Arrival of the Starr's
by Jay Milbrandt
I want you to close your eyes and imagine you've been asked to design the movie set for a maximum security prison in Africa. What would it look like? It would probably have old paint chipped walls, rusted fixings, dust everywhere, and worn down cement floors? From personal experience today, I can tell that the real thing is exactly the way you would want it to look. Thankfully, I wasn't being held there (and I definitely hope never to be), but rather simply touring with out Uganda Team.
We traveled to the remand prison, the maximum security prison, and the women's prison. Some intriguing observations were, first, that there were no cells. Instead, giant rooms with foam mats on the floor served as housing. Second, we walked across the lot, in all the rooms and back areas, yet no one gave us any trouble nor did it ever feel threatening. And, I never saw a gun—one security officer had a stick.
Today was an interesting day. It started off with a boda ride out to the IJM field office where I met them for prayer and introductions. I scrambled back my hotel and met our team for the trip to trip to the prison. I picked up my passport after the prison excursion and I now have a "Special Pass" to Uganda courtesy of the court, which I understand is as good as residency here (I am considering staying here to try my hand at representing Uganda as a downhill skier in the Winter Olympics!!!). Then I ran off to buy a Ugandan cell phone so that I can FINALLY communicate!
This evening, I went up the Sheraton and met the driver. We headed out to Entebbe. (the airport) to pick up the Starrs and Collen. We got there early and, low and behold, the plane was delayed two hours. So, I waited and worked. Finally, all three made it around 10:30 and we headed back to Kampala. I briefed them on the events up the upcoming days on the drive back. Tomorrow we head out to UCU for a day of events, including a Moot Court and a talk by Dean Starr. It should be an interesting week!! Everyone is here and in good spirits, so all is well! I look forward to continuing my reports!