CARNAVAL DE LOS MUERTOS!!!

WEEK 7

Monday, 15th February through Sunday, 21st February 2010.

Monday, the 15th February 2010.

Things hasn`t change in the centre and being the first day of the Carnival holiday in Panama, it`s going to be worse and not foresee anything getting better here. But what can one do, nothing is coming in, the weekend was a long one and adding today and Tuesday it`s going to be a very long weekend. Things will get back to normal as from Wednesday when the carnival is finish and everybody gets back to job. Then the centre will begin a new life, a life to normality.

Picked up our BF from the letter box like hole at the side of the cell, since my fan is right under the hole, I`m always disturbed. Sometimes feel like sleeping off, but then when they push the Black T shirt used as a cover for the hole, it gets entangled with the blades of my fan. So lucky as the blade is not metallic, by now would have gotten loads of cut on my body as my head, hands and legs had been entangled with it.

The wardens and police all came along as BF was been served, one can feel the tension among them, guess most like the job but other are disgusted as I see them walk and always with the back on the walls like us.

Coming out to the patio, the sun is blazing hot, we are still on shift. We went out first, one can easily feel the lifelessness in the air, as it`s carnival and everything is grounded. The library was closed, but the guy who work there is seen going in with his mates to watch Porn films on the computers (that is what they do even when the library is open). and sit under the cool air of the air condition. The Library is actually the brain-child of former Black British inmate who happen to do his full time here with his brother; six years, wonder why the British government didn`t get them back home as they have treaty with this God-forsaken country.

We herded on the blast of the whistle, and the minors as we call them were let out of their dens, those guys all act up like animals. Soon as they came, some try to sneak into our area as that is where they can trade in whatever they have to trade, also steal from whoever they can, and also beg from whoever will give.

We had a normal evening, watching the people get drunk and stoned from whatever they are drinking or using. The carnival was fun to watch, as we could loads of beauties and bodies. Couple of death from homicide on the first day and fatal accidents, hope it does get higher.

Couple of texts between my Schatje and I, and we called it a night, with my book in my bed, while my mates feed their eyes with movies.

Tuesday, the cell were open and we got our BF, first time to have it with an open cell, had my early BF and the door to the patio was open. Thought the minors were supposed to be on the early shift, like I said, these guys are confused, they let us out, but nothing special is happening. It went so fast and we were hauled back in.

When the minors came out, my buddy came calling me, guess to use my phone or ask for a $1.

There are so many sentiments against foreigners here, I guess some of us had their souls sold to these youths, they buy their stuffs on credit and others snitch. Some go as far as telling the Panamanians who’s got money and who doesn’t have. it`s terrible, but what can one do. I can feel this most time when I`m on the PC, they Panam guys only come in for the games, and nothing more, when they are in and sees any foreigners on the pc, they fumed about with negative remarks.

Like I have learned, don`t talk, give them the silence response and stay as much as you can away from them.

If books could talk, the ones in the library shelves will definitely say something, the only book I have seen most of them touch and the pages ripped off is a medical or biological book with pictures of women, men and reproductory system, that of the women has been torn off with several other pages of featuring women.

The boy who set up this library will see his dreams defeated as I heard, he was even teaching some of the Panamanians Spanish and also writing letters for them.

Well, Carnival is on and our get our fun from watching all the shows and especially the wet T shirts according to my mate. since it`s so hot here, water tankers are on standby to spurt water on the people and some ladies decided to go to carnival on white T shirt without Bra… A simple maths will work this out, hot sun, nice looking lady sweating under the heat of the sun and everybody is under the influence of some sort of liquid or powder they had used and music is blasting from all corners. A large water tanker lies on the corner, when the water start coming, they won`t even know, all you see are people jumping and shoving about. And the perverted Cameraman works his zoom to those wet Teeeeessss. And next you hear are Catcalls and banging of the cell metals as there ain`t any wood here. The inmates had all seen what they have been waiting for.

Last day of the Carnival, hope they just round up so things get to normal again.

The day ended with us watching all that took place during the last day of the carnival, by Wednesday we will know the effect of the Carnival on the people and the economy. How many has gone to meet their maker and how many will be joining us here in the walls of Panama prison. And those that will be on the run from what they have done within the few days of festivity in the country.

Wednesday 17th, Thank God things will be getting back to normal, my mate left early to join the Catholic faithful for their mass and later on that evening decided to give up something as that was the first day of lent; he decided to give up cigarettes, well he had his last three that night before sleeping. Hope he makes it, as the price is getting higher and higher, sometimes a stick is sold for $2, that can like cutting a hole in one`s pocket and see your money go into the drain, losing money unnecessary in place like this is not worth it.

The Overall director of The Panama Penitentiary system was here to sort things out, I guess he is sitting on a very hot seat now, all the youths that were in the fight with Santos were taken to Anexo where they will be hold up until they are transferred from here to another prison. While he was here, there was another escape in one of the maximum prison. he had to leave, one will guess to the prison where the escape took place, wonder what he can do, guess the best option left for him now is to tender his resignation.

THE CARNAGE OF THE CARNIVAL:

On the News that evening, there were 16 dead from Homicide during the days of the carnival and 9 dead from accident. So much for a small country as Panama, like I said, some will go on to meet their maker, other will join us as inmates in one of the several prison in Panama, while those that thought they are smart will take their heels, but I believe eventually they will be caught as most don`t have the resource to finance a life as a fugitive.

We thought things will come back to live in the centre, was wrong on that one. it remained same, still shift and it`s getting more boring. But in a time like this, one has to use the best of ones time and channelled all one`s energy into positive thoughts and things.

Jokes and our share of fun as been lifting our spirit as we thought of what will happen in the near future, Hollywood does not help matters with films about escapes, which can never be real in the world of Prisons. I guess any plans of escape that has been carried out here, were all work of the escapees and not copied from any movie. And the easiest of all is making an offer nobody will refuse, pay them and they will open all the doors and get you out.

The library remained close as most of the guys that work in the library are busy attending to special visits or doing something else. Many of us most the foreigners will be glad if the library is open everyday as it will give us the opportunity to stay away from cells and avoid altercation with inmates that are bored of you hanging around.

To me, this was a special day as my daughter and my first child turned five years old, she has been waiting for this day for a long time, whenever she goes to her friend`s parties and found out that they are five, she won`t stop asking her mum when she will turn five. So happy she finally turned five and she was so happy having her friends in the house, they had a very small party as my Schat thought, but it was not a small party as no party is ever small, one will realized how big the party was when it`s time for cleaning. She spent the whole night cleaning but with help from the little hands.

My joy was that they had fun and my lil Angel was five and one day I will play her Butterfly kisses. but not yet. She is so pretty and very intelligent like her mum, ask loads of questions, and I try to always dodge her questions now. Guess some day she will know many things daddy never told her. She told me she loves her Piano lessons and she did played some tunes for her friends on her birthday. She is taking her swimming lessons very serious, I`m so proud of her; that is actually her catchphrase “Mummy I`m so proud of you”. Love her mucho and my lil man in the house who is still being mum`s boy.

Thursday and Friday came with same routine except for the new memorandum placed outside by the director that Electronic appliances would not be allowed into the centre anymore, too bad for me as I have bought my Radio/CD player and this has been on the street with my friend`s mum for a very long time. He has always been telling me that they won`t let in it. Well, I have made up my mind to talk to one the custodio whom I have a good rapport with and hope he does not over charge me. Finally met with him and we talked about it and he promised to do it, but I guess it will take some time for him to pick it up as he is a very busy guy, so he said, but doesn`t look that way. He demanded some deposit, which I obliged, but gave him. it`s a pity when one know how much the wardens are paid, they get peanut, thus they are ready to earn some extra by doing what they do.

On Friday night, they were gun shots in Colon Prison, heard from one the lads that was brought in from there who happened to be the seventh man in our cell as he as taken affinity in coming to our cell from morning and stayed through till evening, that in Colon Prison during one of the search, the police found 28 Guns inside the prison, one will wonder how they get in there. Guess not Houdini pulling some vanishing tricks making guns disappeared from wherever they were and show up in prison. Our cell can be very congested as loads of people like coming to watch our English music video and chat with us, but don`t really like it, but then what can one do. Though we are lucky to have one the two biggest cell in the Galeria; which is cell 2 and the other cell 1, many Panamanians ain`t happy, but then our cell is the most exposed, so the sneaking and Peeping Tom Cops can easily see us at night when we are on phone. Unlike the rest of the cells which is smaller and the bed are hidden by curtains. Ours we have got 3 walls that one can easily peep through, so gotta be careful as to loose another phone as I ain`t got any now, but sharing with our Mossad agent.

Lately, he has been acting sort weird, always talking to himself and acting strangely. Couple of days ago, he had to do the dish after our diner, he spend over 2 hours washing, at the end, when I check out on him, he barely washed off the remnant of the food in either our plate or from the pot, I had to wash up everything again. Now we all know why he sends his dirty laundry to his family to be washed every Sunday when they pay him visit. On his visit, he comes back with the washed clothes, one roll of toilet paper, two 33cl of orange drink and 33cl of milk (in the Tetra Pack containers) and once he came back a box of cornflakes. Well, since I know what he has been through, I don`t want to complain and nobody cares about that either.

But then, Jer told us about a guy who was almost like him, and they were all in this same cell, he seems cool and he didn`t bother him, until one night after much drinking of moonshine and smoking indo, the dude came down from his bed, my mate was trying to sleep. What he saw scare the devil out of him, the dude has his pant on the floor with his Dingy drawn out and was screaming that he needs a BJ….. My mate said, I thought he was cool, but didn`t know what came over him after his binge drinking and smoking.  He stood up and quickly hid the knives in the cell, forgetting one; a little steak knife. The Drunken fellow took hold of that and picked on one gangling looking Panam youth and said he is an enemy and that everybody in the cell were against him. He packed his stuffs, that he was going to escape, well if he was in his real senses he would have known that in a thousand years, once the door has been locked and without any malfunction with the locking system, he won`t go know were. He climb up and start tearing on the reinforced steel ceiling, actually he was able to make a hole from a part of the ceiling that water and air had caused the metal to rust. When he was worn out, he went back to his bed. Next day he was sobered all day.

The good think, our Mossad agent doesn`t drink or smoke, so we know if he was doing any of those couple with his state of mind, it will be a dangerous combination.

The weekend came and gone, had a massive shopping as we have decided that we will be doing things together. Well not everybody, the old man and the agent don`t have to contribute to anything, but we wouldn`t be that greedy to turn our face from them. The old man, always come to me as I`m quite easy, and I always attend to him, telling him he can always ask me for anything so long it`s something that he is mine or I have contributed to purchased. I can always give him.

On Saturday, saw one of the Panamanian boys wheeled in a bag full of oranges into the centre and remembered my oranges and lemon being seized by the police, even my Pancake syrup and Honey. Reason; that they could be use to make Moonshine, but why different rules for different folks, well, like I said, if I`m really serious about getting those things in here, with money I can get them in. But right now my priority is to get my Radio in and also get the Guitar in, but the body still need natural vitamins from fruits.

When I heard that our consulate will be coming next week, thought that will be a good time to let her know about the fruit issues, if she could help us voice our feelings on how we are treated to the Director.

The week and weekend came in a rush and ended with nothing special, back home, my people are doing well and the kids are all bubbling with life, Ima is five and my son asked when will his birthday be, and Ima is waiting for the next birthday which will be mummy`s then mine.

Thank God that all ended well, no fight in the centre, though tension are still high but I hope the boys that were in the fight get transferred as soon as possible so that things will come back to normal in the centre.

Mike my Gringo friend from 305 Miami FL; he actually got the Zip “305” tattooed on his ankle, to show his love for his area. Nice kid, he was the one who thought the centre was a holiday resort when he sailed through here on cruise ship, little did he know that he will be spending close to three years in that Holiday resort in the Jungle. He once told me, that probably because of the sun, and the heat, people always fight around this time of the year. Now I`m beginning to pray for rain to fall and cool everybody down, ease the tension among the inmates.

Also heard that during the past carnival, there were an attempted escape at the Feminino (The Women prison), but they were caught and one was pregnant, well I guess someone has some explanation to do, how a female prisoner in an all female prison got pregnant; hummm not a miracle, guess it was a special baby and she needed to flee for the Baby safety. As the story goes, she was later released and had her baby.

Such is life behind the walls of prisons in Panama…….. A life of fear of the unknown.

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