11 September 2013


We got some astounding news tonight - the real kind of news - broadcast live from Australia. The news anchor led the show with a story that involved PNG so Paul and I, who happened to be hugging in the neighboring kitchen at the time, broke the embrace and walked into the next room when "Papua New Guinea" pierced our ears. I was excited and just assumed the report had something to do with the refugee issue we are currently facing.

For those who do not know, Australia is currently flooding PNG with foreign refugees - mostly from Afghanistan, Iran and Sri Lanka - who are being denied visas. Imagine leaving the Middle East, arriving Indonesia where your asylum-seeking family hops a boat like the people from Cuba and then floats along, ready to begin a new life in Australia, only to be stopped by the Aussie military and granted a free ticket to Papua New Guinea, one of the world's least liveable countries.

Don't worry, though, Australia is paying PNG to accept these so-called boat people (named thusly because all persons entering Australian borders via boat; those who enter the country by plane allegedly have a better entry percentage).

To my surprise, the story was not about the refugees. The report focused on a group of Australian tourists.

Quoted from The Australian NEWS:
Eight Australians, one New Zealander and a group of [local trek guides] were attacked by six bandits as they camped on the Black Cat track in Morobe province on Tuesday.
Two [guides] were hacked to death, while others received wounds to their heads and arms and legs, including an Australian whose arm was slashed and another who was speared in the leg.

PNG Police spokesman Dominic Kakas said the group were attacked early on Tuesday afternoon by six men armed with guns, a spear and bush knives.
Reports state that the trekkers were robbed of all of their belongings, including their passports.

One man was speared in the left leg. Another has a head laceration, cuts on left elbow and bruises and cut on his back." Mr Kakas said.
I was discombobulated, wondering first why these people were attacked and, second, why they were in the middle of nowhere without a security team. We have been advised to take security with us any time we leave the city. Heck, our compound security guard told us we would need a security escort to a location offering air for our vehicle tires.

The trekkers, by definition, were off in the middle of nowhere. They were fighting one of the country's toughest trails in a land only home to remote villagers, approximately 220 km from our city.
Paul was not surprised. He just looked at me and said, "This is why you're not allowed to go anywhere. Next time you tell me you want to go exploring, remember this."

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