Archive for February, 2010

RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE.

Posted in 1 on February 23, 2010 by doingtimeabroad

WEEK 6

Monday 8th through Sunday the 14th February 2010.

The only thing one holds dear in a place like this is HOPE: …. “And Hope they say is precious, however remote it could be and desperate hope they say can make optimist of any of one of us”… from the Book “Lineage and other stories”

Hope, I believe is what will keep us through here, hope and our faith in what each of believe in, will  one day take us back home to our loved ones. We hope that we don`t stumble into other`s path and become hunted as it has become the norm here.

The weekend came and gone rapidly, finally got the password to the laptop and had to use it all day on Sunday from morning through 6pm lockdown time. He has arranged someone to pick it up from me, guess the rental business is paying him good, as we pay $10 to use it. It is even better than paying $3 for an hour; I make proper use of it whenever I get it. Was able to update my blog and get current news of what is happening around the world, since the Panamanian news are filled with homicide, news about carnival and advertisement of anything under the sun; selling laser brush that will turn every bald man`s hair into afro, ya right!!!

MONDAY started as everyday, since my incarceration, came to find out as one wake up every morning, things may look same, as it will be same routine, same people, same sort of languages and same Sh..t happening in the centre. But everyday day is born pregnant with its own secrets unknown to man. One can make plans for the day as I always do, but end up not fulfilling any of those plans, sometimes you watch as those plans vaporised into thin air and that we can liken to our lives here, many live will be wasting away as many are not doing anything to put a check in their lives.

Up and picked our BF, this midget of a guy serving BF hasn`t been doing us well, in this place people will do anything for nothing. The bread were not complete, didn`t have enough strength to complain, as I plan to meet him outside and talk to him.  He is short Colombian who was caught on the sea with his Boat full of the white stuffs and he`s been locked up for seven good years without trial. But he made good use of his time by turning his body to one big mass of muscle, it`s like no fat has ever come near him, he has the keys to the box in the gym and the six pack we are crying for, he`s got it and got extra. But he is also a mean business man, as he sells Snicker Chocolate, Cigarettes, Eggs and anything you want. But he does not sell white. He stutters when he talks, so he is always laughing and once sold things on credit to me, but didn`t give me my change of 50cts, didn`t take it serious, and that is why I hate buying things on credit, love paying cash and off with you.

Dressed up and up for my daily walking and jogging, my body has been aching as I have been doing loads of weights and the muscles are coming up, people noticed it and many are asking if I was training back home, well, I did trained but off and on, wasn`t a gym addict, but now I guess I will be. My right knee has been aching badly, had it bandaged and walked instead of running, I hope there`s something good walking under the heat of the sun. I walked till almost 1pm, sneaking into the gym to do some chest and biceps ops. I felt good after the training and it was all good, seeing my body back in shape.

Didn`t make time to the library as I was into a new book, all the stories had moral endings and it was good as most were about prisoners trying to escape and other things that happened in Prisons, could make an analogy to our centre from the book. Learn some few tips on how to live among cons and stay free from harm. You can either pay you rent to the hard guys or those that got big guns, guess like the real world the strongest nations are those that got the biggest guns. So also here, got enough guts, bigger Knife, and the know how of using it, then homage will always be paid to you. That, we are going to experience soon.

Monday was nice and as every other Mondays it went fast, at lockdown, we had our normal chitchat and it was fun as our Mossad agent guy has his buddies on TV, the President has hired Mossasd trained private securities as his personal bodyguard, one will think that it`s the Nation security agency that should provide the president with security, but here, I guess he knows what he is and what he is into, so he went for the best and bet ya, he`s paying those Mossad boys above the roof.

Watched couple of movies as that is the best we can give ourselves since the Panama TV don`t offer anything real, all we see are old movies and repeat, and since we don`t have cable, so we are left with our ripped movies. Jail is the only place one can do that and the movie industries can`t do no sh..t about it, we read of people being sued for downloading and sharing files online, well if they know the sheer amount of Music and movies files that flows around prison, guess they will start focusing on suing.

Lately been so tired, guess from the training and walking under the heat of the sun, went early to bed and that was Monday….

Tuesday, 9th February 2010:

Up as usual, got our BF and didn`t get back to bed, but stayed up and did some reading and writing some lines of words, want to start writing songs…. guess I can do it as I`ve some time, matter-of- factly, there`s no time, even in prison, time flies, use to think that one has got all the time, but lately got to know how fast it goes, so one has to plan and make use of it. One of my Pan buddies been incarcerated for 6 years and still have 8 more to do and he tells me, it`s like yesterday. And in those 6 years, he hasn`t done anything about his life, he went to jail when he was 15 for killing another youth in a gang battle. That`s how young this guys starts with the gang thing, the numbers of homicide in Panama, I guess is more than that of Europe combine together and mostly by minors. That is alarming!!!

PRISON BREAK PART II

Well, back to Tuesday, while we were sleeping some dudes were busy planning and nursing something special. Those things has never crossed my mind as I always think where will I go to and what about my family, well if wasn`t a husband and father, I would have given it a second thought.

We had our SECOND PRISON BREAK (PART II), barely 6 weeks from the first one and what brought the new Director here. But this time around it wasn`t just one fellow, 6 inmates broke away to freedom and life on the run. I wonder how they will live, 6 were from Pabellion and were Minors turn adults… though we still call them Minors as they all look like Minors, some will tell the have kids, and you will be looking into someone`s eyes who can`t even take care of himself and then kids. Like one of my lil Buddies up there: Luis, he is a nice fellow as he gives me Cookies when he served food. He will sneak a pack to my cell, and what he wants in return, a stick of Blanco; that `s what they call Cigarettes here. He`s a young dad of 2 kids and he will be going home as he parents paid the DA (Fiscal) 2 Grand to close his case and get him home, did asked him where his Fiscal is, maybe I will pay and go home. His case is in a different province and he is in for Robbery so es no possible! He promised to sell his phone after cheating me on the meat he sold me for $4 and my mate told me it`s worth $2. So he promised selling his phone for a Tenner when he leaves. Hope he remembers that.

Now the Escapees, 5 buddies from pabellion cut through the mesh wire/iron of the cell roof and waited as soon as the BF guys were opened up to serve BF, that was when they made their move, one Colombian from our area the Galeria, two of my country guys share same cell with him. The story is, he squeezed himself through the bottom of the door and made his way out, from the time he was brought here, he has been a loner, always kept to himself, few times I came across him, it`s just hello and that was it. The 5 Minors and I guess our Colombian buddy made their way through the old gate up by the visit area under the canopy of darkness and hidden among the trees in the garden area. They disappeared and gone with the wind, like film Face off, when Travolta told Cage face off…. this was it, they went off just like that… their faces were off and they are gone from our big market place.

Life in the centre is like an open market scene with many faces and traders, with wares to sell and others wanting to buy, each one of us has stories to tell which is what we trade and the buyers are those that will sit and listen to your stories. Different characters exhibited by these different soul on journey which many don`t know where it will end. One of my American buddy once told me since he came here, he has witness 3 Knives fight and all ended in someone dying. I guess that`s where those ones ended their life long journey.

Went out for my usual training, as soon as news of the escape broke out, we know what will come next, lockdown and there it goes, the wardens herded everyone back in, called off my training, had my shower and back to the cell. Early that morning, one of our informer from up, a good guy whom we have build a good rapport with, has come in to inform us about the escape and gave us the names, of what use will it be to us. I guess as buddies, he brought the info so we should be prepared for what will come next. Which eventually came, the Minors that escaped; Bambam wrote about him earlier, he is a small guy that can walk through anything without you seeing him, he was a henchman for one of my country dude, he once used him to extract debts my English Mate owed him. That was wrong as we are all foreigners and we are in the same boat; he has been paying his rent and treating these boys as their father. So he can easily ask them to do anything and they will do it. He even has one that work for him as his boy, but that one is a cool headed boy whom I have had the chance to talk to, he had a good upbringing and lost it due to peer pressure. The old guy went to my mate and told him he owes BamBam money and the exact amount my mate owed him. Bambam met up with my mate and as I said, the Panam youths when they are about to strike don`t walk alone; with his crew went up to my mate and told him that My Country mate owes him and had ask him to get the money from my mate. My mate was pissed as he went to this old bloke, tell it to his face, that his dealing was with him, so he should come to him and not send his henchmen to do his dirty laundry. Doing that my country mate has sold his soul to the devil, I once got money from him, and he was after me like vultures after carcasses. Had to pay him off as he was ready to ask for that money in presence of everybody in the centre, no sense of secrecy.

What will he do now that his henchmen are gone, probably recruit new one for his majesty service.

Gone with Bambam was one that always nicked things from my former cell and even had the guts to come to me in my new cell and asked where my bed was. And then went around looking at loopholes around the cell if he could steal from. When I told Jer, my other English mate who has paid his dues by time he has spent here. He called him in and talked into his pity soul and told him, Nigun Persona (Nobody) steals from his cell, all the minors knows that, the little brat was pissed and said we called him thief, my mate said, yes you steal and your crew, he said he was going up to the minors and will tell that we called them thieves, but my mates once lived up there and all the minors respect him for who he is. From that day, my itchy fingers friend never came close to our cell, once he asked me for a dollar for blanco, gave him and told him it`s more better when you asked than stealing. It was on the day of his escape that one of my country bloke told me how he asked him to see his phone, then dropped it in his pocket and said the phone is now his. After much was said and button pressed, he had to pay $10 to get his phone. Well, I have been here for 4 Months plus, I guess I have paid my dues and earning my place and respect here and among them. One of our German friend once made a terrible mistake, he was asked for money by one of the youths, he had the guts to tell the lad that The German Embassy don`t give them Germans money, but mine and others give us money. I was really pissed with him, told him he is the most stupid German I have ever met. But the lad knows me and I told him, to leave him alone, that he`s crazy.  So one has to watch his back constantly as anything can happen here.  Most of this boys won`t stand a chance in hand to hand combat with any of us, but because of how they fight, you fight one, you fight all and they never fight empty handed. Always with weapons, so one never want to get into fight with any of them.

My mate and I were happy that my Country bloke`s henchmen and his grew are gone for good, and they are truly gone. Later that Tuesday evening, their names were read out on the National News, but without photos, they were labelled as dangerous. From what information I gathered, they will be apprehended very soon, as they are bunch of fools who are probably going back to the gang warfare. They have a friend who’s got some money and weapons, and they are going for reprisal. If it was me, will get my ass out of this bloody country, I guess the Colombian will do that, find his way to Colombian and maybe back to the drug trade as that is the best export from Colombia to the world. He should be back home in Colombian as I`m writing this.

That morning when I learned of the escape, Carlos, one of the minor who now lives in the Galeria showed up at my door while we were talking about what has happened. He asked me for Regalo (Gift), which is always Money, told my friends, why didn`t he escape, would have love to see him go, and he asked what I said, they told him, he said he won`t leave without me, that he want us to leave together. He looks like a nice fellow but always coked up. And that what they all do here, once you get here, you either picks up the habit if you never had it or let it go if you had it before or you kept on with it if you had it also. Well, I won`t smoke and I won`t snort or dope up. The Moonshine taste good, but the colour is scary, that I have drank, The prisoner`s brew.

Lockdown and in the cell, what happened outside nobody knew, but we knew it was busy out as we heard noises, little did we know all the trees in the Garden area were been cut down and the whole area turned into a desert, the little chilli Pepper tree survive the onslaught while others; the Mango, Avocado and my beloved Noni tree went. The roots still stand, so we hope in a year, they will all grow back. Even the trees outside the centre were all cut down, there were fruit trees and many here always wait for the season of each fruit as they get free fruit from them. The whole place looks like wilderness in the jungle.

Many inmates had visit today, and being lockdown nobody knows what will become of the visit, there were loads of Catcalls and banging on the bars, the Director whom I guess will be on panic and having his job on the line; as he came to replace his predecessor after the first escape, now barely 6 weeks on, he is facing same problem. We saw him with the Police all dressed up with gas mask, we know what was coming, we all got our towels and ready for what will happen next. Then there was a call outside that Pabellion was on fire, they all ran out, with that we know we won`t be gassed.

The Minors all ran out most on underwear only and screaming and making catcalls, the air was filled with excitement as more banging from the Galeria and noise from the minors screaming burn down Renacer. Thank God we were still under lockdown as many would have broken into our cells. The fire service came and the fire was put under controlled; from what we heard, after the escape many actions had to be to taken and immediately in order to prevent more, the real welder in the centre was freed some weeks back, he was perfect as he can fashion anything from nothing with metals. Now the new one, guess was his apprentice doesn`t know the do`s and don’ts of welding, mistakenly had a Mattress on fire and then the whole cell. The whole minors were let out and finally when they were sent up, we were also let out for our evening shower.

That Night, all cell in pabellion were left open as some cell were without electricity, many lost their phones and other valueables, even Hugo my body lost his phone. That`s to tell you that thieves are no respecter for their own buddies, they steal from each other. One will think there is honour even among thieves…. No way!!!

After shower many didn`t want to go back into their cell, many wanted to protest the lockdown that was coming, but then we know how crowd control is done here, canister of CS gas will be fired into the crowd and everyone will head back to their cells, so we made the right decisions as nobody want to be gassed. The problem here, is many are used to being let out as this is not a maximum security prison like others in the country, we have free time to walk around and do what we want between 7am when the cell are open till lockdown in the evening. So whenever there`s incident and we get locked up, people get tensed up and soon there are even conflicts among inmates as they get bored looking at each other faces. You never know when you say the wrong word that can upset your mate. Being punished for others crime is outrageous, but then what can one do.

We were able to get our stuffs from the fridge and made our diner, spent the rest of the evening watching films and talking as usual, the Ligament on my right knee hurt badly and was swollen, had our Mossad agent friend massage it with hot ointment. Exchange few text with my Schat, we had disputes over certain things, wasn`t impress how she run the home, felt she is giving the kids free run in the house, realized she is just a woman and they can be soft with kids. Also in her situation she is a super woman, juggling so much at same time. Praised her for her strength and always pray that she stays strong till I`m out to take my place. Device a trick of maintaining my presence at home despite not being there, always tell my kids they won`t get what they want if they are naughty and they behaved, but my lil boy seems to know that this old man ain`t here and can`t do much. Sometimes he ignores me and hung up on me especially when he has important thing doing; playing of course!!!

Tuesday ended as we slept and but not sleeping, like I said, we never sleep deep, one has to be conscious of the environs as the cops or wardens may sneak in for an impromptu search. Or the worst, things could happen in the cell. Always be prepared!!!

THE REAL RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE

Wednesday, 10th February 2010:

Still under curfew and lockdown, breakfast time has changed; it used to be served as early as 5.00am, but since the famous 5 from Pabellion and the 6th man from Galeria escaped on Tuesday. The directive has made many changes not just to the centre but to time and how we are handled. Trees had been chopped off so the guards can have a good view of the centre. Before, the wardens will come before 5am and opened up the cells for workers and leave the cell open while they go about their daily routine. Their mates will be the first outside; some will head to the gym while others will go out for smoke or the early morning fresh jungle air. But from now on, the cops accompany the wardens, only the workers are allowed out while the cell are lock and those out are counted and the police checked around for any unusual, I guess same is done up at the Pabellion. One will wonder how long it will be. Things become messy within the Prison system as there was escape in La joya also, one of the Maximum Prison; my second stop before coming to Renacer. Even the minister of Justice was weary of the whole affair. Drastic actions are been called  for to get things right.

We were let out after the investigators left and things seems to look normal, went for my daily walk and jogging. Made appointment for a hair cut, had to wait as many people were on line. No problem will use my time well and cover up for the days I missed training. When I finally got in for my hair cut, one of the guys that shared cell with my prospective business partner was on the stool having his hair cut. While I waited, couple of lads from upstairs came up to him, said certain things, from the looks in his eyes, he didn`t look happy. Knew something was wrong but what was it. Heard the name Santos (My Prospective Biz Partner), and the lad stood up went into his cell, while he was way asked my barber (who happened to my Country mate, the one I had brawl with, whom we are now buddies) what is happening, he said nothing. The lad came back, finished with his hair and left. Took my turn, while I was there I saw the white lad who came from up to the santos`s mate climbed up and Chapo (Santo`s mate) came in, looking unsettled.

When I was done with my hair, had my shower and came out to use the library, found out it was closed for the day. Activities looked normal in the centre as there were football match and other things were going on simultaneously in the same time. Things appeared to be normal, but it wasn`t as things were to be unleashed soon afterwards.

I saw Santo standing out just at the entrance of Galeria and he had his jacket on, the temperature outside should be high above 40 degree Celsius. Asked him as a friend if he was ill and he said yes, told him if he has seen the doctor he said no, told him, that I have some pills which he can pick up later and use till he sees the Doc. But he said he will take care of himself. Manni my English mate had met him about 10mins before I did and asked him same. Got same response, they talked a bit as Manni is his client and an expensive client. According to what he told me he once bought cigarette off him and promised to pay later, but Santos needed a date as that is the principle here, you give a date and when that date comes, make sure you don`t fail as the unexpected could happen. My mate told him in a week, he got 5 sticks for fiver, a dollar a piece but has to pay $7.50 in place of the fiver; my mate was okay with the deal. But when the due day came he was on our door on him for his money, my mate couldn`t meet up as he was disappointed again, he told him to wait for couple of days, Santos told him he will pay $10. My mate reluctantly agreed as he had no choice. He eventually paid him, from what we heard about Santo and what he told me about himself, he wouldn`t let a dollar of his go without reasons satisfactory to him. He escaped jail in the eighties and went to the States, thought he could have started a clean life there, after many years in jail in the States, he was repatriated back to panama and back home, they found out that he has been on the run for more than 20 years back in to finish his time for crime committed in the eighties. But how we became friends, when he was transferred here, he found that I speak English, he came close and ask if I was Jamaican, told him no, I`m an European of African Origin. He said his grand dad came from Jamaica; I guess those that came to help build the Panama Canal and eventually settled here.

While in the states, he mixed up with loads of Jamaicans and learned to speak bit of Patio, which he always speaks with me, try to keep him at arms length. He never like the church guys, as he said they all pretend and once they are gone back to the street; they will get back to their old lifestyle. Once told him, he should leave them for God to judge. I have my own reservations about most of the guys who handle and run the church, heard how they fight for power and other things like in churches out there. So what happens on the outside can still happen here in prison, we are all humans, ain`t we?

This day was Santos day with fate, if he had listen to me or my mate, I think things would have been averted, but honour and prestige and most especially gang loyalty plays a lot in places like this.

I sat behind him after my 5mins talk with him, not knowing that in his jacket was a massive Rambo kind of Knife, within splits of seconds, knives were drawn even from Chapo his mate who was playing football, and 5 other youths from Pabellion, I was frozen on my position, and my blood ran cold, seeing how big the knives were, some with zigzag edge on he back.  Santos ran into the field, then another lad (Frisse) from upstairs whom I don`t really get along with as he always looks coldly and barely talks, but hung out with some of my friends from the Pabellion. He jumped up with a long blazing Machete and ran towards Santos, along with other youths from upstairs. While the white Chiriqui lad who was in the Galeria earlier that day ran towards Santos; later found out that, he barely knew Santos, and if not for him, Santos would have been history by now. He sort of prevented Frisse from causing much havoc on Santos, some of the lads made their way to Chapo.

Santos plunged his knife into Frisse left hand, but couldn`t pull it out, and the lad push himself  forward and with a single swing of his long machete, came the gapping slash on Santos face, from his mouth through his ears, dividing his ears in two, one could see the white of his inner skin. From the nature of the cut, one will believe his aim was his neck or his head and that he meant to kill him. Never seen anybody in my life with so much knife scar like Santos, he has loads on his Belly and legs and one on the left side of his face, some few bullets scars on his legs and body. Now the new one, we nick-named him Son of Frankenstein!!!

As if the wardens were waiting for this to happen, they came in after the rumble, then Frisse has ran up with Santos`s knife sticking on his right hand and with his Machete, his mates and gang members sorted him out and give him the gang first aid, while this went on, all knives vanished from the scene. Like I said, they always passed it on to others hanging around, and within split of seconds all disappeared.

When the wardens came, Santos was on the field holding his right side of his face and wriggling in pain. The white Chiriqui boy dropped his knife with hands raised up, Chapo knelt down with hands up. They were all hauled away to the security area and reception, was happy that the Director saw all these, as these will be an eye opener to where he is in and what lies here waiting for him.

The wardens all ran up to the pabellion in search of the knives, but they came back with nothing, Frisse was hauled down and taken in, but kept away from Santos and his group. We knew what was coming, one doesn`t need to be told, most of us went back to our cell as others stayed and watch. Sooner or later, the whistle was heard and we all knew what that meant. Everybody were herded back to their cells, there we talked about what happened and those of us that saw everything first hand. I can easily enact the whole scene and what happened that day, as we use to see on Crime scene reconstruction. Guess we will need the C.S.I team here, not the New York team, but the Miami team as they`ve got more beauties. We all love them here as we watch them everyday. The New York ones are bored…..

We were let out later in the evening for our cold shower, remember one foreigner at the transitory jail, who jump into the shower but had his hand under the running cold water. After a while most of the guys waiting couldn`t wait for his one hand wash game, he was told to get on with his shower. He replied that he is waiting for the water to get warm. They couldn`t help laughing, I guess my mate thought he was in some kind of hotel.

Our shower is always cold, but lately, we`ve notice that the water is becoming warm, that is how hot these place can be, when sitting on the patio sometimes, you will feel the heat on your head as if it`s roasting your brain. Hope not.

That night, learnt from my mate that same time last year, a guy was stabbed five times at the Patio while watching other cons played Dominoes; he never made it, he died at the gate. Well, we figured it out that the sun could also be a contributing factor to the tensed atmosphere here in the centre. Well, with things going this way, one has to be careful how ones talk and acts up with anybody here.

There were loads of Police presence that night, but nothing happened and we had our Diner and watch some films. When I spoke with my Schat, I was reluctant about telling her what is happening in the centre, as I know she wouldn`t feel too good. Had to let her know as I didn`t tell her of my brawl with my country mate until some days ago. She was surprised. Told her about this and made her understand that I`m sound and safe. I tried to mingle too much with the Panamanian youths and also I`m keeping arm`s length from them. She was worried but what can she do!!!

Hit my bed with prayers that the day has finally come to an end and I`m intact and in one piece. Couldn`t sleep as the thought of the day`s incident flooded my mind. Many were not happy as they vented their heart about the fight. I hope I don`t see any of these until the day I`m gone for good.

Late that night, the door to Galeria was open and Santo was lead to his cell with a heavy plaster on his face.

Thursday, 11th February 2010.

Breakfast came late as time has changed, after lots of Catcalls and banging on the bars, were let out to have our shower, then we realised that Santos and his mate has been taken out. Rumours were out that he is been taken to the Colon Prison, but from what I gathered, he was brought from the Colon Prison to Renacer because he had some problems there. We later find out that he was taken out from the Population to somewhere up by the Clinic and kept there till lockdown.

Things went as they were normal, but not, as the atmosphere was still tensed from what happened the previous day. We were all on guard, barely could trust anyone as you don`t know what is in the other`s mind. Everybody seemed to be on the edge, and nobody wants to push nobody over that edge. So we all kept our cool and pretended as if nothing happened.

Got calls from my former mate from La joya where I stopped briefly before coming here, they had learnt of what happened here. Johnny; Gringo Loco was worried about my safety, asked if I would like to come back there as it is safer there, of a truth, one feel more safe there as the inmates in pabellion 6 are all Foreigners and most look like family men. So they all seem to be more responsible and whenever there are dispute between inmates, others intervene to save the day. Unlike here, nobody interfere as that is also one of the rules in Prison: Don`t interfere in other con`s business. Mind your business.

WHY THE RUMBLE!!!

We later learned that, $5 was the cause of the bloody fight, Frisse or his mate bought Cigarette from Santos and probably refused to pay, words were exchanged, and some couldn`t stand the words. Then they took it to another level and we all saw and witnessed the outcome of that level.

Nothing special happened to all parties as they were led to their various cells, the white Chiriqui lad was taken into Anexo; the supposed secured hold-up in Renacer. Heard once, a guy was brought into the Anexo, but not 5mins into his transfer, he was jumped on by five others inmates and they finished him. Heard he was sent to kill someone there, he had his knife, but it was useless against five knives. When the wardens came, they couldn`t get anybody to testify or pinned his death on anyone. Another one bites the dust.

One of the guys in the Anexo who took part in that killing was brought in from La joyita after throwing a grenade into another cell, killing 2 inmates in that cell, well my first thought was how did grenade get into the prison, as we all know, this is Panama where anything goes, from corrupt politicians to corrupt prison wardens. Heard that some of the wardens have alliance with some of the gangs in the prison system, that could be scary as one doesn`t know where one trades on.

The day went so fast, and we were hauled back to our cell, sometimes I imagine how powerful the whistle can be, it stops traffic when used by the traffic police in country like France, players are controlled by it on the football field and here in the Prison, once you hear it, you know you are been herded to your cell, like herd of cows. What a life!!!

We`ve been getting loads of new films lately, not bad as that is the contribution from the movie industries to us, wherever the Chinese are, you will always get pirated stuffs and films also. One of the inmates visit always comes in with loads of film which our con friend flog for a dollar, also get to see some cool xxxx rated ones, my old mate Pepe loves that, wonder what he does on days he goes out, as he is 61 years old. He is a nice guy, lately his girl hasn`t been nice to him, and he had become love sick. Whenever he gets to talk with him through my phone, he blushes and kept talking all day about her.

The day`s gone without much, and weekend is fast approaching, hope they get to transfer these guys so things will get back to normal if it will ever be.

We learned that there won`t be visit this weekend, the guys were happy, more catcalls and banging…. the night was filled with more mean looking police, dressed with canisters of CS gas all over their body, ready to do anything when order was given. Thank God no order was given and they didn`t get to do anything.

FRIDAY. 12TH February 2010.

Negotiation started as many are not willing to give up their visit, representatives were sent to the director and they had talks on him lifting the ban on visit for the weekend. How I wish they could as well set up such group to start working with the youths and hold talks with them in letting go of their knives and whatever weapon they have up there in the pabellion.

They put in so much energy for the visit business that only last three and half hours, when they could do same for their safety here.

At the end of the day, we learnt there will be visit, guess they won and they were happy.

The place look tensed and nothing of importance happened as all that was meant to happen has happened on Wednesday. I guess many were thrilled from what happened as I saw many youths jumping with joy on the day of the Rumble.

We shared jokes about the fights and how scary this place is becoming, my Mexican friend who I met right from the transitory jail and whose family pressed some important buttons to get him here and who was robbed of his phone the first day we got here. Was so scared, he told me, he will do anything to get to the Green area, wished him luck.

All this while the library has been closed from public use and our lives has been concentrated on our cells and sometimes on the passage of the galleria, but I rather remain in my cell as hanging around and too much familiarization with the folks here can`t be trusted. The less the see you, the less the talk or think about you. So my bed has become my soul buddy now, sometimes will be on my bed and my buddy Hugo whenever is let will come to our gate and hola at my name; Big Black, just to get my phone and call whoever he calls to send him call credit which he eventually sell and never uses. Since I have two sim card, I now transfer most my call credit to the one I barely use, so when he ask me for my phone, he will get to see that I have little or not so much call credit left as I have noticed most time he used up to $10 at a time. especially when he sees I have credit up to $50 or more, despite his ways, his dope head he seem to be a nice fellow, but with Panamanians, they are like Volcanoes, you can never predict them, even volcanoes can be studied and a good forecast given of a potential eruption but not with these guys.

I guess I will be able to adjust myself to life here as many as done before me. Try to avoid the panam youths as much as I can, but they are inevitable as death is.

Saturday. 13th February 2010

Came with Normal openings for everyone after Santos and his mate was hauled away, there was normal visit for everyone, and the carnival was setting in the city and other part of the Country. All went good and we had a normal lock down.

Well life in the centre is a sort of twist, like I said different people exhibiting different characters, some live to eat, there is a kitchen here in the centre which is of no bounds to most of us especially the foreigners.  And there are some guys who spend the whole day busy with food, and seeing them, they don`t really look like they are fed properly. My mate and I had been wondering what they do in the kitchen, when you see them, they are always busy cooking something or washing something. While the other old kitchen is used by the Panam youths to cook food as sell, like I said, that is one business in the centre that they all indulge in. And they will do anything to get us the foreigners to buy their food; I have learned to always stay away from them when they walk towards me. Most of their lives revolve around Smoking, Dope and Food. Maybe they`ve got something else in their minds, which I don`t know.

Nothing much happened, except people gossiping and talking about the incident.

Our Mossad agent friend been acting eccentrically lately, like I said, we don`t have knives or anything that when he snap can be use as weapons, whenever he sees any top cop on television, he seems to know them and always said they were mate and buddies in the Police academy. That can be creepy as it seems to know every top shot, and he is still here in a country where you have choice of making calls and things happen. If it was where we come from where we ain`t gone such choice, once you are in, no button to press, you just do your time and no special preferences. Esta es la vida!!!

The day ended as others, carnival is coming so everything seems to go a bit slow and it will be worst here in the centre between Monday and Wednesday. Can`t wait for the bloody carnival to be over with. And life turns normal in the centre. One never knows what will happen here as all the warring parties are still in the centre.

I happened to cook this evening, made some rich vegetable pasta sauce, with some frankfurters; it was delicious and tried to get as much vegetables as possible as our food here is mainly white rice without sauce and some kind of foul tasting watery stuff with anything they find nice that could be added into it, like I said, no matter what you get, they all taste the same and after eating you feel like puking. The only good thing I get from the Prison food is the dried fried chicken, and that is if the Panamanians will allow it to get around. They always hauled them to their cells in cellophane bags and give the rest to their mate, when you get to them; they tell you Papa, No mucho pollo hoy (Papa, Not enough chicken today).

Sunday, 14th February 2010.

Things took a different turn, as only those with Visit were allowed out and others locked up, well things will be different now, think I`m getting used to the locked down and sudden change of things. Each new day comes pregnant with something different from the previous day. No matter what you plans had been for each day, they are bound to be changed, my timetable and daily planner are now useless as I can get to put them in use. The library which has been my little place of solace remained close since the incident. Has it`s the norm in prison, one has to get accommodate all sort of things that is thrown at you. Remember my short stay in La Joya, there almost everybody has television, so one is likely to find six televisions in a six man cell and radios, all can be watching different programmes at the same time. Imagine the noise in that cell, but here in Renacer, the former director has made it that each cell one television. One or two cells here has two televisions, despite that, whatever you choose to do, you have to live with the noise. I have learn to read with noise as a good background, sometimes not from my cell, but from other cell and the most annoying noise from a bloke name Yoyo, after doing his dope will start reciting lines of lyrical delusions, which I also believe the wardens do hear him sometimes if not all the time. He was the first person I heard when I came here, then I had thought someone was going loco, but with time I found out that, he does that after having his white dessert after his diner every evening, he will make a good stage actor as he has a good voice and also a loud one.

Nothing much to do, than lie in bed, read and read till I get tired of reading. But had a nice piece as I couldn`t stop reading. Went out and hung around the other inmates, one of the Panam boys whom some grams of Coke were found in his cell during search met up with met and told me he want to learn English and wants me to teach him,  well promised to help him. But I like to keep an arm`s length from him as I know most of them are walking trouble. They barely understand what friendship is all about, well I guess not just them, most friends I thought were friends even back home, since I have been here, many had neglected me. I guess not too many people know anything about the ethics of friendship. Well like they said, such is live, all man to himself. Guess being here is like going back to my basic and getting the basic principle of life and the education one can`t get from the four walls of any learning institution out there, but then one can become paranoid and eccentric about life and dealing with people in the normal world as I have seen how most of these guys are. I wonder how they will fit into the mainstream society. I can`t imagine myself being here for such a long time, as I may loose it.

My new friend, Fabio who happened to share the same name as my Italian friend  who was arrested same day with me and since them we have bonded, but when he got here before me, he forged bond with some Panam youths who used and abused him when money stopped coming. Now he lives in fear in his cell. All his Italian mates that took him in when he came here from La Joya had all left him and moved to other cell. Hope things get better for him.

Sunday, came and gone and life continues….. Nothing much to write about, I and my Schat been talking and texting which is all we can do most right now and which has been very relieving for me, all is well at home but a bit tensed up there also. Told her to hold her peace and continue with what she does that I will be home someday and soon…. hope soon.

Evening and night time came, thought about stars, the only time I saw stars was in my former cell and we all took note of it, it was nice to see the sky, moon and all the stars in their full glory. Since my new cell is a bit inside and worst of all we barely get signal for our phones. Most cells has very good signals, but since the Antenna cables run through the ceiling of our cell, and both mobile and television signals uses radio wave, it`s not so good with our mobile reception. So we always move around the cell in order to get good signal. If the mobile phone companies knows how much they are making from this centre, I believe they will come running and search somewhere in the forest where they will install some kind of telecom mast to boost our reception.

We had our diner and loads of prison talks and actually watch some men film, I guess such films are barred from prison, but they still find their way in. Our old bank robber loves watching it, so also every one of us, just as I predicted all the gals in the film were friends; they all hooked each other to get into the lucrative and fast money making Porn industries. At the time of filming the average age of those gals would have been 18 years old. And all of them from somewhere in California, they all went to same school and probably dropped out at same time. And ended up doing same biz, having sex while being recorded and the films which will later be sold for profit making, they were young gals ensnared into the sex trade just as most of as were in what caused our being here in the Renacer: The Good life!!!

Up to my bed and with my books and nice night, dare not tell my schat how naughty I have been, that night, I guess I begin to feel the one thing everyman locked or unlocked will always feel. But what can one do, guess nothing other than learn to suppress the feelings and live with it. Guess as I`m always busy reading most of the time, I barely thing of the thing, except when I come across such scene in my any of the books I`m reading. Guess I will tell her when I`m out, and then will get to do it and cover up for all the ones I had missed while in incarceration. Cover up for the lost years……. and that was it another day in the Jungle and the jungle of life.

THE JAIL RAIDERS AND ALARM SYSTEM!!!

Posted in 1 on February 7, 2010 by doingtimeabroad

Saturday, 6 February 2010. Same regimen and rituals as other days, today will be out with my friend to see his family. My visit day is actually on Saturdays, but rarely use it as I don´t have people visiting me. Think they should allow those who don´t use theirs to sell them as everything here is about making money. I guess i will be making loads of money. Now I know how things work here. If you want to go out, just give your visit number out to friend´s family members and they will add you on their list, then you can come out from the population and at least sit among normal people. Even then, the rats will be hanging on the wire fence looking and watching on what you get or will bring in, once you go out of that gate to meet someone, they all believe you are out to make money, bloody leeches.

Did loads of walking and jogging as I waited for my former mate to cut my hair, pretty cheap and you get a quality hair cut. I have told him about sterilising his clipper, hope he does that, but for the blade we get ours, so I´m a bit confident about that and my health. Will be bad to walk in here sound and leave sick. Did little weight, but will be more of cardio which is the walking and running.

Finally had my hair done, he didn´t do much, just trimming of my beard and alignment. looking good, remember when I first came, wasn´t serious about my looks, but then i realised that one of the Panamanian whose mind has been broken looks pretty much like me or I look like him as my body hairs were growing out of proportion. Looking that crazy won´t help. The panamanians here do take time to dress, but most on chinese articles.

Had my shower and out with my friend, met his mother and other member of his family, wondering what they were doing when he was taken away by gangs that he had to kill someone and end up here. His family look like a lovely one, Mum and Dad speaks English and look responsible. well that is life.

Got a new Sim card. When I got in, the search was tough as we had to take off everything, but made my way to one of the cops who always chat with me, he saw the sim, but turned a blind eye, that was a close one or a sign of something else that will happen later.

On my way up to get the laptop as I have spoken with my pal, I will be using it for the night, gotta pay 10 bucks to use it all night from lock down till dawn. On my way up, the boys were having cock fight, earlier today one of the guys has approached me to bet 10 bucks on his cock, that it´s strong and will win and loads of people are betting on it. This is the same guy who told me then in my former cell that he has 4 pounds of meat for sale, told him to bring it, when he brough it, it was 4 portions of his cooked meals which he does and sells. Damned, he held the food before us and insist I must buy the damn thing, told him ain´t buying, I heard he likes trouble, didn´t buy no shit, that happened after couple of days in the centre. Now with the cock fight betting, told him, sorry I ain’t got money and walked out, most of these guys find it hard to take NO as an answer, instead of walking off, they will stand there just starring…. could be scary as you can´t tell what is running through their mind. Lately I have began seizing them up and always watch them for signs of weapons. But from what I heard, the one that will do the job always comes clean and set the motion for the brawl, then his gang members will hand him the weapon once the fight start. That´s how it goes……

Well, the cock fight started and I decided to watch, so I will have a first hand information on what to write down. It´s digusting seing what they do to this animals. A kind of Metal is fashioned and attached to this cocks to serve as a weapon used against the other. Well the fight lasted for just 1Min 33Secs and my friend´s white cock was beaten and almost died. Loads of money exchanged hands as many people get paid from their bets.

While upstairs and waiting for the laptop, went up to my italian friend, it’s crazy how the guys here don´t how to play, the best way for them to say hello or tap you is, coming to you with sign of stabbing and they physically make that stab contact, some even do it with whatever they have with them. such play could be expensive as one can become paranoid and may be force to react.

At my Italian friend´s cell, Hugo my Dope up friend bust in, he was looking paranoid, knew he has had his snorts…..lines of coke, he was looking around and under the bed. When he left my buddy told me how he came one day looking for his Girlfriend and accussing them of hiding his girlfriend in their cell, was terrible as he made problem. But his buddies knew how he acts when he´s done his thing, so they keep any thing that could be use as weapon away from him. The looks in his eyes was scary. Just say hi to him as he walked out.
Got the laptop, not knowing the dude had set up a password, so it was useless as I had it all night and couldn´t use it. Tried calling my Italian whose cell is next to him so he can get him to get me the Password, the dude won´t pick up, and one of the cops sneaked on me and saw me on phone, asked for it and gave it away, but took my chip out. Well, the phone wasn´t the best but it did serve it purpose  but with strain to the eyes as I have to use light to see, since the phone has no light. I was pissed the whole night, I guess my schat felt it as she woke up and couldn´t sleep also, she called me and told her of my frustration, she consoled me, couldn´t read but did a bit, and try to sleep, but the pain of what had happened was too strong. Managed to sleep and off till early sunday morning woke same time as the guys for BF came in.

Friday, 05 February 2010. Up at same time the BF guys got up guess my body clock is well fine tuned to the time the custodio always come in to open the cells for the BF guys. Once mention that is very hard for one to sleep deep in a place like this, you are sleeping but also subconsciously alert to the environs as anything can happen. Guess that can be bad to ones health, but what can one do, while here, one has to watch and be prepare for anything coming and for the unknown.

Didn`t get back to sleep, said my prayers after picking up the BF and dressed up for my daily exercise routine, I have longed for this for a long time, but bad health sort of hinder me. Went out and started with walk and jogging till the sun came up, I see what I have been missing. Like they say, “No pain, No gain”, felt pains but I know at the end I will gain. Did some weight at gym and finally went in, met up with my Country man, one I had the brawl who has now become good friend as he is the only one who will lend me money when I`m in need and also the one that cuts my hair. Went to him to find out if he can cut my hair, he said later in the day.

The state I met him, wasn`t his best moment, he was away yesterday to get his sentence and I met him at the gate when he got back, he told me he got 130 Months which is 10 years and 10 Months. I guess through out the night it dawn on him what life is all about, knowingg that you have just been handed such a long sentence. His eyes were all red, guess from sobbing through the night. He looked disoriented, at that moment I felt for him and I knew what will be going through his mind. The mere fact that you are told you will spend this time in a place like this, though my country has a treaty with Panama on repatriation back home for Nationals of my country to do time for crimes committed here, but who knows what will happen along the line and when a new government comes in and one is still here.

In Panama, one mercy is at the discretion of the judge who issues sentences as santas gives gift to kids. Hope on my day, mine will wake up on the right side and comes to court smiling, as getting a sentence like this can be shattering both psychologically and physically. The day is counting and coming fast, who knows when.
 
Went out for my mint leaves to make my herbal tea, then heard that my consul is around, waooooh, she surprised us, and she came at the right moment and the right time. Most of us are down in debts and starving, was the last to join them as I had to shower and get dressed up. It was nice going out as we always stand behind the fence watching Panamanians going out to their loved ones. She brought us loads of Books and old News papers, some of the papers were like 3 to 4 years old. Guess being in jail, makes people think that one should not have idea of what is happening in the real world. That could be true as most guys here has little or no idea of what is happening outside the walls of this prison. It was nice to have something to read and also we talked about loads of things. Made some special request on getting things sent through the consul, hope they approve it, as they had approved having my books sent via their address. Don`t really want to bother them, even calling them takes me loads as I don`t want to but sometimes I need them as when I was down with sickness. Sometimes I feel I shouldn`t be here, but certain things happen out of one foolishness and at sometime I believe at one blank state of mind.

Back in with my haul of books and my toiletries, the boys knew our consul has been here and they are out on us as they believe we get money, wonder how much they think we get. Got the newspapers to the Library and books to my bedside, enough to keep me and my English mate busy for a while. Some of the boys came to me, told them “Yo soy Limpio” guess they will figure out the meaning as that ain`t fecking English or my language, but their bloody Panamanian street slang. Got few texts from my Schat, she had a busy day and on her way home from work, will be picking up the kids. She is one of a kind and she is my super woman.

The library`s computers has become mini porn cinema as most inmates use the system to watch porn movies, guess they are getting bored of shot the ball game … Zuma. They need something more exciting and that is watching Porn, not bad as that is the most they can do. Many are influenced by the Jamaican music, dancehall and bashment and most of the lyrics are anti gay, so gay intentions here are not visible. Except our peado friend and teacher who is in for lewd acts with minors. Well nobody knows what goes on behind the cells.

Busy in the library, my Swedish friend from the Green Area came in, came down to cut his hair in the salon, we talked briefly about life here and how we want to go home soon. He has made new friends up there in the Green Area, would have love to go up there as that will take me away from the Panamanians and their unpredictable attitudes. We talked loads and want to go our love ones, hope that comes soon, surprised how the system works here, he has to write for permission from the director before coming down. hummmmmm. My gamer friend is short of patience as he is waiting to use the system for his daily dose of his zuma game… got to walk…

The rest of the day came and gone as fast as the other days, how I wish the days will go fast as they do, and everything will happen fast here, so that in no time one will be out of here. Sometimes I get so scare of the future as one doesn´t have any clue of what will happen. Mostly in time of sickness, like in my case, at a time I thought I was dying, but thank God I came through it and came out revitalize and strong.

We had our Diner and picked out the vegetable from my Prison diet food, like I said sometime they come good looking but the taste is always awful, the night came soon and read some pages from my book before hitting the bed and into my dreamland and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Thursday, 04 February 2010.                 JAIL RAIDERS!!!

Up as usual, got our BF, but the dude came back for some bread, asked him why, said not enough today, whatever, we have our own bread in the cell. Couldn`t get back to sleep, yesterday we heard there will be activities in the centre, music and exhibitions. Guess loads of guys are getting ready for it as they will be inviting their loved ones and friends in.

Out for my exercise, I`m loving it as I can now walk, run and do loads that I have never done in years. Wasn`t out for long when I saw two white buses arrived at the centre, they weren`t the type used for prisoners transportation and not now as the centre is full. But this time cops and loads of them, everybody ran it and the cops jumped out of the buses to meet up with the inmates running to alerts their mates. Ran back to my cell inform my mates and we had our phones stashed after taking out the sim cards.

We have heard of the new Director as one that loves doing random search in his previous centre (The Feminino: The Female Prison). Just as the Boy Scout Motto states “Be Prepare”, we are always on alert as we know it could happen any time. I have experienced one search and heard of many, seen loads on Television but never seen one of this magnitude, there were more than 300 of them and they went through each cell more than five times, they took one of our old charger. But the main stuffs were safe, thanks to our ex-mate grand dad who build his grandson a special device to stash his phones. It has never failed us, saw the cops went through everything but that one thing was like a piece of puzzle as they lift and checked it several times but can`t figure it out.

While the search was on, took the time to jog and walk out, really enjoyed my time outside as I was the only one on the pitch and the gym.
 
The search lasted for 6 hours, well the timing was wrong as things hasn`t been coming in lately due to the infamous escape that brought the new director here.
They found couple of Knives (machete) long ones and few phones, Blackberry and even a camera. They took all the metal spoons, and any metal objects as they believe they could be fashion into knives or weapon. Even razor blades were taken, wonder how we will shave, few packs of cigarettes. Sometimes one wonders how these knives kept coming in as they were loads that were taken during the last search. Well that`s the only thing that scare the shit out of me, if one get into fight here which is inevitable, the Panamanians don`t just fight with hands like real men do. They fight with weapons, got the cold when I saw the sizes of knives found in the centre, I guess if most of us knew bit about Panama, no one would have love to come here at the first instance.

Well, we thought with the sheer number of cops that stormed the centre today, they will find rocket launchers, grenades, machine guns and solid armoury or even tunnel dug from the centre to the Colombian border. Usually things found will be displayed and film for later broadcast on the television, but they won`t dare do that as it be a big shame and it will also defeat the purpose of the centre, which was meant to be a rehabilitation centre. The stuffs were displayed outside at the reception area, and photos were taken of their treasures, it really didn`t make any sense as the same guys that brought them in will always bring more in and that is my greatest fear.

They took away all laptops and computers, hope they return them as that is the only way we (those of us that get to use them) get to see the outside world. And my world of online, guess there`s been snitches by same Panamanians on their fellow brothers that they are operating internet cafe here in the centre. Hope when we get ours, we will be able to hide it from the Panamanians as we heard that many are turncoats and like snitching for whatever reason one can`t tell. Since the search it has been very tensed down here in the centre, gotta be careful how one talk with the Panamanians as they are hot and most lost loads. My phone is absolutely useless without the charger, so gotta look for one ASAP!!!

There wasn`t any fecking special event today as we heard yesterday, guess the search was the special thing to happen today and it was absolutely special with the numbers of cops that came and how they went about the search.

The rest of the day came very slow and few text from my Schat and we later spoke briefly, told her about the search. From her voice, know she was a bit scared when she heard about the knives. Will try to keep such news from her and always get her the positive ones. She talked about the lil one kicking and needing more space. Soon her journey will come to an end and a new being born into a world of unknowns. Hope my time here come fast and all will be bygone, a chance to make things better. Things I said I will do, hope I stick to them, do away with some friends and company. Bid her good night rest and sweet dreams as she went to bed very tired from the hassle of the day.

We had our diner, nice chicken wings sauce and lentils with rice. Our Mossad agent entertained us with stories of his training and we talked about his time in the states. Jokes about escaping, well it won`t be that easy for us foreigners as it’s damn too far to get home. One will need loads of money, new documents and loads of guts to make it out of Latin America.

Day is almost done, did some reading and gave myself to sleep as it comes, felt so good as the training is really helping my body. I can feel the result, I hope I will stick to this regiment when I get back home. Sent a last text to my schat, telling her how sweet and supportive she has been. If not for her, I guess I would have gone berserk here.

Wednesday, 03 February 2010 (03022010): HOPE, THEY SAY IS THE MOST DANGEROUS OF ALL THE HUMAN EMOTIONS BUT ALSO IT`S THE MOST NECESSARY AS IT KEEPS ONE GOING EVEN INTO THE UNKNOW…. 

Woke up as the BF guys came calling, today was a bit late, they came around 6am and there was a text waiting from my Schat, last night after we talked she sent me a steaming text, couldn`t help reading it over and over for number of times I can`t remember. I also reply with a nice one to keep her waiting but wanting. How I miss what we love most about us. I could be like a stray dog, but will always find my way home. She is the love of my life…..
 
Back to bed and slept till 10am, when I got up, the sun was up, thought of skipping my training, but my mind is made up, dressed up and out I went for couple of hours exercise and training. It was worth the time and hassle and the sun was lovely as I know I should be getting extra dose of Vitamina D (it should be call Vitamina Sun).
Back to the cell and had my shower and made me a nice Omelette for Brunch, used the salami that came this morning with our bread and we are still getting more than enough bread and whatever comes with it.

Hugo my Panam Buddy came asking for six eggs, guess to make BF and sell, well can`t give him from what we got in the cell, bought five from Manuelito for him, he promised to get me some of whatever he will cook. Hope I see him later, if not, I`m not so hungry so won`t be waiting for him. Well, he didn`t turn up, guess he used up the eggs. We are buddies but the state I have seen him the few times that I have been up around his cell, kinda scary. Guess should keep an arm`s length from him.
Calls came and was really upsetting, exchange several text with Schat, she wasn`t happy, she did send me some Queen heads, hope I get it on Saturday, she is lovely, miss her loads. We exchanged more text before end of the day, we talked about life in the centre and our mate who`s been here for sometime told us how things has changed. Well we hope things remained changed and we hope more changes take place as the new director promised to turn the place around.
 
Started with my Spanish lesson and I`m doing pretty well as I speak and understand loads of words now.

My other mate made us Pasta, he really praised himself as he believed he is a good cook, well down here any food is a good food except what we get from the Prison, that no matter how hungry you are, and eating the food is like a big hurdle.
Picked up a book of short stories and did some reading, started with the Saddest Buddha, nice story, had some reflection on the moral of the story on my life. Being sad and making good use of it by not dwelling on one sadness and not been consume by it. But learning to live with it, those monk guys, they sure try.

Read my Bible, great book, hope I keep up with it as it will build my faith and help me through my time here. Got a sweet text from my love and sent her one before I slept, when she woke to use the loo, she saw my sweet text and replied me ASAP.
Drifted into sleep and the day is gone, another new day on the horizon. Mucho gracias Dios.

Tuesday, 02 February 2010 (02022010). I like the date when written in the format I did, sort of fun with numbers. Woken by a text, when I checked it was from my schat and it was pass 4am here, she was at her work, was up as early 4am and couldn`t sleep, so she left for work early. Up and used the loo as I drank loads (water I guess and not wine or some rum) last night, decided to wait for the BF guys, as they will be coming any moment, they came and this time it`s like my talking to the guy did some magic, we are 6 in my cell and we always get 3 balls of small white bread each and one of whatever comes with the bread each day, today was boiled eggs, but I was given about 12 eggs and enough bread to last us for couple of days. Guess the guy got up on his good side this morning (on the prison bed, you can only get up from one side as the other side is the wall, so one has to make sure that each day one wake up on his good side), hope he does that everyday, we will become good buddies. The guy happened to be a Colombian who has been locked up for more than 7 years without trial and he is still waiting, he was arrested and thrown into a big case that he has no knowledge of. Well, that is Panama for you. Nobody bloody care or give a damn unless your uncle is one big shot or knows someone is who is a big shot.

Went back to bed until the door was open, dress up for another day of training, did some bit of walking, jogging and weights. I`m so happy with myself as I can do this things which I have not done for a very long while. Can`t wait to tap some ball with my boy, run around with him, he will like it, want to get fit, stay fit and keep up with a new lifestyle that will prolong my life span and my age, that if no stray bullet meet me, for that can hope, as I won`t be living in Panama or Latin America after my time here.

At the library, music is blasting in full power from the studio, in Panama, I guess copyright law does not work here, as many English songs are done here in Spanish and I guess nobody give a shit. One of the custodio came in, met up with him and asked why the search last night, he said his colleague wanted to count, but my mates didn`t open the curtain on time, so he was pissed and decided to do the search. Well, I guess most of the Panamanians ain`t happy as we are in the big cell, and we are foreigners apart from our Mossad agent and our 61 years old bank robber Pepe. I guess they will do all they can to move us from the cell, but with Jer in the cell they can`t really do much. He`s been here for 4 years and has paid his dues, wondered what it will be like when he is gone as he will be leaving soon. Well till then….

Back to the cell, had my shower and my brunch, since we had more than enough eggs and bread for BF, it was nice to have two eggs and some bread with Peanut Butter. Wasn`t bad with a cup of Cinnamon tea with pinch of milk, felt so dehydrated, guess from the exercise this morning. My mate had a R&B collection playing, listen to nice music for a while and also my Julio Iglesias collections, it brought back memories of home as I like listening to his music at home and while doing long distance driving. Rang my consulate, the guys are all waiting when she will show up with their stuffs and the Benjamins, we are all broke. Good news as she told me that I can have my blood Pressure machine send via the Diplomatic Courier service, thus saving my Schat cost of postage from London to Panama, as she will only pay postage cost within EU. Nice one….

Had three miss calls and a text from my Schat, she will be home and get some rest as she woke up very early today. Misses her loads and the kids also, can`t wait to have them all in my hands. MI AMOR Y MI VIDA!!!

So happy as time is moving pretty fast, just realize today that many of the Panamanians who has been closed to me has been released, the welder, my Hard core gymnast (he`s always jogging and exercising, his body is all muscles, always want to share from anything I drink and I like him because he`s respectful. Happy for him, remembered him telling me sometime in December that he will be out soon. It`s always nice feeling when you see people walk out of the gate of the Centre free people. It gives me hope that one day, I will get the news that I`m leaving. I`m hoping and living in hope that one day it will come, then El Renacer will become an History.
We had a pack from London, and it was what one will like to watch in jail, bashment gigs video and other musical videos, films and some books to read. Watch bit of it and some of the video brought memories of home. On my bed, thought of my life just before 18th Sept 09 when I left for the fateful trip… well, one thing I know for sure, my being here is two sided, curse and blessing. Not good to be lock up when you`ve got young kids who wants you around as they feel secure and protect by your mere presence. And a wife at home pregnant, if she is the not the faithful type then start thinking of another life when time is done. But the good side of the sword, if I was outside, think it would have taken an ambulance trip to the Hospice before I realize how bad my health was, and losing the amount of weight I have lost since I got here, would have taken me more time and loads of work out. But here, act of thinking and being depressed and the initial sight of food here, caused my weight to plummet drastically, the backache and numbness of my legs are all gone, my blood pressure is dropping. I feel really good as I can do so much of what I have never done in years. Jog, run, play football and Basketball. I guess being here as made brought me to sense of inward searching of myself and my person. What I want and what my purpose in life are. I bet I can beat the system by making good use of it while it last. I had thought one had all the time when lock up. But now as time goes so fast, I realize that may not be an actual truth.

We had our normal rich food as that is the only time of the day we eat good, 2 pieces of chicken drum sticks with rice, used the lentils from my diet food and made us cool aid with fresh oranges. We have run out of fruits; hope we get some this weekend. Things happens in the centre, and mostly with the church enthusiasts, the Pastor (an Inmate) with the Panamanian Pentecostal church which happens to be my church but only on Thursdays when the Americans are here. He also sells the Soda and Ice in the centre, met up with him and ask him for a bag of ice and a bottle of Malt drink to pay him on Saturday, he bluntly told me no, but I can see him give to his fellow Panamanians and writing down their names, which most end up not paying and he won`t do nothing about it. The same pastor is the one who always bring his offering basket to my cell as he knows I and most foreigners are cheerful givers. Guess next time he comes around with his basket will remind him of that Tuesday. Spoke to his second who speaks good English about what happened, he wasn`t happy as my credibility with him is high and good. He called me later on if I still need the ice and drink, told him no.

Well, being a foreigner here pisses them off as they think we have money more than they do which is most cases are lies, the thing here, we don`t dress in expensive new clothes all time and designers trainers as they do. And most of know how far we are from home so we only use our money for necessities. Most foreigners don`t do drugs with the exception of the Italians and some Spaniard.
Well, the day is gone and night time is nigh…. did some Spanish lesson and duck under my covers praying for sleep to take me quickly. 

Monday, 01 February 2010 (01022010). A new month and still here in Renacer, wish one day I will wake up to my bed in my bedroom. But, today woke up to a text by a loved one wishng me a happy new month and praying God to see me through. I have never felt better as I feel this morning, got up and pick up our BF, for two days now the BF guys been shortening our rations we don`t always get the complete BF. They just hand in Bread without the Cheese or something to go by and no crema (the Custard like thing) or Oats. Gotta meet up with them and let them know that there are people in my cell that will like their BF complete.

Over the weekend, it was hectic and it went really fast, did loads of reading, my novel and other materials. I think my incarceration has made me discovered that I`m a fast and good reader. Went into the old kitchen and found more books of interest that I will love to read. Think I will devout more time to reading, now that we have permission for laptop in my cell, can also do loads of writing and online publishing. Will try to get mine send down to me ASAP.

I`m damn broke, no money and these brats are still on me for one dollar to either buy shag or joint, some come with really pity in their eyes, I did like to give, but the fecking thing is I don`t bloody have. My English mate ordered food stuffs as he was expecting money from Jesus`s Mum (please don`t get confused, as she ain`t Mary the Bible talks about, once wondered why the Spanish should be naming people Jesus, guess the name is too sacred for us the Anglophones to use) I also ordered green plantain. Jesus went up after his visit and there was no money for my mate. I was hoping to get my twenty bucks from him and also sort out some of my debts. But since there was no money, what can I do.  On Sunday went up to my former mate, the guy I had the brawl with asked him to lend me a Tenner and he did. Now I have begun to realize many things, after the fight with him that early hour due to me reading late. We have both became closer as he cuts my hair and he is the only one I can ask for certain amount of credit. Others will never want to lend me or if they will, then I`ll be paying back with interest. Watch the UK`s premier league as my team Manchester United trashed the stingy Arsenal who wouldn`t spend money to upgrade their team. Was so happy, how I could murder a bottle of red for the victory, my English mate and I are both Man U fans, so we celebrated the victory together. Hung my Man U jersey on the door to our cell…… guess that will piss off the Panamanians who are mostly Barca, Real Mad, Chelsea and Arsenal fans!!!

There`s security in knowing that you have some money with you in place like this. On Sunday woke up early but just lie on bed till late in the afternoon. Then it occurred to me that I promised myself that I will get in shape as soon as I get better. And that was it, got up and dressed up. Went out, did some stretches and started by walking the Football pitch and then jogging. After some rounds, played some basketball and played real active football with the guys, many were astounded seeing me, as most had seen me from the day I came into the centre, that I limp-walked. Well, if there are miracles, then mine is one, I knew I had serious disc problem on my lower back and it`s been years I did any of those things I did today. In the past, I trained in the gym, but then it was mostly workout, but not running or playing ball games. But today I did all those. Couldn`t be happier with myself for what has happened. During the football game, I could feel how bad my health was, my heart was burning and I was panting for air, then I know I have to do loads of Cardio exercises to get in shape and get my breathing rhythm back in the right tempo.
After the football game, went to the gym and did some work out, some torso and bicep. And bit of sit ups. Was glad with myself as the whistle went up for lock down, on that Sunday I learned things that I have never knew or thought: ALARM SYSTEM

THE PRISON ALARM SYSTEM.

There are couple of geese in the prison compound and I always see one of the inmates walked them out every morning and evening before lockdown. But it never occurred to me why they are here, always thought that they belong to the Director, as one will see in movies about latin American prison, the Jefe owning farms, animal farms and having the prisoners work for him, while he smoke his Cohiba and zip his Mojito or Anejo. Well it wasn`t like that here in Renacer. I guess in Peru where one of my Country man spend some years in jail it was like we see in latin American movies. The Commandante runs the prison and every Friday he get booze in from his restaurant outside and sell them to the inmate, my mate even had a refrigerator stocked with booze and was even operating a call centre in jail. Had his girl visit him twice weekly for some good romping, think he will miss being in Peru. As we don`t have all those in Panama.
 
But on this Sunday I found out that the Geese are actually the PRISON ALARM SYSTEM. They are let loose around the Anexo area at night and once anyone try to escape, one movement and presence will stir them and you hear them gaggling thus alerting the cops and wardens. What an alarm system, each time I see them I always think of foie de gras (hope I got that rightly spelt, the French pate made from geese livers that had been forced fed), well so many people are against that tradition, but then I think so many traditions and cultures made go same line, like Bull fights, Dog Fights, Cockerel Fights and locking me up far from my family… the last is a big joke.

In Europe and the West, money are spent on the most high tech security systems, when they can just get some geese to do the watching and guarding, thus saving the tax payers thousands of dollars. Well one disadvantage of having geese here, one day, some hungry fellow will have them in his pot of soup as the Panamanians eat anything edible. I have seen some of the guys did a fast one on one the Prison`s Pigeon, the unlucky bird wasn`t looking when one of the guy wrapped his hands around it and straight to his big bag, and upstairs he went with his catch. When I asked him the next day what happen to our feathery friend, he pointed to his big one pack belly…. he made soup with it. I have seen them eat all sort of animals, who knows, one day, they don`t start eating each other.

This morning, I got up and dress up for my training, did some walking and then jogging before I hit the gym and did some work out, after that shower and had my BF. Got some text from my Schat, “She want to talk”, I hate it when she says that, I want to talk… it could be anything, right now, I know it ain`t about no girlfriend as there`s none. Well I think I have a bit of idea of what we will talk, I guess about things she has to sell and things she need send to me.

We finally talked, first a bit of argument, but as it is with Husband and wife, they will always settle and come to point of kissing and lovemaking and making up. We got to that point but no lovemaking as we are miles away from each other. But I can feel her and I know she feel me too.  I love her to bits, now I realized how much I love her, then I just couldn`t show it. I guess I was being too manly and refused to let my feminine side show as that is the side that show how weak a man is, mostly in expressing your true desire and feeling on someone you love and care. I feel jealous, but always try to hide it and pretend not to. I know she loves me too and my kids are so wonderful as they can`t stop expressing their love towards me. But my boy, I wonder if he will refund my dowry for his mum and take her as he is always on her and always telling her how much he loves her. I guess he is having the feeling that someone new is coming to take over his place as the baby of the house. So he`s doing all he can to keep mum`s love….. soon he will realise that it`s too late, but he is always love as he is my only son and the house will soon become a ladies den. For my daughter, she wouldn`t mind having the whole house painted in Pink. She loves Pink….

Mistakenly had my phone out while texting and one the custodio came in, saw me, but gave him the plea and he walked on. He understands that I understand the system now, grease their hands at interval and they overlook you. I`m beginning to get acquainted with how things work here, but no matter how one think is ok, always watch your back, mostly when you see the Panamanians walk towards you in group, they fight and do things in group, if there is knife fight, as a group one will do his job and pass on the knife and it will vanish into thin air, untraceable……
Monday has just begun…… Thank God for today, First day of February 2010, My daughter will be 5 years old on the 17th, I just ordered a 50 Pound Mark and Spencer voucher for her when I got online on Saturday, Schat will get her something beautiful. My mates were surprise how I did it, well I build up points with my Eurostar frequent travellers membership and they will expire soon, so had the option of ordering 12 Bottles of Red wine, well would have gone for the wine, but Schat wanted the voucher and I also thought of what she can get my lil Angel for her Birthday. I know she will have a lovely day, though without me, will do my best to talk to her especially on that day as she knows loads now and ask loads, and will be prepared for her questions.

In the other room in the library, my English mate is auditioning prospective casts for his film; I have told him to put more interest in learning Spanish as it will bridge the cap between him and the Panamanians. He assists in the English class, I told him to use that as his basics in learning Spanish, I`m doing self-study and I know how good I am now as many people comment on my fast learning.
 
Today is so hot, it`s like the Sun has move closer to Renacer, was outside reading, but just couldn`t stand the heat, had to move into the Library and do some blogging.
One of the gamer from my block is waiting, gotta let him use the pc. The day went so fast, pray it goes on like this everyday, I guess once one is busy with things to do, the day seems to go fast. Met one of the BF guys, told him that we want our BF complete, well when I say complete Breakfast, I don`t mean Hash brown, fried eggs, boiled Tomatoes and sausages as one will get in Complete British BF. But here, we do have our own sort of complete BF. He promised to be giving us our complete BF. Used the opportunity to buy three Snickers Chocolate bars from him on Credit, here when you lend money or buy things on credit, they always want to know when you will pay. Told him end of the week as I`m sure will get some money before then.
Lock down time, some of the boys from pabellion been on my arse for money, told them bluntly I don`t have money, guess it is hard for them to comprehend how an extranjero doesn`t have money. The bathroom was filled with men, most taking their second shower of the day. Lately the water has been going off in the evening, so no one really want to take chances, had my shower and back to the cell.

While my mate prepare our diner, got up my book and did some reading, was still tired from the training today as it has been a long time I allowed my body to go through such stress. I felt sleepy, decided to take a power nap, and was awoken by noise in the cell. One of the Custodio came in for a quick search, so funny as my phone was beside me on the bed, heard my mate told him I`m sick since I was sleeping and he knew my phone was not hidden. Was lucky as the Dude didn`t find my phone, but took our charger, that we will get back with five bucks. Guess they need some money as their shift will be ending on Wednesday. And we are all bloody broke now, no money so they have to deal with that.

We had our diner, devoured mine as I was starving, and had cool aid, no orange or ginger to make my local brew of authentic juice.

My English, been taking on our Mossad agent, asked him about profiling people, if he was thought that, the guy so believe in loads of bullshit, I wondered what sort of drugs the yanks had him on. Hope he comes out of it some day.

My mate was at the Dentist that day as he had tooth infection, the Dentist checked him and told him it was pretty bad, he was given an anti-biotic injection and placed on medication, he asked me to check the expiry date on the drug, did check and it was Feb 10, which means it got some few weeks before it expires. Was scare, had to check all mine, well with mine, most of my drugs are bought by my Consul with my money or sent down by my Schat, was rest assured that mine is well. Learnt that night of how people were killed by using expired drugs that was issued by Doctors in the prison, well, one has to be watchful and alert.

In my whole existence, I have never had so much injection as I have here in Panama, since my incarceration had taken more than fifteen injections. Many have been for the pain on my back and legs, but none helped. I pray I don`t fall sick again, as I know how it is to be sick here. No one give a damn shit of what happens to anyone, one dead body is one mouth less for the Govt to feed.

The night came slowly, got a text from my Schat, replied her and I know she was tired from her text. Did some reading before I slumped in my bed and into dreamland and hope for a pleasant dream.