A Year On and Still Counting!!!
Being a long while and so much has happened, but through it all till this moment, I had kept my sanity!
Just like others were hauled to the maximum jail, I knew my day will come; a date with fate and it did came on d early morning of Friday the 25th of June! Been reading all night, just about to lay my head and catch some sleep!
Heard noises of people walking and slaming the main gate into the Galeria; then I knew the time has come! Like others gone before us, we were called one after the other and hauled out. Taking with us our accumulated properties.
One thing I learned about life here, always travel light as we were in chains both hands and feet; carrying our belongings into the waiting bus for the long trip to La Joya (My second stop at the beginning of my journey and life behind bars).
Slept most of the way and when we finally arrived, same process; in chains, we took our things and walked more than 500m to where were stripped search for phones, knives, drugs and money. The Colombians with phones who had been in the system knows how things work; paid same police searching us to let their phones in.
Some even knew some of the cops from the street, what a life! Luckily I was taken back to my former Pavilion; Pavilion 6, which happened to be the best pavilion in the whole of La Joya and La Joyita Prison Systems!
The guys here are so organised that they’ve won the trust of the management, keys are left with us, we get patio each day; lately it has been on the discretion of the cop on duty or the cop’s boss from above.
In comparison with other pavilion, so much had been achieved here, good functioning gym, patio access, and less police presence among the population!
Luckily, I had a cell and a place on the floor; where I’ve been sleeping for the past 6 Months. Should finally move to a bed as one of my mate will be going home after 8 yrs without trial!
I finally went to court in Sept, couple of days before my 1year here. Had to asked for video conference as in most cases, transportation had been a major problem in getting inmates to appointments. Had hoped I’ll get my decision same day as most people. But till this moment there has been no decision from the judge whom I believe my lawyers must have been an influence as he knows he won’t be getting money from me for doing a lousy representations!
So much has happened from my last Blog in May till now, Manni; my former cellmate at Renacer and few core people in the film project are the only survivors of the transfer. But then things got a bit worse as more Panamanians were taken over there. Lots of stealings, fight and bullying.
Over here, fighting is very rare, once you are lucky to be in a good cell, be rest assured your things are safe! But being unfortunate and end up in a bad cell, things will be doing the vanishing acts and when you complain, they tell you to look for another cell.
The Pavilion was filled, inmates had to sleep in the gym hall, but in October many were taken to a renovated pavilion in La Joya!
Others survived the transfer, those that left were glad to have a bed, but the only disadvantage there is the pavilion has no cells, just a big open dormitory with bunk bed, just 4 communal toilets and shower for 70 inmates!
Hope they enjoy there as we like it here!
Schat and the kids has been a very strong support both emotionally and materially! We chat and talk when we can, this sort of communications has helped bridged the gap and distance between.
The gym, reading has been very helpful. I had taken on me to help sort the little libray here; Manni has been sending me books from Renacer and the Consulate has been supplying us with books in our home language.
Recently, adopted the centre’s cat and her kittens. Torito and I have been fully responsible for the well-being of the Feline family! Cute little things! Fell for them as my daughter is a cat’s person. She is glad I have them.
Life continues and truly life behindBars in a foreign land is different experience from what we see on television or read! It’s living the experience!
Water is not portable and food is always half-cooked salted rice with whatever they deemed as edible!
I hope my phone will survive and serve the purpose I need it for as I now blog and tweet (@doingtimeabroad) via my phone!
Gotta sleep as I need to catch few hourse of sleep before day break!