I read this morning about a British couple, David & Judith Tebbutt, who were attacked yesterday at their holiday village in Kenya, six miles from the Somali border. Mr Tebbutt was shot and killed, and Mrs Tebbutt was kidnapped and taken away by speedboat.
This comes on the heels of Paul & Rachel Chandler’s recently published book about their year-long kidnap and ordeal at the hands of Somali pirates after being seized from their yacht.
Whilst this is a TERRIBLE event, and I hope and pray that Mrs Tebbutt will be released/rescued unharmed, there is no doubt that even if this does happen, these events will leave the family (including their 25 year old son, who wasn’t with them in Kenya) absolutely devastated – they will never get over it.
So my question is, what makes ordinary people take such risks?
There is clear and unequivocal Foreign Office advice in place not to travel within 18 miles of the Somalia/Kenya border unless absolutely essential. The Kiwayu Holiday Village, where the couple of were staying, was only six miles from the border.
They were the ONLY holidaymakers staying at Kiwayu Holiday Village – did this not ring any alarm bells? It would for me.
The bungalow they were staying in had a ‘piece of cloth’ hanging up instead of a door. Hardly security conscious, particularly for a resort whose website dedicates a whole page to security arrangements (worrying in itself?) and boasts of around-the-clock security with 21 guards who patrol alongside six police officers.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that a terrible accident can happen to us anywhere: crossing the road, on the school run, in the kitchen at home; but WHY would you expose yourself to needless risk when there is clear precedent of potential danger? There are many, many places to travel in the world which do not pose such extreme levels of threat, aren’t there?
Is it simply a case of ‘it won’t happen to me’?
Or maybe ignorance – perhaps they genuinely had no idea of the dangers (unlikely though it may seem)?
Perhaps they were adrenaline junkies looking for a bit of the excitement that comes with danger (even more unlikely, I think).
I don’t suppose we shall ever know.
But I do know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I wouldn’t have been spending my holiday in a deserted holiday village in a bungalow with no door six miles from the Somali border.
I sincerely hope and pray that Mrs Tebbutt is found safe, well and very soon, and my thoughts are also with their poor son, Oliver – whatever must he be going through?