There is a sign in black on white outside the prison. It says: TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED. Yet keeping people out of the prison does not seem as great a problem as keeping them in.
At least five prisoners have reportedly escaped since I arrived four weeks ago, although there is no causal connection. Most simply walk away from work parties, needing a leak they say. Behind a bush for privacy, then off and away. The sole member of the prison service can’t follow or the rest of his work gang would also wander off.
On the bus to Levuka a couple of weeks ago, a sergeant of the prison service sat next to me. Behind us, a group of young men carried overnight bags. At Korovou en route to the ferry, we all got out to stretch our legs and slurp a dripping Rocky Road ice cream.
Later, after the ferry crossing enlivened for the young men by the showing of a videotaped boxing title fight, we bussed on.
Arriving at a small settlement, Nacobo, the sergeant, was awoken from his lengthy doze. It was time to disembark and do whatever work was detailed. I reckon Sarge was dreaming the sleep of the just.
No hurry, no worry