TAKE ME BACK DEAR LORD TO THE PLACE WHERE I FIRST BELIEVE!!!

WEEK 10.

Monday 8th through Sunday 14th of March…

Monday 8th

Woken by the noise of those going to work and our BF, our agent was called to work, but there was no key to open up the lock. We were left locked up till almost 1.00pm along with other cells that had new locks replaced the old ones that were spoilt or broken. But this morning, they couldn‘t find the right keys to open up, I mean we are behind bars and being locked up and deprived of our few hours outside is damned mind breaking. But what can we do???

Finally out, rushed to the library, where one of the lads left the pc for me, able to do some writing and update. Was so happy to be in the library, the youths were back to the Pabellon as they were in the morning shift, stayed in the library till it was closed.

Back to the cell, decided to listen to some gospel, it was nice as it calms my nerves and give me some reasons for my hope, believe and being positive about the future. It was nice to hear music and songs that I really grew up with, songs that I sang, teach and lead others. I think I have to retrace my paths and find where I erred and went astray. Maybe it will help me on my path and stride for my redemption and rebirth.

Sometimes, how I wish the authorities that named this Centre Renacer (Rebirth) will work to get the inmate to truly experience a true rebirth.

Did some work out in the cell with the bar, clean the cell; gotta be the only one that sweeps the cell now and then. Made our juice for the evening and finally had my shower.

No cooked food for that evening, but Manni saved the night with another egg sauce and rice, one good thing with the Panam guys in the Galeria, most will give you things if they have while others will never give but will always expect from you, we were given rice and oil to cook with. It was a nice meal and that was it for the night.

Watch Dan Brown‘s Angels and Demon, was a nice piece and a good watch anytime again. Spent the rest of the night reading, chat with my schat and wished her a nice night rest.

What a life, in the jungle and the jungle of life….

Tuesday 9th March….

Woken by a call from a friend, don‘t know why he called that early, guess he doesn‘t have idea of the time difference. Back to sleep, not for long as BF came calling (had pink custard, wonder why they kept colouring their custard, one day we will get blue or green one too) and used the loo, couldn‘t get back to sleep as we were out early today, dressed up for training, but headed to the library first, was surprised not seeing my country bloke who is always on the pc every morning playing zuma, thought he was probably sick or something. But learnt that he was on comissione; gone to give his statement, that is almost six months after his arrest, what if he has forgotten what to say, what will they do? What a system, people wait for years without trails and at the end even when they are found innocent of the crime they were accused of, there is no compensation for the years wasted in jail.

In the library until one of the guys studying law with one the universities in the city brought me his English test for me to help him with. Promised to do it at my free time, hope I make out the time for it.

When I went out to my cell to pick things up, was surprised to see that most guys were probably still sleeping, I think the lockdown is really working on them as most people are used to being indoors now, it was almost 10.30am and the patio was virtually empty.

Since I was dressed for my exercise, went out for walking and jogging, was nice as I‘m enjoying doing this, later to the gym for some weights with our ancient weights. Had a nice time working out, back in for a proper cold shower, hope nobody will try this cold shower thing in Europe even in the summer we still bath with warm water. There are times I need a warm shower, but then what can you do, heard that one of my country blokes who has an electric boiler, does boil his water sometimes and bath with it, if he was paying for electricity he won‘t dare do that, as he will be paying through his nose.

After my shower, had a nice meal of fried egg, plantain and wheat bread and made myself my herbal tea with mint; what a good life!!!

Evening came, we were sure what will be on the table, luckily the rice that came with the prison food was Rice cooked with Beans, had it the other day and like it, so I took loads of it and my mate took some chicken  as we don‘t know what will happened. Luckily we got part of what we ordered and were able to make a nice chicken sauce later that evening and had proper meal.

Our agent, who had the phone most part of the evening, actually gotten a girlfriend, he was on phone all evening talking with her and even sang for her. Was nice to see and hear him giggling, hope she helps him put him together, Manni couldn‘t help drilling him with questions upon questions told him to leave the agent and think about his thing with the centre‘s dentist; the last time he went there, he made a pass at the dentist daughter, not knowing that he was stepping into a dangerous water filled with sharks, once told him that his English will put him into problem. Early that day when he went up for his appointment to see the dentist, the old guy asked him if he knew  who he was chatting up the last time, my mate was dumbfounded, when the man told him that she is his daughter and married, my mate couldn‘t utter a word. He was sent away that he should get another x-ray done on his teeth. Told him to stay off the dude‘s office as his next visit, he may come back without any tooth in his mouth.

We laughed ourselves into the night with jokes of Pepe becoming Popeye the sailor with his bulge muscled bicep. When I finally got the phone from agent after he used up the battery, found that I had eight missed calls and couple of texts from Schat. She was in bed sleeping I guess, sent her couple of text and went to bed early as I was worn out from the workout.

Thank God for a day that ends well and we had something to eat….

Wednesday 10th March….

Up to pick up our BF, can be annoying when I‘m woken in the middle of some nice dream, the most time they come, I‘m always in some dream or sort. Anyway, will always wake up to reality of where I am no matter where the dream had taken me to.

Back to bed until was woken up by the warden who will be bringing in the phones, he‘s been taking so much money that none will be left to pay him when he finally bring the phone in. I hope he keeps record of what I have paid so far, one good thing  about here, they don`t mess with inmates, but don`t know of foreigners like me. With their fellow Panamanians, when they have deals with them, I know they work hard that the deals came up successfully as these guys will do anything to them without any second thought.

When I came out, it was  pass nine in the morning and the hall way was empty, asked Mike the Gringo where everyone is, said they are bloody sleeping, now I know why many pays money to come here. Nobody give a damned if you ever wake up. Guess I have to make a routine or wake up as early as possible or I will become like one of them, except the nights I stayed up reading, then I can sleep out the next day. But living like this is very bad, but Mike said, it`s good for them `cos if they were in the City, they will be robbing or shooting.

Had my cereal while listening to some nice gospels I downloaded the last time I had the laptop. Used fast software I secretly installed and ripped online radio stations. Good and faster than most p2p software. Then to the Library to help Blanco with his English test, don`t know if know one has told him that he is sick, don`t know if he bath every morning as hot as this place is, one gotta to stay clean and with free water all around us. Told him to drop his materials with me, help him, but gotta also work on my writings.

Called my Consulate about my package from Schat and she confirmed that she has received it but won`t be coming soon, hope she come before her next visit will be in April. Spoke with my lawyer on picking up my radio from Jesus mum and try to get in as he has spoken with the Director about the refusal by the police letting the radio in.

After Manni`s dinner of Pasta with Egg sauce, we had my Prison brewed drink…. Healthy stuffs.

The evening was about agent, we found out that he has gotten a new girlfriend, Manni won`t let him rest as he grilled him with questions upon questions, then when he heard him sang for his girl, he asked him to learn an English song for his girl, we all took it as a joke, but Manni took it too serious, made some statement which if he had made it to a Panamanian, he would have seen knives drawn at him, but I have lived with him for a while to know him and understand him. Called it a night as the agent retired as he will be waking very early for work.

Got two new films from our blockbuster; Avatar and Hurt Locker, we watch both that night, but just me and Jer stayed through both films. They were brilliantly made and both got Oscars.

Back to my bed around 5am after Avatar…..….

Thursday 11th

Since I got to bed early around 5ish after watching Avatar was a hi8t movie which I will always love to see again, when BF came, couldn`t get up for it. Pepe picked it up, finally got up around 9am from the noise around the Passage. Had little BF and then went out for exercise, did some walking and running, then weights till late in the afternoon. It was a very hot day, did more Abs at the gym, when the youths came up to join me it was question upon question about my country and Europe. Had to leave them as I know one thing can lead to another and it could turn dirty.

Picked some mint leaves as I planned making ice tea later that day. Was called for my finger print, used the opportunity to submit my application for a job at the library, which the director signed, but don`t know when I will get to start.

When I got back, made some ice tea with my mint leaves and showered, then spent the rest of the day on my bed trying to sleep which I can`t because of the noise around me.

Schat called and we had a long conversation about loads, spoke with Karl who promised to be of help as I`m here.

Evening came, agent is back, Manni made him sing a song to his girlfriend whom I didn`t care to ask or know how she felt about the song. Didn`t want to get involved as I wouldn`t want what happened the previous night to repeat itself.

We had our dinner and called it night, every man to his bed and drifted into another world of unknown………………

Friday 12th

Up very early with the workers, very hot, had an early morning shower and stayed up till all the doors were opened. Then back to bed, exchanged text with schats, how we missed each other and loads we shared together. Hope I don`t get to stay here that long, but anyway, I will make it through as I`m strong and getting stronger with each new day.

Slept till noon when we were finally let out and the youth hauled back to their dens. Did some jogging and no weights today, very hot, heard it is always like this during the last days of the summer, just hope it will rain to cool tempers here. Got some peas from Bin Laden, well he is called Bin Laden (Real name Gregory) because he wears white beard. He lives in the green area and grows his own vegetable, but I have gotten Garlic and other things which I believe those are from what his family brings him, I guess he gives me a good bargain. Or maybe I don`t really care much as I do need the vegetable badly since the prison food is very fattening, apart from rice which comes in abudance, we sometimes get black Beans and other legumes. So i won`t complain as he continues with his deals.

Schat called, she had a call from the social service, hope nothing is wrong, Jessie picked up Chicken pox from school, she will be home for some days until she is better, I`m afraid if my boy picks it, Schat won`t find it easy as he will be all over her. She confirmed that she will be fine and not in danger if she got it.

Spoke with Jessie, she misses me loads and also Ekan really want me home, as he asked me when I will be coming home, hope soon. Miss them loads, can`t wait to hold them in my hands, they`re both grown up now.

Hope days will be going pretty fast as it does now, glad as evening came and dinner. Spoke with Schat once more, talked loads about so much happening back home and here.

Watched Avatar again and hit my bed…………

Saturday 13th

Another day in Paradise, up early as usually very hot day, the cell was washed by Ernesto; our skinny Panamanian inmate, when he came here, he barely walked, but I believe we nursed him to health and now he is very healthy, plays basketball and workouts with me sometimes. He seems to be a nice guy, but in for Homicide, always telling me how he wants to leave this country when he is done. We had all day lockdown as the pabellon were out on Saturday, but my warden friend was on duty, so I was out and walk around.

Very hot day, drank loads of water, waited for Luis for our Big Ass groceries (That`s how Mike my American friend called his shopping. he said I made him lost out from winning the lottery which is played here in the centre by inmates alongside as it is played outside. He was sure he will win and use the money to get a BIG ASS GROCERY!!!, He is the dude who sailed through the Canal on several occasions and had seen this centre as a holiday resort hidden in the jungle, but now he is here, always asked him how he is doing and enjoying his long holiday. His dad was one of the Godfathers in the Colombian`s Meddlin Cartel; he actually gave me a book with his dad`s picture in it. Told him once that he decided to take over from his dad, won`t want my son to follow me in this steps.

Luis never turned up with the grocery, heard he had permission to go out till Sunday, well whenever he comes as I have not paid him yet, no worries.

Our Casino has been moved from the galleria passage to the top of the cells, as the Director has issued a new memo that there should be no more gambling; Cock fight, you see all the guys up on the roof top with cards in hands and money on the table playing poker…

Got some KFC from a friend, made dinner that night it was fiery and tasty, loads of rice for everybody, they all enjoyed it with the KFC chicken.

Spoke with Schat and the kids again, they loved it and told me loads happening, Jessie is tired of asking me when I will come home, always try to talk her out of it. She is very strong despite the pox all over her now, sometimes she really cries most when Schat comes back from work.

But all is well…..

Sunday 13th

We were out today, so were let out and the pabellon was lock up, the whole day was dull, so had to work out the whole day, really enjoyed my workout. Shower and made myself something to eat.

Agent had his visit, taking his dirty laundry to be done by his family, while he brought the washed and cleaned ones in. what a life, even in prison, he`s got someone to do his laundry for him. How I wish I have that, which will be wicked…. Resolved that he will be doing my shopping for me now, at least we are in the same cell, can trust him a bit more than the others outside. As they say, the devil you know is better than the angel you don`t know.

Schat called but couldn`t get me as the phone was not with me, got her text that Jessie came up crying that she wants to talk to me and that she missed me. Guess since she is being sick with the pox, she really wants me as I have always taken care of them when they are sick or she could be tired of seeing and talking to mummy, she just needed me for a change.

The whole night was spent thinking about life here and there and how it will be like when I finally get back home. I hope it won`t be too long.

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