Papua New Guinea Stories and Tips

My impression

As I said PGN (Papua New Guinea) is not for the all-inclusive hotel traveler or the faint at heart. I realized this one-day when we were in the highlands and we came upon a group of men going to a peace talk. Their village had just finished a war with a neighboring village, 4 killed on each side. This was for real, not something staged for the tourists.

Saying this however I look forward to further travel there up in the highlands and farther back on the Sepik River. We are primitive art collectors and PNG is to me what a jewelry store is to most women. I want that, and that and that!

Add to this natural inclination for war the effect religion has had on the area. Many religions have come in to 'convert the natives'. Some have actually done some good putting up hospitals and schools. Many however are just worried about souls, and the worst have railed against birth control and such practices as infanticide, which helped limit the population. As a result couples no longer have one or two children but instead up to 11 or 13. Thus 80% of PNG's population is under the age of 18. The country can't afford to school these children and even when they do there are few jobs available. The young flock to the city where they turn to a life of crime, and then when that fails they return to upset village life.

In cities such as Port Moresby everyone lives behind bars. Even the restaurants have gates and doors that are only open if they like what you look like.

PGN due to geographic reasons and mosquitoes will always be a land of contrasts, part showing the worst of the 20th century and the other half literally back in the Stone Age. See where we came from and see unhappily where we could go.

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