Ugandan Time

May 25, 2017 | By Sarah Parker

Today I got to hold a 3.5 month old baby. Highlight of my day! Justice K’s research assistant, Joan, whom Matt and I have the pleasure of working with, has a 3.5 month old little girl named Monica, and the nanny takes care of Monica at the Court House! So awesome.

Then Matt and I asked Joan to introduce us to a lawyer named Mark because a team member from last year said we needed to meet him because he is really great. Rumors were true, and we sat and talked with Matt and another lady on his team named Christy for probably an hour or an hour and a half. We didn’t bring our phones with us because we thought we were just going to say hi to the baby, but then we were talking for a while. Then, suddenly a lady came in saying Joy (one of our team members) was here looking for us and ready to pick us up. A spontaneous meeting had been planned at a different place called the Institute of Justice, and all the students had to be picked up from our various courts and taken to this place to meet another Justice who is also the director of the Institute. The Institute is the place where all those that work in the judiciary are trained. Our meeting was scheduled for 1pm, but Matt and I found out about it at 12:35pm, so we were rushing a bit to make sure we would make it.

Well, all the students arrived and we were almost right on time. 2.5 hours later we finally had the meeting with the Justice. Ugandan time is unlike anything I have I seen. We can’t be the ones to be late because that would be really disrespectful, but sometimes things come up with the Justices like having a meeting with a retired UK judge, and they arrive 2.5 hours late. But we got water and they even brought us pizza. We are so spoiled! So we had an afternoon with the team hanging out and chatting for a while. Then we met the Justice and another Justice who is on the Supreme Court. They were both super awesome.

Here, Justices are called lords, so when you speak to them, you say “my lord”. It’s the equivalent to the way we say “your honor” to the Judges in the US. It takes a little while to get used to, but our team is getting the hang out it.

Professor Gash, Jenna, and Danny DeWalt arrive on Saturday night, and I am really excited for them to come into town. It will be fun for them to join us.

Random sidenote: I will never complain about being in a suit when I am in the US ever again. I have conquered my fear of having to dress up because here we are dressed in suits every day and sweating the whole time, so it’s great! 🙂 The girls are lucky because we get to wear nice sleeveless shirts with our suit, but the guys have to wear long sleeve collared shirts and a tie with their suits so they are always warmer than we are. It’s the one time the guys ever have it more difficult in terms of fashion/clothing.

Well, I’ll stop there or else by the time you finish reading this, you will have delayed a spontaneous meeting and be living on Uganda time.

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