Friday, March 16, 2007

Greg Stathakis: Incident in Santa Barbara

Greg Stathakis of PNG Travel posts about an incident in Santa Barbara.

This blog contribution may be relevant to publicity regarding Papua New Guinea's crime and tribal fighting.

Crimes against tourists are rare in P.N.G., especially on an escorted trip with a reputable trip operator. We are forthright about discussing this in our pre-trip information.

This week I took my Mom for a leisurely lunch in downtown Santa Barbara. Afterwards, driving from the restaurant area , I noted an unusual number of teenagers and pre-teens in the streets. A van in front of us was moving slowly through the neighborhood and people were going up to it to shake hands with its occupants.

That day during lunchtime, in front of Saks Fifth Avenue in downtown Santa Barbara, a 15 year old boy was bludgeoned and fatally stabbed. Later in the day the van was identified as a vehicle possibly connected with the crime .

What made the impression especially disturbing is what followed that tragic event - the jubilation of the kids around the van in front of us.

I have watched documentaries depicting tribal battles and I have traveled through PNG almost 30 times. in as many years. Yet, I was sickened to witness, in "civilized" Santa Barbara, where I reside , a place never described as "primitive," - here in front of us was this most jubilant demonstration of an exalted state that follows tribal warfare.

Mary Jane, please post preceding on blog. Thanks, Greg

copyright (c) 2007 - 2011 Mary Jane Murray