ship within speaking and touching distance – day and night – with ‘room only for people who could shake each other by the hand’. Following in the footsteps of Thor Heyerdahl and those responsible for the founding of the College, we continue to encourage our students and staff to contribute to society, both now and in the future, by reaching an open hand to fellow humans everywhere.

Click here to see an excellent documentary about Thor Heyerdahl.