WILL THERE BE A REDEMPTION?
Saturday, 23 January 2010. Still recovering from the fever and aches, slept through till late, heard many of the Panamanians asking after me. Well, not to wish me well, but to lend my phone and make calls or ask for sugar. Thank God for my mates, told them I was sleeping, my coke-up friend, Hugo came by and told me he heard I was sick. Offered to buy my local made juice made by the boys in the centre, nice of him and he got the phone to make calls. Surprising how he calls for credits and then sell them, he doesn´t have a phone of his. But get call time sent to him by his family, heard was of his Aunt is a lawyer. Nice guy, he gave me a dollar. We had the cell cleaned and washed, was able to wash my bed spreads and some clothes. Couldn´t eat anything, just liquid and loads of it. Still feel feverish and the aches, but in the evening felt a bit better.
Nothing happened much as I sat in most part of the day. They had their cock fight and anyone in the west will be disgusted seeing how the breed cockerels and set them on each other to fight and big bets are placed on them. Guess PETA need to know about some cultures in some part of the world not just what happens in Europe. The Cocks are almost skinned, the flesh are exposed and they are given chilli. Well those are things that happens in a place like this. I suggested why don´t we have boxing fight like the types we see in movies. Hand to hand fight and they winner goes to his cell with money, they didn´t take it lightly with me. I guess the Panamanians can´t fight without knives or any weapon. One of the young guys who has been close to me, tried to nick my USB flash and I caught him, he was happy and since then, has been saying that foreigners are not suppose to stay here, but move to the Green Area. One asked me to buy his 2GB Ipod Nano, I told him, ain´t got money, he said we´ve money, but told him, he is in his country and we are not in ours. That he is richer than most of us, and we don´t wear Hilfiger and Armani trainers in jail like they do.
The water went off early today, at least we have enough to cook and make our drink (Fresh Ginger and Orange drink) that is my innovation. Got the laptop and the connection has been terrible, breaks off every now and then, was able to get it stabilize and do some things online. Pedro the Paedo will come for it in the morning, I´m beginning to hate him, My mate and I asked him to help translate my Mate´s request for a laptop and he went behind us and wrote one for himself. Pressed the director and got his approved without my mate´s one. Not happy with him at all, most the youths don´t like him as he is in for sex with minor (boys). He walks everyday with his Bible, hope he get changed and experience the REBIRTH. Seen some of the Panamanian with Bible and also with Knives in their side, sort of wonder which they believe in for protection, the God the Bible talks about or the Knives. It´s strange how they practice their Christianity, once they in the church screaming and crying and next moment they are walking around with knives on their side. I believe my own God will keep my safe till the day I leave here.
Back in the cell, our mate that was deported from America dropped another bombshell, that he was trained by the Mossad, now we know for sure that the Americans did something sinister to this fellow. Pepe the 62 years old bank Robber said he was once a boxer, we believed him as we can see that in him, and our fellow said he was a boxer also. Well whatever they did to him during his time in the States is affecting him and we know for sure he will never come out of it. Gotta sleep…. my body need rest and loads of it as my schat said in her text. She has our family friend kids over, what a full house, how she will cope with four kids and one in her belly. Well my son woke them all up very early, she wanted to get them on line so I can see them via webcam, but the server here is so bad. I hope I get to see them someday and soon.
Friday, 22 January 2010. Picked up our BF and waited for the doors to be open, but today it was delayed. Sort of wondering if there will be a search, hid my phone (one that we don´t have in service anymore in Europe, the monochrome type) and lie down but on alert constantly looking who will walk in. When it was finally open around 9am, found out that we were been punished as a result of what happened last night at the Youth Papillion, they refused to get in on time when lock down was called last night, so we all have to be punish because of the bloody kids. Made it to the library and met the gamers waiting, was lucky as one left the computer for me. From last night, I have been feeling feverish and loads of pains around my joints and harsh migraine pains on my forehead. Had oats and decided to lie for while as moving around will make the situation worse. Couldn`t get to sleep as the pain was too strong, took some panadol and back to bed. Lying and thinking of how live is treating me. Heard my name from one of the guys from my country that I have a visit, I was reluctant of going out. But manage to drag myself off the bed and went up. Seeing her sort of alleviated my mood, at least someone to talk better things for a change, we talked about loads of things and touched part of my early years back home. I felt really sad, seeing what I have brought on myself. My only prayer now is getting a court date as soon as possible and then I will know where I stand regarding repatriation back to my country.
Getting my Schat to move with three kids will be devastating as she had just begun building a beautiful career at her new job. I still believe I stand a chance in the treaty with Panama to be sent home and do my time there. Even I´m told to do a million years back home, will gladly go for it as being here is mind wrenching. Back to the cell, heard there will be a search and there they came with gas mask and dogs, and with the Director. We believed it was a targeted search as they went to just one cell. The guys sell cigarettes and dope, guess someone must have snitched him. They went behind the cell and also upstairs by the youths. I had the opportunity to speak with the Director who was happy to speak English with me. He is trying though and the first thing he told me was ¨TAKE IT EASY¨ which is actually the first English most Panamanians learn. Well I have been wondering for 4 Months what I need to take easy of, after the banged up. I finally asked him why he denied my applications for a Radio and an Acoustic Guitar, he said out rightly that it wasn´t him, I´m forced to believe that the bloody custodians either they didn’t hand them in or just ripped them. I had to write one immediately and gave him by hand. That same day he signed it. My joy knows no bound as I can finally get the items in. I guess our Embassy could be doing this for us, but I guess they wouldn´t want to step beyond their given boundary.
My body is killing me, right now I don`t really know what is wrong, if it is my mind or the body, I have lost loads of weight and my waist line has drop few inches. My pants are dropping off my waist. I hope I can keep myself together from Breaking down as I have seen people going down gradually due to life here. The Night was hellish as the pain and my body temperature became severe, I felt the bed spinning, stood up several times and was sort of bamboozled, remembered pouring water over my head at one point and sitting on the floor. My mate was reading and came down to see what was wrong, he screamed when he found how hot I was. He wanted to call the warden. Told him not to, will handle it, this is the first time I have been so sick and nobody around to help. That is what Banged up Abroad can bring about, and the prison medical system really sucks. With internet, I will be able to find medication for minor ailments, vitamins and food supplements to help me through.
Thursday, 21 January 2010. Woke early same time with 2 other mates, all had to use the loo, guess we all drank loads of Liquid last night. One went back to bed, the other and I sat down to talk until BF came and picked it up, and we had the Custard-like thing with normal bread and slices of salami. We both drank from it and talked briefly before heading back to bed. Quick call to my schat and she rang back, was curious about her check up and test today on pregnancy diabetics. All went find and she will get her result next week, she was able to meet with our former pastor that wedded us in Holland who now is pioneering a new mission in Guyana; that`s actually close to me. We spoke briefly before I finally slept off and woke up at 10.35am. We hear stories of how some prison are so strict with time and other things, not here in Panama. We do what we want when we want; all they want to know is that you are locked up. Two of my former mates were freed today, they left the centre after 10 Months, three were involved in their case and the one caught at the airport snitched on the other two who were in the hotel. His initial statement was that they were all involved, but later changed it and took responsibility for the crime. They had their trial and he was given 130 Months, since our home country has treaty with Panama he should be due home by end of the year or sometime next year. The two set free had to spend ten Months waiting and that is Panama; one is guilty till proven Innocent. The day went so fast, started feeling feverish and cold had to take some panadol and drink some herbal tea. As a foreigner we are expected to buy our medications, so I don`t really bother seeing the doctor as he won`t do nothing. So long it`s not a serious case, I can always depend on self medication to get better.
So annoying seeing the sort of people who queue up everyday to play shot the ball game (Zuma) on the computers, advanced men of more than 40 years old. They sit clued to the computers like kids and I wonder what they gain and what benefit there is as it`s not interactive and they don`t seem to learn anything. From my few Months here at the Rehabilitation centre, I believe the Purpose of the Centre has been defeated as nobody seem to be making use of the facilities; The Library and its Books, vocational programs and the Music studio, well that is barely used. I hope with the new Director he will step up and get this kids rehabilitated as most of them don`t have any single clue what life is or what they will make of it. In my Cell, the inmate who spent 4 years in American Prison loves watching kid`s TV (kids cartoon) and I mean real kids TV. All morning he will tune to stations showing these cartoons and will sit up laughing and enjoying it. Was forced to ask him if he used to watch that before he went to the states, he said no. So I believe without doubt that The Yanks fed him with Anti depressive drugs and since he came here and not getting the drugs. He acts abnormally. For him to sit down, watch and enjoy that, means he`s got a mind of toddlers. We do watch The Simpsons and things like Family guy, but not the morning slots of Kid`s program meant to get kids to learn words, colour and objects. I hope he will find a way out. The day ended with our nice meal and did some reading. Didn`t feel too good as my temperature was a bit on the high side.
Tuesday, 19 January 2010. Wake to use the loo and couldn´t sleep again, decided to do some reading, finally the characters in the book are taking the places in making history for Ireland. Jeremy Hubble gets to know who Rory Landers really was; he was the nephew of martyr mentor Conor Larkin. Too bad as I have not been talking about what I read and how their lives kinda affects mine. But this book is so wonderful such that at a point I have to dry tears from my eyes. Finally finished the book I was reading, nice book, some part nearly brought me to tears, it was beautifully written and a very lovely piece. It is for anyone who is interested in the Irish independence and how they fought with words and emotions. Pick up the BF and back to my book until I felt drowsy and had to sleep for a while. We had expected a search party this morning, so I stayed at alert during my reading but nothing happened.
Visit from my consulate and a volunteer from the organisation helping with repatriation when the times come, letters for some of my fellow countrymen and a new pack of toiletries for the new guy. We had discussion of a project to keep us busy, well I have more than enough to keep me busy here with the young Panamanian running around begging and hovering around like flies also looking for any loophole so they can nick something. Whatever project they will agree on, I will be with them to carry them out. Finally got hold of the copy of my request for a new fan and put in the 3rd application for a radio and Guitar. I hope this time around, the new director will honour it as I want to get it as soon as possible before I use up the money meant for those two things. One having the things one really need makes life in the centre worth living.
The young lady from the Consulate was opportuned to have a tour of the centre and the facilities that we could use for our project. Hope we will find out soon what we are to do. It`s like the new Director will be making load of changes as I heard he has cut off the Conjugal visit time from 6Hrs to 4Hrs, well that is of no importance to me as I don`t have anyone for such. Having that, one need to have STD test done and produce a Marriage Certificate which states that both parties are legally married. Think I can wait till I get home to my Schat, then we can have our steaming session. Call from my buddy whom I met at the transitory jail, he and couple of guys from Nepal were locked up without daylight for more than 7 Months. He is now out and was issued with a 1 month resident permit. He hope to visit me someday and then we can talk about life. We had a nice dinner, if the prison authority knows how most of us live and dine, I think they will stop bringing us the thing they call food. There are some who will kill for the food, like those that came from other prisons to our centre. Have heard some say, this place is heaven when compare to where they came from.
Made to believe that the Government is working hard to stamp out Drug and its uses in Panama, but they will be in awe when they find out the numbers of regular users in the penitentiary system in the country. My good friend who calls me Big Black is walking Coke machine, I guess his system runs on that potent mix. Went around his block and happened to meet him, the state I found him was so terrible, he couldn`t grasp what I was telling him. The look on his face was of one who has seen a ghost, he was staring at me and in eyes I can tell he was hungry for his dope. Well, early to bed, after a nice meal and woke up around 1.20am and continue with my novel, finally finished it around 3am. Had missed calls from my Schat and from friends while I slept. Stayed up and pick up our BF and later rang my Schat, she as at work and she sounded lovely as she was whispering as we talked, since she couldn`t talk much while at work. I miss her loads. Back to the final phase of my sleep, I kinda compare our prison to most prison in other part of the world. Here we don`t live within any routine, sleep when you want and wake when you want, cook and eat what you like. Well, it`s most likely one of the few prison one can have such liberty. I read of the Japanese Prison system, too much rules to live with. Thank God I`m here and not there. But I still prefer my freedom!!!! Monday, 18 January 2010. Woke up to a bright sunny day after the toll of the weekend, worst was Sunday night, there was no ice in the centre, had to do with drinking the water from the tap which is as warm as Panama itself.
Gotta hurry up to the library before the gamers to get hold of one the computers, made it on time and got the best one. How I hope one the schools will write me, then I can apply for a laptop. The weekend was fast pace, came too soon and that was how it went, not much happened and no escape. There were loads of visit by families to their loved ones, they brought fresh food for them and words of comfort to keep them through till next weekend. There were football matches between the different teams in the centre over the weekend. The price of cigarettes had dropped back to 50ct a stick, good news for smokers and bad news for us inhaling the second hand smokes. The right set of wardens that runs things rightly are back and they are running things smoothly by bringing the smokes and whatever they have to bring in. How I wish the price has remained, but I can live with my mate that smoke, he is a nice fellow and one that will always look after my back. Last night, he ran out of his and went through the ash tray for what I think was butt, maybe to get some last smoke, but there was none. What a life!!! Really want to get my Guitar as soon as I can, I`m going to make the contacts and see what I can do, most people in the centre wants to sell me theirs, but the prices are highly inflated, so I will try outside and compare the prices. Conversation with my Schat has been very beautiful and supportive over the weekend and she commented very well on my Blog. The kids are doing fine and the boy is always pulling little tricks off his hats. I can feel how much they miss me and hope I will be home soon.
Had a proposal from one of the inmate, who wants me to go in business with him buying and selling cigarettes. Well, I`m not too keen on doing that, as I know somewhere along the line being a foreigner, something might come up wrong. So I will keep on playing around that I`m still waiting for my money through western union from Europe. Hope he gets weary of waiting on me to join partnership with him and continue his business solo. Don`t know what today will be like, but I hope as it started bright with live, it will be bright about all things. Almost done with my Redemption Novel, I hope it won`t take me that long to finish another book. Last night we talked about prison life and compared our centre to most European prisons, well apart from being far away from home and loved ones. We surmised that it`s much better here in Panama, as we have access to almost everything money can buy. Despite these, we all want to go back home, even to the prisons there. At least we will be close to our families and friends. Had a call from my Zimbabwe friend, whom I met at the transitory jail, he has been granted a temporary stay for his asylum request. He was issued with a 1 month renewable document; I always wonder how on earth someone will come to Panama and ask for asylum. I guess the reason or reasons are best known to them. But he was in captivity for more than 7 Months with out seeing sunlight. I`m happy that he stayed through and now he is on the streets, Hope he finds what he came looking for in Panama. On the news, we have seen Somalians being arrested, well for crime I don`t really know, one version was that they are here to get drugs and some said they are members of terrorist groups. Whatever brought them to Panama, I`m left in absolute wonder on how they made it to Panama. Well, I guess with the position of Panama in the horn of Africa, and located along one of the major ship route, most get stowed and made it to panama and other countries. But that is just like a game of numbers as anything can happen on the open sea. On Sunday evening, rang my former mates at La Joya Prison, was nice to know they are all doing well, but still waiting for the Government to approve the two third programs for foreigners also. Gringo is doing well and loathe the American Embassy in Panama as they ain`t doing nothing for their citizens, all they get during rare visit are books and vitamins. The French guy hope his Embassy will get him transferred to our centre, hope it comes soon for him. Gotta stop here as the day has just begun, will wait and see what lay in stock for me and my fellow inmates. Well, nothing much happened in the centre. Saw the director with some wardens and a man whom we believe will be his successor walked around the centre and checking through the cells. After the in famous prison break, we learnt that the director will be transferred to the feminino and the one from the Feminino will be brought here. The football matches continue until lock down time at the blast of the whistle. The outside ended and it was another live inside our cells. Some hit their beds early, others stayed all night, smoking, watching films and talking or whatever they deem fit to talk about. Others stayed all night on the phone with lovers and talk what lovers talk about.
Friday, 15 January 2010, had loads of liquid last night, not alcohol just cool aid which I made. So I had to make use of the toilet at least 4 times before day break. Had the laptop last night and did loads of browsing and emailing and updated my blog, getting to love blogging. I also downloaded some PDF files for my studies and software to help conversion of different video formats so we can watch files on DVD player. Getting signal was a like a game of numbers, had to move the laptop from different position until I had a good one on top of my mate`s bed, which was the 3rd bunk, had to use there despite the poor signal. Worked till pass 2am before he took over, tried to get some sleep, but couldn`t, so made a call to my Schat as I knew she will be awake and probably on her way to work. She rang back and we talked briefly before I struggle with my sleep and finally could close my eyes. Was awoken by the shout of Desayuno, our Breakfast call, picked up whatever they had for us today and back to sleep.
Today was my sort of D day, as was awaiting the scan result from my Schat, my daughter wants a baby sister as she has had loads from her little brother, the pulling and destroying of her things. But she just can`t do without him, they are the best playmates together and she is always on him to do whatever she wants to do. On the other hand my son doesn`t care what Mummy will have, to him babies are babies and are cute little things. She sent a text, didn`t get it as we didn`t have Charger to get the juice charged, finally rang her and she gave me the news, just like most of her friends had predicted, she will have a girl and that was it. A baby girl is coming our way soon; guess will still be in Panama when she put to bed. Pray that she remains strong through it all and she has a hitch free delivery. The Lord is her strength. Nothing special today, spends the rest of the evening talking with my mates. The one who is nagging about the high cost of cigarettes, we talked and compare the trade in the centre with the stock market, we just get some few packs and trade them lower than what other are selling, then forcing the price to drop. No, that won`t work as there are some dudes that had been selling his for $1 even before the price change occurred. Earlier in the day, the water stopped running and one of our mates used the loo without checking out even after that, as I told him he should have gotten water from outside and flush the his shit. He left it there and the whole was all over with the smell of his shit. We talked about him and whatever the Americans did to him as he was repatriated from the States back to Panama. He was crew member of a ship that was caught with 2 Tons of the White substance. He did 4 or so years in the States and during his stay in America, I we thought his mind was mashed up, probably with anti-depressants and now the effects of those drugs are talking hold of him. I think he hears voices and he does walk like robot and acts strangely. Since I noticed his doings, I don`t sleep full sleep, that`s how people sleep in prison, one never fall into full deep sleep. Half of you sleep and the other half remain conscious to the surrounding as anything can happen. We pray not!!!
My Schat called again as she was awake and lately she always wake up in the night and find it hard to get to sleep again, talked her to get back to bed, then realised it`s Saturday and she won`t be working, her only fear were the kids that will come in to disturb her. Though she gave her warning that nobody comes in, my daughter will be okay with that, but not my Mother`s boy son who thinks mommy is his alone. If I only I could give her that much love as my lil boy, what a home it will be. Guess I`ll learn from him and how to love again. Finally hit the bed, couldn`t continue with my Redemption novel, hope to finish it this weekend, got loads to start with soon. Had a horror film running and it was sort of funny as the bad guy has a thing with farting and giggling, couldn`t finish it as sleep took me off…….
Saturday, 16 January 2010. Up to wee and heard the door opened outside, knew the Breakfast guy will soon be coming, no need to sleep. Waited and picked up our breakfast with the only changes being both the Liquid and what comes with the bread. Each day comes with either custard like thing called cream, some comes in pink, yellow, and milk or any colour they could think of. Also sausages or a slice of cheese, sometimes boiled eggs or slice salami or ham comes along. In place of the Custard like thing, we get black coffee or black tea, all the liquid are loaded with sugar to help with the taste. To the library as usual and the gamers are hating me now