Archive for April, 2014

Life After Easter And The Evils That Lies Behind The Facades Of Panama’s Beauty!

Posted in Behind Bars in Panama on April 27, 2014 by doingtimeabroad

Panama; Tourist And Banking Haven.

 

Monday, 21 April 2014

Finally the holidays is over here in panamá and but for us on the other side of the world, we are on a forced holidays, but the forced break from our daily clanking of irons and weights and other activities in the gym, shows that certain activities outside could also affects us; glad we’re back to what’s normal. Our lives begins and goes on. 

 

The other side of this tourist and banking haven; Panama! 

Meanwhile, no day goes by without the mention of the two dutch missing students. They have been missing since 1st of April, and as the days goes, hope of finding them alive diminishes. A compatriot of mine who is also following the news, told me, there was a British tourist who went missing and never been found around the same spot the two dutch student went missing. 

 

The dutch government has sent expert police to work hand in hand with Panamanian lousy cops; hope they local cops here will be transparent in their dealings with the dutch; every unturned stones turned and cctv videos viewed, every details checked! Still praying, they are found alive! 

 

Now, back to our lives and our journey; The short bouts of diarrhoea that started yesterday ended early this morning around 3:30am. Back to bed and slept very well and deep. Up by 7:30am, warmed up yesterday’s coffee a mate made last night and took it upstairs to our signal spot. Bit empty upstairs, guess the lads are sleeping out. Signal wasn’t at its best, but enough to chat and shoot some tweets. Bank holiday in Europe, schat at home with the kids, bit handful for her, but hanging on strong as she as always been. 

 

Left to get ready for my daily bouts of exercises, my last day in the gym was last week’s Wednesday; quite a long time off, needed it to recuperate from my sore back and sciatica pain. Feeling better, but not planning to go heavy. 

 

Made enough oatmeal with cinnamon and fresh ginger for the cell. Couple of spoons and left for my workouts. The gym was packed and full, the last day the gym was open, was on Thursday, guess many just want to cover up for the missed days. 

 

Got couple of light weights, began with yoga stretches and light warm ups; push-ups, and body weight lunges, squats and pull-ups. These was something my body really needed to wake up from the long hiatus it been since last week Wednesday.

My training partners joined me gradually, put them through all I have been doing; All-body #HIIT workouts. A local whose got permit to move around has been training with me since last week, later joined us, put him through some exercises and power-clean lift; quick to learn. Rounded up my workouts with abs exercises; wood chopper, hanging leg raise and cable crunches. Enough for the day. 

 

Back in, enough water for the day, all tanks filled. And the rain is coming, drizzled a bit today. Hope it will be like this everyday. Rushed the leftover of my oatmeal, showered and did my laundry. Had proper shower. 

 

Doors was opened for patio around 4pm, my cell was empty as the lads all went out except the grocer who stayed behind to keep an eye on his wares. Tried napping, was too tired to sleep! Went upstairs which was cooler than my grilling cell. 

 

Had the chance to chat with my little girl, how I miss her, we had a daddy and daughter talk; she is growing rapidly and learning quite a lot and learning good things. Can’t wait to be back home! Like kids her age, she is learning quite a lot with computers and up to date with tech trends and to the surprise of schat 😉 

 

Had to let her sleep as she will be back to school tomorrow.  

 

Seems the rain is coming, the few minutes drizzles earlier today and the cooler breeze all evening is a signal that the weather is changing; something we earnestly need as our water is not what we can bank on. With the rains, comes cooler cells, but then, there’s a price to pay; patio will be a thing we only get to use when there’s no rain. Not too keen about it, as in most cases, it’s opened after my training and after I have showered; meaning, I can’t get to do any outdoors activities, except sunbathing.  

 

Spent all evening upstairs, signal wasn’t constant, but enough to check one or two things. 

 

Stayed up a bit late; reading news articles and later playing #CandyCrushSaga 😉 

 

When I finally got down, I was the #LastManStanding, others in the cell were in cloud 9! A cup of water and popped in aspirin before retiring to my bed, continue with reading until nature called. 

 

Tuesday 22 Apr. 2014 

Another early day for me, woke up about 5:25am, decided to stay up, set a pot of water for an early brew of green/hibiscus tea, which I took upstairs with me; an early morning has become a ritual for me, kickstarts me for the day, sometimes I go for ol Joe, but prefer tea. 

 

Good signal as there weren’t much phones or routers running at that time. Did what I had to do before sun rise and before the pavilion rises to another day of wranglings, hustling and bustling; perfect timing! 

 

Made it to the gym, which was packed for a while, but later a bit free as the most early gym rats left. Though more came in, but then, I was deep into my chest and triceps workouts. My training partners came in, one after the other; some were busy fetching water which was running in some cells. 

 

Splendid workout, and then in for a bowl of museli + banana + cinnamon, filling and what I really needed then, as I was starving. Showered and cleaned. The lads cooked rice (stable food here) and ox lungs; mine was left on my bed. 

 

Went upstairs as it was too hot downstairs, breezy and windy; not bad, signs of oncoming rain season. 

 

My pharmacist-cellmate who went out for his fortnightly conjugal visit with his missus came back with more rice and stewed beef; about going bad, he tried salvaging it by warming. Later had a bit and that was it for my day, in the evening had the last of my yesterday’s chilli soup. 

 

Four new inmates were hauled in, amongst them, one that was kicked out from pavilion 8 after getting into fight with other inmates; heard the lad is in for homicide. The system here is something else, someone fights in our pavilion, he’s thrown to pavilion 8, another fights there, he’s sent here; what difference does it make? They still gonna get back to being who they are.  What the system does is recycle us among the pavilions until one finally lands with the local which is unbearable. 

 

Tuesday, 23 Apr. 2014

Another early day for me, up to my spot to catch the first wave of signal which wasn’t bad, started a new download; #TinieTempah #Demonstration, hope enough signal to download all files, might take days. 

 

Prepared enough oatmeal (oats + cornmeal + raisins + cinnamon) for the cell, but at the end of the day had to dump it in the bin as the lads didn’t eat them, made them understand that will be my last mass production, especially breakfast. I can cook hot meals and share but breakfast, not anymore. If I had walked around the pavilion screaming and inviting people to come have breakfast with me, I know many would’ve turned up. Well, it’s lesson learned. 

 

Gym was crowded, but was able to do my workout, swift and done with in no time; Chest and loads of crossfit workouts targeting whole body, rounded up with abs. 

 

Still hot and humid in the cells, though upstairs is a bit breezy, hope the rains come soon. The lad didn’t give us water all day, but we have enough to take us through the day and I have my reserves, full and waiting. 

 

These days, barely knows what comes on the food cart, though my mates collect whatever comes and only those that are edible; not everything on those carts are edible, some will send one to the toilet right after eating. 

 

Seems the pavilion is seeing its gambling season now, the lads are up, rolling, shuffling, while money exchange hands, and smokes from fags fills the air. These ones are ready to spend all night on the green table and sleep during the day. They always keep things on the low, no noise, even when there’s heated verbal brawl, what I hear are men grumbling in deep and angry voice; they tend to abide with our zero-tolerance rule. 

 

While some of do all that needs to be done during daylight, there are other inmates who are nocturnal like our feline friends. The night is their day, our shemale is one of those who will herbinate all day and dress up for the night. Who knows what she does 😉 

 

Wednesday, 24 Apr. 2014 

Supposed to be school day, up and to my signal spot; signal was good. My download is going slow but steady; 21% so far! Might not like all the tracks in the cd, but there are few hits I have seen on the music channel and would love to have them in my workout playlist. 

 

Spent time with schat on chat, and later left to prepared for today’s training. Dressed up and armed with my kits box, then comes our PA system to life, with names of those going up to school. Finally came my name, ruining my day’s workout. 

 

Changed into our conspicuous yelling yellow T-shirt, and off to school. We were kept at first check while the cops sort out some locals; finally let us through. Local inmates and foreign inmates are not mixed, thus, extra care is taking when moving inmates around the centre. 

 

Was able to buy a picnic park of Heinz product (2x ketchup, Mustard, and Relish) and all for $18, inside he pavilion, each bottle will go for $10, friggin reaping and ripping us. Also got 2x bottle of lemon juice ($3.50 each), which sells at $8 inside our pavilion. If the lads doing that business finds out that I buy things on my way to school, they won’t be happy as I’m cutting them off 😉 

But then, who gives a fcuk….. we’re all bustling and hustling, one thing I have found out here in the course of my incarceration; there’s no friends or whatsoever here. one of our grocers is a good pal, used to be my original training partner and I shared all my supplements with him. Since he took up the job of buying stuffs for us from upstairs, he’s friggin ripping us open. After I bought the permasan cheese for 16 bucks, asked him how much he can get it for me; said 20 bucks, making friggin 4 bucks from me! That’s friendship in prison! 

 

Anyway, glad I found a way of getting my things. 

 

In school, seems to be doing great, spanish and in other fields, but damn too basic and friggin nationalistic; been taught everything about panamá even to the meaning of their national anthem. I’m there for my time reduction, hope it comes good. 

 

One of the locals from pav5 proposed a deal for me, asked if I want a piece; treintaocho /38…..apparently, that’s a piece! said, they’ve got loads of guns in their pavilion, if I need one he could get me for a grand! Have heard there are some in ours, but since nobody has use it, we wouldn’t know. Pray it doesn’t come to them using it. Our truces and peace remains and keeps us in-check. 

 

Back from school with my bags of groceries, mouths were asking where I got them and what I paid, friggin won’t tell them as they never talk. 

 

Not feeling fine, stomach upset and less sleep; down a sachet of Andrews salt, showered and hit my pillows. Few hours later, was feeling superb! Sometimes sleep is the best medicine! 

 

The heat and humidity in the cell drove me out, upstairs bit better, as always, breeze from the mountain keeps it cool.

 

Planning to wake up early, thus, an early night! Some reading before crashing for the night. 

 

Thursday  24 Apr. 2014 

Up around 4:30am to use the loo, then came the much-awaited rain, filled 4 tanks, but the first run was very dirty as the water cleaned up the pipes and the roof of the pavilion. Left for my signal spot, signal was perfect, continued with my downloads; which was done before the headcount, 95% when the whistle went off, but stayed and completed it. Ran down and stashed my phones, dressed up and bounced outside. 

 

The field was still wet from the early morning rain, but good enough to do some brisk-walking, lunges, push-ups and lots of stretching, before hitting the bars for dips and inverse rows. Good warm up that loosened my static muscles before hitting the weight room. 

 

Workout was swift, but intensive; all-body #HIIT #Crossfit circuit. Done and out before the local who trains with me came. When he finally got in, set up a programme for him before going in. 

 

Back in, enough water; yesterday we didn’t have water, and we went down to one tank as of this morning. But water came while I was in the gym and the lads filled up every empty container. Rushed a bowl of muesli + walnuts + peanut butter + gatorade and hit the shower. 

 

Tried napping, but had to round up what I was cooking; ox foot, made soup with it which we ate with white rice. Better than what comes on the prison food cart. 

 

20:39:03 upstairs all evening; stench of our drainage, seems our sewage system is blocked; behind the cells is flooded with sewage water. If nothing is done asap! Will be terrible as it will affect the toilets and bathrooms. Hope we get it unblocked. 

 

Bit quiet, probably the stench had driven them to their holes, and signal isn’t at its best. Maybe I should retire to my hole also for the night. 

 

Downstairs, 3 of the lads had bought fried chicken, made sauce and boiled rice for a late night dinner; passed! Took another shower, the cell is so hot, that even water in tanks are friggin too warm. After shower, took a walk to the back of the cells, but the stench of our sewage was oozing strongly. Back and to be bed. 

 

Friday, 25 Apr. 2014 

It’s another #weekend! Woke up late, around 7am, been up around 4am, but to use the loo and back to sleep. Opt for coffee today, brew a fresh and strong one, should be buying a pack for myself. Drank it with leftover bread from yesterday’s breakfast, our bread eater forgot it. Peanut butter on it was all I needed. Took the coffee upstairs with me. 

 

Upstairs by the signal spot, deserted, and signal is slow. Wanted to take today off training, but can’t! Will hit the gym and take Saturday and Sunday off! 

 

Downstairs, got dressed for workout, the gym was packed, but made out something for myself, got into #workoutmode #HIIT #Hardcore Chest and abs. Done right on time when the catholic priest walked in for his weekly mass with inmates; he hasn’t been here in the past three Fridays, thus, some gym rats fell for it. Too bad, had a good workout and will hang up my towel for weekend and recuperate for Monday, which will be less packed, as it’s our fortnightly visit and many will be out for the visit. 

 

Back in, no water, though drizzling outside, what we got from the rain water is still like the first run of yesterday, still dirty, cleaning up the pipes and the roof. Once the rain starts properly, we will be having clean water. 

 

Used the rainwater for my laundries and mixed it for my shower; colder than our tap water which is warm because of our hot cell. 

 

Had a bowl of museli; now my postworkout meal, need protein powder , should try and get a container. 

 

Upstairs, signal look frustrating, but cooler than our cell. Thus, just sat and enjoy the weather. 

 

Noises from a corner of the pavilion, two well-fed lads decided to take it out on each others; money and weed. Apparently, the two were best of friends before this physical brawl which got many other inmates become Spielberg as they started recording with their phones. That’s what social media and smartphones does to prisoners, keep themselves entertain in whatever way they can. While some wanted to stop the fight, many will rather have them fight till one drop death. They finally got tired, and one came upstairs, the other followed suits, hope they don’t get started as it’s all metals, water pipes and water tanks upstairs. 

 

They won’t like starting round two up here, they better get down to where they came from; much safer. Well, I think they realised that, as they engaged in heated words of name-calling, but no punches thrown. Guess, many were not happy as the fight didn’t continue as they had wanted it to be. 

 

Starving, went downstairs to cook pasta and my home-made pesto. My mate is distilling, but set my pot on the stove and went on with my cooking. Made the pesto; grated permasan cheese, parsley, coriander, spiced-olive oil, fresh garlics and peanuts (mashed into pieces). Was what I needed, filling and nutritious! The lads are probably waiting for our KFC lad to fry some chicken, which they will buy, re-cook and eat with boiled rice like they did yesterday. Apparently, there was no KFC as no chicken crossed the road today from the kitchen to thieving inmates working in the kitchen. So my mates had to do with sardines. 

 

14:35:49 

Water finally came……. all our tanks filled, meaning we will have our saturday’s general cleaning tomorrow.  

 

Had the last of my pasta, and a cup of my red wine, the lad that cooks for my mate upstairs, been drinking and blowing joint all day; not fit for purpose! My mate had to get someone else to do the cooking. Gave me some, but can’t eat anything tonight as I have past my dinner time, will do it for brunch. Feel like doing some Olympic lifts tomorrow morning; once I’m up early, will round up and head out for a quick burst of workout. 

 

21:32:52 

No signal this evening on our network, hope nothing fishy is going on. Will have to hit my bed very early to rise early and get online. 

 

There’s proper rhuma in the pavilion, did distil half a tank of my mash today; added ginger, juniper berries, black pepper and to give the end-product a distinctive taste, wasn’t bad when the lad was done. My mate distilled a full tank and is already selling to his clients who buys on credit. On diverse spots in the pavilion, music, dancing, chatting, smokes and drinks fills the space, space that we barely have. Having read of people who live in close proximity breathing each other’s bacteria, I bet we are breathing and eating eacg other’s shit here. More reason, one have to take care of his health and wellbeing. 

 

Reminds me of inmates who waited all day to be taken to the clinic, finally taken out around 4pm, only to find the staffs closing for the day. Few were attended to, others were told to come back on Saturday; doubt if the cops will come for them. 

 

Intel coming in…… after the fight earlier today, a lad who is a friend to one of the fighters was involved in another case. Last night, while they were drinking and snorting lines upon lines of maryjane, the lad who was thrown out of pavilion 8, nicked a phone from a cellmate who was involved with a now-released compatriot of mine. This pot-bellied fella has been proposing the lad for a shagging session; apparently, he fills like shagging after much drinking and snortin; what a life! Doing time and have the best of times! 

 

Well, the young lad has chosen to pitch his tent with our queen; our shemale, they had their drinking, snorting and frolicking session all night yesterday! Doubt if our shemale knew the lad nicked a Samsung galaxy S3. But as of today when it all came to light, the president suggested that our shemale be thrown out as the lad, but to the disapproval of many beneficiaries of our shemale nightly service. Well, the lad been chucked out, probably to the hyenas; the locals who feast on him, pavilion 8 won’t accept him as he was thrown out from there. Hope he survives the ordeals, probably living with the locals will be what he wanted. 

 

21:54:54! Seems mixtures of joints and liquor is getting the lads past cloud 9, those at the back of the cells are singing along with whatever song comes up on the boom-box and I can hear crude instruments which ain’t coming from the original music; clapping of hard prison palms, empty plastic bottles of gatorade are filled with tiny stones and are shaken along with the rythmn of the music; salsa and vallenato. Fucking don’t know how they will shake that to the tunes of Rick Ross or Guns N Roses 😉 

 

Did sell 600ml of my wine for $4, not bad…. told my drinking/eating mate not to touch it as I won’t be happy with him. he has finished the pineapple one, him alone. Apparently, the lad wants something to help grow his mojo….got me #lmao! 

 

Told me, he’s got a lil weiner, want something like mandingo…. told him, stop eating and lose some weights; that’s one step to having a good size. Told him, he must have a body proportional to his mojo. Can’t have a little mojo and big frame body and pot bellied. He’s young, but friggin too lazy to pick up weights. He’s doing his time with food; takes a nap, wake up and eat, walk around and back in to eat. His life is around food and food alone. I’m trying to get him to workout with me, but friggin too lazy. His mate bought the 600ml of my wine. 

 

Monday is visit day, last one was a family one, but this will be a normal one. Many are gearing up for the less than an hour moment with their missus or hired skirts #Escort! 😉 

 

While the rest of us retired to our sleep spaces, some were beginning their weekend rhuma, down in the cell was hot like oven, no option, had to sleep as I needed my sleep. 

 

Saturday, 26 Apr. 2014 

Woke up by 2:30 to use the loo, two of my mates were drinking and in the company of their phone-girlfriends; what more can a man do. Upstairs and on the passages were pockets of inmates gathered together, snorting, drinking and doing their time. 

 

Climbed upstairs to my signal spot, signal was better and also better time to chat with schat who was up and about. The lads kept their music on till 6am, and nobody will talk to them about the noise pollution and disturbance they caused. Some are actually above our unwritten rules.  

 

Been our general cleaning day, rushed down to catch some nap, won’t be training today. 

 

Slept for a while, by 8am, the lads were up, moving things, had to wake up and got my stuffs out and there ended my much-needed sleep. 

 

Went back upstairs with a book to keep me busy, rained a bit, hope it will rain more, as no water today. Had cup of hot chocolate by my mate upstairs, was starving, needed proper food. 

 

Downstairs, the lads were cooking coconut rice, and ox-foot soup. Rushed for a quick shower and made me a brunch of avocado, chopped fresh parsley and added my chilli-oil and a scoop of the steaming coconut rice; filling and nutritious. Downed it all with a chilled cup of my ginger/cinnamon/grape juice wine 😉 

 

No workout today and Sunday, will head back to the gym on Monday with passion and full force. 

 

Took a power nap, seems the rats has build a city in the gap between my mate’s board upstairs and my cardboard that I used to sealed the top of my bunk. The air from the fan is stench of rat’s urine; should break everything down and put up new ones; will set me back about 50 bucks, need the dough for that asap! Surviving prison is not just about how armed you are, but also involved keeping the ultimate hygiene, eating healthy; we live and breathe billions of bacteria and viruses that any outbreak can be disastrous. 

 

While napping, another round of fight was going on, but very brutal and bloodied, involving one the pavilion’s bully; one of the few with an active gang. Uses his gangs to threaten his debtors, and his boys nicks and he stands behind them. 

 

The pressure is on him, as I heard he was drinking and snorting his own products (seems, to have forgotten rule of business; never get high on your products), in the past, never knew him to drink or smoke, but from what I heard; he has finished doing time for one case, and the prosecutors got him more time for another case. That’s not good business and also not good for his mind; it has driven him mental. He’s becoming more aggressive, and from my intel, he being one of the biggest street pharmacist here is actually in debt as he owing other inmates loads of money; about three grand! Hummmmmmmmm! 

 

He accused a sworn enemies of his of nicking his dope while he was stoned-drunk last night; but witnesses and even his right-hand man, said the accused was sleeping when they were drinking. But, he went in and battered the lad’s face, threatened to stab and kill him. The president met him to calm things down, he insisted the lad must pay him; he’s probably heard the lad has money, so he’s looking for a way to rob him. When the president left, he went back for a second round of fight with the lad. The lad for fear of his life, went out and reported to the police; the cop on duty radioed his boss who came in. And that set our alarm system off; we scrambled to our stashes and buried whatever shouldn’t be found if there’s a search.  

 

When the police came, the big bully was still threatened the lad and in front of the two cops. Upon hearing the threats, the cops armed with tear gas, sprayed him a handful, cuffed him and hauled him out. Many hope that will be the end of his reign of terror in the pavilion, and his leaving will also be the end of his gangs. 

 

We hope, he won’t be brought back, as he seems to be connected with the cops; who are the ones that supply him with his products. 

 

The lad who he battered his face is sleeping away his life and fear; who knows what the remnants of the gang are planning next. One’s life on the edge and on guard 24/7! 

 

Back to what’s normal, drinking and music goes on for those not involve in any fracas, while others are gathered at the signal spot with heads bowed like unto religious worship. 

 

21:49:28 watching live-boxing upstairs with some lads, others are watching baseball. Sports on television are another pastimes that keeps us going. Something has to get us going, or one could drop dead from boredom. Glad I salvaged lots of books from the library when it was destroyed and schat has been helping me by sending books. The best is online resources; been able to download e-books and magazines has been very helpful with doing time. 

 

One of the most important books that has been very useful since I was hauled in here, is #TheBookOfHealth (A medical encyclopedia for everyone).  The day our library was destroyed, I found it in the bin outside, took it and dried it, and since then, it has never left my bedside. Once lend it to a sick Canadian who’s having the early signs of parkison’s syndrome and early signs of Alzheimer’s. He confided in me, that he’s probably will be repatriated after five years due to medical reasons; so happy for him. Was scared he might not make it out of here alive, and he’s well above 65yrs old! 

 

Downstairs to shower and sleep, #Dexter was on tv, didn’t finished the series when it was on, surprised they still show it. And it was the part I wanted to see; where his sister caught him in the church killing Travis! Hope they should the final. 

 

Showered and hit my bed! 

 

Sunday 27 Apr. 2014 and 03:47:22 

Been up since 2AM battling with mosquitoes who don’t know how to quit. The prison was cut of from the national power grid; total blackout, the cell was hot as oven. Had to use a magazine as fan, heard movements on the passages, too risky to walk as many had been drinking and snorting and it’s blindly dark, any crazy thing could happen. Thus, stayed put in my bed till energy was restored. Should be climbing upstairs to get this publish, hope there will be signal. 

 

It’s Sunday, thus, my rest day, there will be lots of hours to sleep and recover; if only there’s no impromptu search later today. We don’t know what the big bully might be doing; hope he’s not singing and ratting us out. When an inmate is forcefully removed, they tend to think the cops are their friends; rat and sings of what is going on inside, another reason we don’t allow people who don’t share same stash with you to know what and where your stash is. The same bully was the one who kicked the Chinese out of the cell he shared with them after they accused him of nicking their ipad during a search, while he stayed behind to monitor the cops (one cell member always stay behind during search to watch the cops, as they themselves are thieves on uniforms; licence to steal). 

 

Despite my fan on its fullest, it’s still friggin hot in here. Better dress up and climb upstairs for fresh air. 

 

Our sewage man and 24/7 snort came asking my pharmacist-cellmate to sell him asthma inhaler; a local sold it to my mate for $5 and my mate wants 10 bucks for it. The lad is probably having one of his asthma attacks and really need the inhaler, but my mate ain’t giving him as the chance of paying is zero! He want cash in hand, but the asthmatic inmate doesn’t have the cash now, promised to pay later in the day; no way, he ain’t gonna pay no dime! 

 

He’s paid handsomely by the pavilion for his cleaning job, and also washes cells for the lazy ones and get paid; but end up using his money on dope, forgetting that he need his real lifesaving medication first. I think the heat that came during the blackout must have triggered his asthmatic attack. 

 

Well, left him at my door to his fate, but locked the door after me. I know my cell mate won’t budge, the lad need money to replace his archaic HTC Inspire that was taken during the search. Doing business in prison, one have to been hard, mean and brutal or else one will end up locked up and broke. Tried it and didn’t go well; especially when it’s perishable goods, you are forced to sell on credit which you might end up not been paid. The same asthmatic lad once bought a pie I baked and sold and till date hasn’t paid. Others had started with fun and fair; elaborate businesses, some with partners, but at the end, either a fallout or ran into debts, which ends up with creditor harassing his debtors, either with sticks or knives. 

 

Business behind bars is at one’s own risk! And that’s why I prefer my moonshine business; my wine gets better with age, but loses comes when there is a search; one can lose all. The scents gives it away, friggin smells like a brewery 😉 no search, the wine and distill can stand forever and gets better. 

 

Flashes of lightening and thundering from the mountains, hope it will rain as we ain’t sure of water today; yesterday there was none and are bare! Though got my reserves! 

 

Gotta get this up, signal is a bit ok! 

 

Whilst you’re holding on to what has passed and who you’ve been. You’re unable to grow into the next moment and what you could become! 

#PrisonExperience #PrisonCurious! #Lockup #Gevangenis #Panama #Netherlands #Nederland #PrisonViolence #SurvivingPrison #Prison #Jail 

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Prisoners And The Easter Story

Posted in Behind Bars in Panama on April 21, 2014 by doingtimeabroad

A story many have heard a million times, a story that idle and layabout inmates will sit for hours in heated argument of what was and what wasn’t. A story with just one theme; #Redemption, a theme befitting us, living behind bars, people in dire need of redemption. Redemption, which sometimes and in most cases comes through self vindication. No where in the world would people find men “trying” to live the easter experience than in prisons and in catholic latin American prisons; #Panamà 

 

Let the past dictate the future, but never repeated. Mistakes are valuable, learn from them and then let them go.

 

Easier said than done? It all depends on one’s perspective of what mistakes are and what should be done with them or after them.  When something goes wrong, turn it into an opportunity to learn something you didn’t know; especially about yourself.

 

When something goes wrong for someone else, turn it into an opportunity to be gracious, forgiving, and understanding and most importantly, learn from that person’s mistake; table do turn around! Yeah! Like the wheel of fortune!

 

The past is just training. The past should definitely inform but in no way define you–unless you let it.

 

And that mistake and past is one experienced in the courtyard of high barbed-wire fences enclosures; called #Prison, and the lessons are horned and learnt through this bitter experience; #PrisonExperience. 

 

Wow! A new week and lots of uncertainties lies ahead of us as we walk and work our lives unto our redemption.  

 

The weekend was a hectic one, taking us through our water crisis, which gradually is coming to an end, as of today many were still fighting for water which when it runs, run for few minutes and not enough for everyone. My cell is lucky to be on a pipeline that gets water whenever it runs. But then we haven’t gotten enough to do all our laundries and do the general cleaning that was supposed to be done on Saturday. Hopefully by Wednesday everything should come back to what we know as normality. 

 

#Monday, our fortnightly visit, but happened to be a family visit day, minors are allowed to accompanied adults on today’s visit. The pavilion was almost empty as those without visit tagged along to see their mates families. The food that came in here today is enough to feed us for three days, but without means of preservation, they will all rot. Many came back from the visit with red eyes from sobbing at the departure of their loved ones, heard the kids were also crying. Such is our lives, our chosen paths; the highway of the underworld.  

 

While they were out smooching and touching, I was busy hitting weights in the gym. The gym was scanty, but ok to get me worked up; had enough time for myself. Had an #HIIT Back and Biceps workout, made it burning with skipping and rounded up with abs moves. The air was thick, the few that were in the gym were complaining of the heat and humidity. My last workout was on Thursday, thus, wasn’t on my full potential. But had what I will call an excruciating workout and rewarding. 

 

Wanted to nap, but with the heat in my cell, it’s not advisable to stay in the cell, after my shower and postworkout meal of coconut water and pineapple and devouring last night’s leftover spaghetti, I felt superb. Couldn’t dine on what the lads brought in, there are so much food from the two lads who went out on visit today in my cell. So much to feast on, but since I watching my height 😉 gotta be careful with all the fried foods.  

 

For dinner, had a few weird tiny eggs, fish, chicken drumstick and a portion of rice (this will go on my twitter timeline: @Doingtimeabroad). Enough calories and nutrients for today, down everything with green tea and fresh ginger. Had gotten two fillets of tilapia which was supposed to be my postworkout meal, will keep it for tomorrow, maybe my breakfast.  Doubt if anybody in my cell and most cells touched the prison food that came in today as we have enough food to take us through three days. 

 

Our drainage system got blocked; guess from all that got stocked during our water crisis, the pavilion’s executives went around collecting a dollar from each inmate to pay the lads that will unblock the pipe, if they can’t do it tonight, will be terrible as our toilets and shower rooms will be flooded with black stinking water. Hope it work out good tonight. Dues paid,  the sewage system fixed and we all went back to flooding it with our shits and crumbs of food that some dullards and daft inmates will always wash into the bathroom drain. 

 

Signal doesn’t look promising tonight and the spot is crowded with inmates who desperately want to continue where they stopped at the visit earlier today. And downstairs is baking hot, but got loads to do, thus, i’ll be heading downstairs to my cell. 

 

Back in my cell, showered for the second time today, it’s normal to take two showers each day; one after my workout and the 2nd before bedtime or rather bunktime 😉 

 

Stayed up all night on my bed doing backup of all my files; have got over 1500 ebooks, magazines and other useful materials on a 32GB memory card, lots of full albums of current billboard songs and older ones and also some video clips that worth saving as no one knows what can happen the next moment. Most importantly are my daily updates of my life, our lives and our journey on the inside, can’t afford to lose them, though having a blog also keeps them safe. Having multiple backups is an ideal idea in a place like this. Stayed up until 3am doing just the backups and finally get to lay my head. Around 4am a mate that is really sick of multiple illness; high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure took ill, the lad sleeping up on top of our cell attended to him. Well, in a place like this, one guides his life and health even with his own life. Some crazy and bad habits are hard to weaned off; my mate has got sweet tooth, hard to let go of sugary stuffs. Haven’t been a fan of sugar, salt and oils, thus I don’t buy them, tried cooking with spices instead to get the flavours. My mate happens to be the strongest in the pavilion; old school prisoner, did time in the states where he horned his strength, lad benches the most, squat the most and even deadlift the most. Always made him understand, I’m training to live healthy and remain fit; well to run as fast and far as I can if I have to 😉 

 

He loves competition, my competition is with myself, to better than I was yesterday….period!

Glad I have access to materials online; following different training regimes and circuit has really helped me improve my workouts. And apparently, I seems to have many followers or disciples who wants to follow my training routines 😉

 

Helps when training with enthusiastic partners, they help uplifts and motivates when one is about losing it. There are some good lads here, irrespective of what they are in for, and there are some evil ones, and I mean real evil 😉 Well, despite their evil nature, we still coexist and cohabit but our lives are on parallel line, never to meet; once wrote prison as a crossroad; but once we have met, we then continue on our parallel lives till the day we walk out of this dungeon; dead or alive! 

 

Tuesday, 15 Apr. 2014 

We had so much assorted food yesterday, that before sleeping, had to drink a cup of Andrews salt; really helped, despite sleeping less than 4hrs, woke up without any stomach upset. 

 

My incarceration in panamá has given me the opportunity to try assorted cuisines and exotic foods which in Europe, I might be facing extra prison time for indulging in such luxury. I have eaten Iguana, crocodile, eggs from exotic birds and iguana eggs, different sorts of bush and wild animals. One thing, I always asked and watch them eat before trying. Well snakes, I haven’t, but some lads had killed boa constrictor and made soup of its meat; couldn’t stomach that…..yuuuuks! 

 

Being a pavilion for foreigners, virtually all nations or race on planet earth and probably alien ones are represented here; Chinese and their stir fries, Mexicans with pikante, white and black Colombians (the most here) with all sorts of exotic dishes, Europeans, North Americans and even Africa, thus, we are the #UNO (UNderworld Organisation) 

 

Surviving prison is about not taking life too serious once you are slammed in. Live each day as it comes but plan for the next day; #Hope! And always be ready for the unknown! Got some training mates who are always on trainers while most of us are on flipflops as it’s friggin hot here, once asked one why the trainers 24/7; being an old school lad with a long sheet of record, he said, this is prison, anything can happen and you have to bail; #RUN! Thus, having running shoes on, mean you are ready when such moment comes. 

 

Back to my day, got up around 6:30am, set up a pot of fresh ginger and cinnamon sticks for our morning brew; added green tea to mine as I headed upstairs to get online. Too late as signal was very bad, but did some time before heading down to get ready for an early start in the gym. 

 

The cop on duty is a mean one, wouldn’t allow anyone outside, not even the boxers; the local boxer who was in for stabbing his girlfriend and a good friend of my mate left yesterday after doing about 4yrs on the inside; since he’s gone, guess the cop wants a new list from the director. Set my name on the paper, hope the director approves it. Will love to be heading outside for early burst of cardio and then round up with strength training with free weights. 

 

No breakfast, just my cup of tea and a banana, hit the gym, planned hitting chest today, but all materials taken; improvised for a proper #Crossfit circuit, started with #skipping, inclined push-ups, and power clean. A mate joined me, couldn’t last as it was proper #HIIT #Hardcore , some weaklings thought I’m on some kind of juice; #Determination and a #MindsetOfAPrisoner to better himself is probably my fuel. Got my worked up. We finally found a bench and bar and did strength lifting; increasing the weight on every next set, benched 295lbs as I was knackered from the cardio. Rounded up with triceps and abdominal. Called it a day and back in. 

 

Devoured my leftover rice and chicken, cool down with a cup of cold tea; thank God for ice that are allowed in, it would have been inferno here with it. 

 

Showered and wash my clothes, water came this morning, but we weren’t given, the lad in charge of the pump is making money from supplying other cells water; but seem to forget that, the pump was bought be my mate and also paid to bring it in. But we later got enough water this afternoon. Tried napping, couldn’t as my mates were too busy enjoying their food and talking; #GoodLife! 

 

Upstairs by our signal spot is congested as inmates congregates around the spot we all seems to be receiving mobile signal; sounds and look crazy, that only one spot in the pavilion can phones receive mobile signal. At least it serves our needs. 

 

Couldn’t keep up the watch and stay all night, felt knackered and sort of disorientated as I couldn’t nap during the day due to my mates incessant noises. Thus, an early call to my bunk, shower and by 10pm tucked my sore back into my bed, popped B complex and Diclofenac to help with the strained lower back. 

 

Wednesday, 16 Apr. 2014 

Barely slept throughout the night; had to use pillow to relieve me of the pain. 

 

It’s 11:11:56, been upstairs since 7am at the signal spot, not bad, at least could read some news and fire up my tweets before it slowed down. 

 

Back to my cell for a quick shower and a brunch; we are probably having the last of the visit food; chicken and rice (the lads cooks white rice with so much oil, one can only eat when hot, cold, it’s all fatty). 

 

By 1300hrs, the pavilion will be thrown into silence as Barcelona takes Madrid for the #CopaDeRey championship. Majority are Barça fans, but I’d rather see #FCMadrid lift the cup 😉 

 

True to my prediction, #GarethBale #KingOfWales is crowned #KingOFSpain. Throughout the duration of the match, the pavilion was as quiet as a graveyard, the only moment the silence was broken was when Barcelona put in their equaliser, it was like an eruption of a sleepy volcano their joy wwas short-lived when #KingBale netted in the winning goal that’s worth his £100M sales from Tottenham Spur; what a match and it’s silenced the Barcelona fans forever and for good and the peace of our pavilion; if they had won, their weekend would’ve started today with drinks and music. Glad they didn’t win 😉 

 

18:20:50 up by the signal spot, not much of signal tonight and the spot is congested with inmates, most calling. Can’t imagine what life would’ve been on the inside without access to mobile phones. It’s one technological innovation that is ironically useful to prisoners. Though will use it to continue with deals on the outside, but the pros outweighs the cons. 

 

There will be series of meetings tomorrow,  but none for me. And it will be our weekly headcount, thus an early start for the day; like always, should be stashing my phones. 

 

Couldn’t keep my watch as my sore back need a rest. Down to my bunk, showered and straight to my bed before others; surprised! 

 

Thursday, 17 Apr. 2014 

 

Sleeping early last night definitely meant I will be first to rise, though spent most part of my sleep hours tossing from side to side to soothe my aching lower back. Finally gave up the idea of sleep around 4am, got dressed up and crawled my way to the signal spot; climbing is no deal as there ain’t no weight of pressure on my lower back, but standing still, walking, or sitting is much of a big deal. Climbed gracefully and got to my spot, sat alone for much part of the early hours, signal was good, but I was feeling sleepy, guess from the 300mg of painkillers I downed before leaving the cell and also from sleeplessness.  

 

Left the spot back to my cell around 6am to catch an hour or so of sleep before the headcount commences. 

 

Didn’t get much of the sleep I wanted, a crazy mate came pulling my curtains; wanker! 

 

Then came the headcount, was first to walked out with my chair and #LeeChild #WorthDyingFor novel, not working out is given time to read quicker as I’m stuck in my bed, sort of bedridden, there’s no library or anywhere to sit quietly and read or study; had to turn deaf ears to the noise and brawling in my cell even when my name is mentioned in their discussions, I tend to ignore. 

 

The headcount went pretty fast, and all were hauled in. The gym’s early birds were about to hit the weights when protest came from the over-zealots who wanted the day kept holy and undefiled; and most are probably sharpening weapons of warfare, nicking and ordering reprisals all from the inside. Well, they won, as they wanted #JuevesSanto (Holy Thursday) kept holy; thus, the #GymBirds walked back to their cells, some had warmed up outside, well from what I heard, the gym will be closed on #EasterFriday also and probably by open on #Saturday, closed on #Sunday and likely closed on #Monday (#EasterMonday). 

 

Back in my cell and continued with my novel, up for a breakfast of muesli (thanks to Schat for sending me that), back to bed and to my reading, occasionally up to use the loo (taken a direutic earlier in the day for #BP and sends me to the loo every now and then). A cup of green tea on my cluster bed, a nap in-between my reading. Some inmates came asking if I’m good as they haven’t seen me all day; well caring ones. Some will wish, I’m gone for good, just for no reason. 

 

The day is friggin slow without my daily workouts, hope I get well and fixed before Monday. 

 

Had given the lads a pack of tuna bought from one of the prisoners chef, but they decided to cook ox tongue; not bad, filling with enough white rice. Spaghetti and tuna came on the dinner cart, took some and that’s enough for the day. If I’m hungry later on, I can still make me a bowl of muesli…. there was no need for the bowl of cereals, I had a cuppa of hot brew hibiscus/green tea in bed after an evening shower. then curled up in the foetus position as it’s the only way I get relieved of the pains. Did some pages on the novel before nature called. Slept till 1am when I got up and popped in some diclofenac and B Complex, hope they help with the pain. Got my weightlifting belt on as I made my way upstairs to get online. 

 

It’s 02:02:55 been up here for more than an hour, the evangelicals are having vigil behind the cells, while some early weekenders on one corner are revelling; celebrating something only know to them. Feel bit ok with fresh burst of wind blowing from the mountain through the iron bars; that just the only one thing they can’t deny us of #FreshAir! 

 

Left the signal spot to my cell to get some sleep hours, struggled to sleep and when finally got my eyes closed, had two opposing dreams, of which one is what every man will want to indulge in 😉 and the other a bit disturbing; but both scenarios were outside, hope freedom comes soon. Fingers crossed as we wait for #DenHaag decision on our long-forgotten fate. 

 

Been reading #CarlJung #ManAndHisSymbol; a gift from a #Canadian journalist, one of the best gift ever had in here and I believe it was also gifted to him. Nice fella! Had initially scanned through the novel, but now reading it like a textbook, so much on the psychology of man, dreams and symbols and life as a whole. 

 

Friday, 18 Apr. 2014  #GoodFriday! 

 

Apart from the religious side to today, if anything is good about this Friday, it will be ‘being alive to see the day’, other than that, ain’t no different from other days and moreover we had another search scare; a false alarm that sets us panicking and running helter-skelter to our stash spots. There were cops marching towards this end, and that sets the lads in synchronised motions; all to task they have repeated over time, running, pulling aparts and climbing, all to hide what is said to be prohibited in prisons. 

 

It all turned out to be a false alarm, but didn’t stop me from doing same; got my phones stashed and sets my tanks of mashes away to a better and spacious spot were the fermenting mashes can breathe. Glad it was a false alarm. Later heard the cops went to our transvestite neighbours in pavilion two. Bet they will be sieving through G-strings, BH’s, tangas and bikinis as those lasses are fun of dressing colourfully when out on patio. They might even find firearms and other mean weapons, since these trans are the aggressive types in their kingdom; ‘don’t mess with my culo’…….. words we always hear from them; lovely lasses, they keep us going. 

 

A bit relieved of my sciatica pain, able to wash my clothes and had a proper shower; water seems to be rationed, we only get what we need for the day’s uses. Hope the lads realise this also and use water wisely. 

 

My mate cooked half of the tuna I bought from one of the cooks, not bad with white rice. Lately we have been a lot of vegetables; courtesy of my grocer cellmate; once he placed orders, whatever comes and on what conditions the vege comes, he has to accept them, sometimes at a loss, vegetables and fruits are supposed to be stored in cool and dark place; but the heat in the cell gets them all ripen within days, he’s forced to pick them out and leave them for the cell to us. I still buy other things from him, but we do have enough bell peppers; mostly green and green turning red. Sometimes onions and plantains are added and cucumers which I use for cucumbers sticks, not bad. Our shemale once gave a show with one massive cucumber, glad it didn’t get close to his behind, just a blow-job show; friggin expert in it, the flow was all natural, smooth and swift;)

 

14:07:13 lunch just got in, for the first time in years, we are having fried fishes for lunch; majorities of inmates being from Atlantic and pacific parts of Colombia are fish-lovers, they were over the moon. Got mine with a bowl of lentils, passed the rice, bit tired of eating half-cooked rice that ends up getting cooked in my stomach; no wonder one can’t stand or stay in the cell when these lads shit, they eat half-cooked rice and got it cooked and fermented in their system and the end-product is proper shit! 

 

The still-in-the-closet gay lad in my cell is becoming very edgy lately, his compatriots won’t let him be as they seems to always make him centre of their jokes. Since there’s nothing useful or important to do, picking on others is part of what keeps many going and alive here; sarcasm! 

 

Have always learned sarcasm and critics as stepping stones to build my resolve to survive, even in the gym, it helps with the extra lift and the last reps. 

 

21:14:12 Upstairs but signal is terrible, haven’t spoken or chat with schat after our early morning chat. Hope signal will come up so her messages comes through; all my messages seems to be in a buffer zone waiting for signal so they can come through 😉 

 

We actually had fried fishes for lunch today; these folks takes the easter and no meat things literally serious. From my fishermen cellmates, what they brought in on the lunch cart is what they throw back to the sea after drawing out their nets 😉 

The fish was plain and tasteless, but we did turned them edible after some touches, and that was my lunch/dinner! 

 

From the kitchen insiders, we might be having steak tomorrow for lunch, not beef steak but pork chops, many are over the moon, can’t wait, I will be using the rest half of my tuna for pasta/tuna/vegetables! 

 

The pavilion is a bit bit quiet, despite our gamblers at different points in the passages rolling dices and shuffling cards as money passes hands. Everything seems to be done quietly not to upset the mood of the season. A cellmate of mine has downed a half litre of liquor alone, hope he doesn’t vomit or become too noisy later tonight. Well, he didn’t vomit, but I guess he got horny and probably wants to get laid, he’s been taking the piss of the little still-in-the-closet gay cellmate; himself when tipped over the recommended limit, ties his shirt in knots and wag his ass in fluid and smooth movements to tunes of vallenato, as he have his gay moments of joy and pain, and as always, it ends in tears after reminiscing of things that belongs and should stay in the past; it all happens to us all, call it #SwingMoods! 

 

When I finally got downstairs, past midnight, my drunk cellmate has made himself and eaten a pot of soup to help with the after-effect of downing so much of our potent distil. Took another late-night shower as it was grilling in the cell; the fans seems to be blowing streams of hot air and dust. Some reading before crashing. 

 

Saturday, 19 Apr. 2014 

The gym is likely going to be open today, but still time-out for me as I need to get my sore back in shape. Yoga stretches has been very helpful, hope I’m fully fixed by Monday, so I can get on with me workout as from next week’s Tuesday.  

 

07:59:17; water is running and the lads are hustling and scrambling for what they can fetch, someone just fell through the net-wire passage upstairs, he should take care of himself as the wires are all rusted and risk of infection is very high.  An inmate once fell in and got infected after laughing off the scratches, glad almost everything we need medically are handy around here; legal and illegal once can be bought from inmates and from the so-called medic working in the infirmary; nicks and sells! 

 

Starving upstairs, had to head downstairs for what I would call crashed food: #Brunch! 

 

Had ordered chicken’s livers and hearts, who knows what parts nicked from the kitchen were included in the $2 packs; onions, garlic, cumin, and hint of curry, salt to taste, left it to boil with the liver oil. Wasn’t bad for my stomach that has only seen tea and coffee today. Was filling, just as I finished came in black eye peas with pig tails on the lunch cart, told the lad to sieve through and scoop as much beans he can for me, filled my bowl; that will be my dinner. 

 

One of my cellmates is drinking and salsa is blasting from his radio placed in front of the cell.

 

Meanwhile and earlier today, we had another search scare, couple of cops were making round the perimeters, as it’s become our new norm, they sent us flying, scrambling to our stashes, inmates were climbing and ripping off routers from walls high up in the pavilion, then came the calls that it’s a false alarm. That wouldn’t make me pull out my phone’s where they were stashed; had to give them another thirty minutes and see what happens next, nothing! Coast cleared! Phones out and life goes on as it used to be; waiting and anticipating their next move, like a game of chess.  

 

Had a power nap after my shower and brunch; chilli curried chicken organs (livers and heart), guess missing parts from the kitchen, sold at $2 a pack, had it with rice but cell-cooked not the prison half-cooked rice, not much of difference from what we the lads cook in the cell; first fry part of unwashed rice in hot oil, fried till brown and burnt, then add washed fresh ones and cook till half done,   always the last to scoop mine after they are done; cover the pan, and allowed the steam to do some more cooking until the rice is fully cooked. 

 

Our revellers are in full swing tonight having some gay moments; music, chicha (moonshine), distil cocktails, rolled joints, and fags, what more will one expect in a place where men are slammed to withered away; and gradually! 

 

A mate whom I have known since my day one here, told me how he sold his bed in the cell to fund his wife medical treatment; apparently she is in the female prison as they were both arrested, charged and sentenced. The authorities won’t attend to her medical need, the lad had no option than selling his concrete bed and set up a sleep space on top of the cell; actually sleeps with rats, roaches and the cats as we all do. It’s pathetic how the authorities treats inmates. 

 

Beggars belief when one sees what politicians make and turn prisoners into; religion is good, but a fanatic and an extremist are something else. Once read, “an extremist is on who won’t stop talking about it or change the topic”……. watching today’s news, which has become an uncontrolled habit, just to keep tab on the two missing Dutch students who had been missing since 1st of April. pray they are found alive. 

 

Well, on the news today, the journalist ventured into parts of the city, politicians dread talking about; the ghettos of San Miguelito, showing young boys yet to be initiated into streets or barios gangs playing footie, something to keep them off crime like many others who took to boxing. Talking to the journalist is a young lad whom I have seen his face within the centre; now released and written under his young frame on television; #Pastor………! beggars belief! Isn’t! Been to jail, did some time probably a violent crime and probably was in as a minor and now out as a pastor! What does he know? Lad can’t friggin wipe his ass? Soon he will be back in the slammer. The government definitely need to lay something concrete for the locals and get them properly rehabilitated; learn a trade, apprenticeships of any kind, anything vocational will help them. Not bombarding them with religion, soon the after-effect will wear off like drugs and they will fine themselves in the real world of hustling and bustling, then what will they do? 

 

Something cooler here, as the wind is blowing in, but downstairs is grilling, will be here for a while #upstairs. 

 

#48LawsOfPower 

 

Never put too much trust in friends; learn how to use enemies.

Conceal your intentions.

Always say less than necessary.

So much depends on reputation. Guard it with your life.

Win through your actions, never through argument.

Infection: avoid the unhappy and unlucky. (we are all unlucky to be here at the first place, but the unhappy; them I run from). Lol!

Learn to keep people dependent on you. (I used that in the gym, as they need me for motivation and selective exercises, but money-wise, friggin need nobody depending on me, but my cellmates definitely need me as I’m their passwords keeper)

Use selective honesty and generosity to disarm your victim.

When asking for help, appeal to people’s self-interests, never to their mercy or gratitude.

Pose as a friend, work as a spy.

Crush your enemy totally (#PrisonGangs does it better, scarred for life or send to the great beyond #PrisonViolence)

Use absence to increase respect and honour. (well, can’t be absent here, but do try staying away from the scene for a while; encamped in my bunk, like now with sore back and sciatica pain, but back home, amongst friends and loved ones, my absence has really made them realised how important I was in their midst and how important families meant to me, especially my lil girl, grown up and longs for my return). 

Keep others in suspended terror: cultivate an air of unpredictability (had never been involved in physical brawl, thus, I’m definitely unpredictable; does Olympic lifts many are scare of doing; fast, agile and very prime and always prepared)

Do not build fortresses to protect yourself. Isolation is dangerous.

Know who you’re dealing with; do not offend the wrong person. (surviving prison, one need to know every inmate inside-out!)

Do not commit to anyone. (And owe no man, no even dope, moonshine or joint money, don’t buy on credit)

 

Laws of Power and Sun Tzu’s #ArtOfWar are great reads that should be available for inmates; got both copies, in print and digital; always going back and forth on both to re-equiped myself. Helps to understand and know your friends, enemies and your environment; once survival depends on those three factors. How to deal with different types of people; pessimistic, optimistic, sadists, fanatics and extremists, unhappy, gay, ungay and gay-wannabees (sexually confused), hidden-in-closet-types, bossy-types, and those weirdos who fancied touching my cats in their fanny (some fellas are just sick)! Well, this is prison and it’s a crossroads for all lives and types. 

 

The whistle finally went off past 11pm, the lads were given an hour of grace to party and enjoy the moment while it last. 

 

Headed down to my cell, took a cold shower, and it was still hot, just a boxer and set my fan to the highest and it was still hot, gave up and switched off every heat sensors in my body, armed with Lee Child’s #WorthDyingFor, dig into few pages before surrending and succumbing to nature’s call.

 

Sunday, 20 Apr. 2014 #EasterSunday 

Having gone to bed fallen asleep on the book I was reading and above me, señor rat was busy doing justice to my permasan cheese and some books, I woke up around 4am, tempted to go upstairs and get online, but too knackered, guess from the painkillers which I had downed 300mg to numb my sore back and moreover my day to clean up our toilet and shower room. Back to bed, half sleeping and half awake. Finally decided to get up around 7am and got my cleaning done. 

 

Showered and had peanut butter sandwich with a cuppa tea. Water came, but the waterman cut us off; lately, he’s been busy upstairs tingling with pipes as he adds more cells to our water line; thus, more recipients. We didn’t get water all morning. 

 

Easter Sunday, very religious atmosphere in the pavilion, the evangelicals were busy in the gym hall, clapping and singing and as soon as they pack off their equipment (they don’t share anything with the catholics). The catholic took over, the faitfuls, some sleepy but tradition forced them out of their beds as they marched to the same spot that was the centre of the most heavenly experience in the pavilion some minutes ago. 

 

Quietly, the catholics went through the same process, but without a priest to confess to; well, most had confessed and accepted a guilty charged for reduced sentences, thus, nothing to confess to for now. Petty stealing in the pavilion is out of the picture; such is seen as survival measures. 

 

Would’ve love to climb upstairs for signal, but glue and buried deep in the novel I was reading; and for the fact that, if I get upstairs, I won’t be able to read, decided to stay put in the cell and in my bed; the only place my privacy is a little guaranteed. Though, wouldn’t stop anyone coming to disturb me, but they won’t stay as I won’t be giving them 100% of my attention.  

 

Finally done with the novel by afternoon and water finally came; the lad came to see what we were up to, but ended giving us about eight tanks, added to what we have, enough for today’s use. 

 

Easter Sunday, Christ has risen and mankind is redeemed; that’s the essence of of the easter experience. But to the lads, it’s time for merriment, las fiestas; boom boxes and radios adapted to work with mobile phones were plugged and it’s showtime; drinks (mainly our prison brew or distil), the smokers helped themselves as they passed rolled-out joint and others coninue with boring histories of their pathetic lives; stories they have told over and over again, of their heroic adventures in the underworld. Some will rather keep their loud conversations to sports and women; some showing photos of their recent catch, but then at the expense of their hard-earned prison money. 

 

No special food today, all easter, the fishes we had on Friday was the only good thing that came from the prison food cart. Didn’t stop those with dough from eating proper and well-cooked meals. For lunch, I had the leftover black eye peas of last night with boiled eggs; hummmmm! Not a good choice as it later knocked me down with diarrhoea 😦

 

Easter holidays, gambling holidays; at different spots and corners of the pavilion, inmates were busy shuffling cards or rolling dices as money passed hands, the unlucky ones will part ways with their prison hard earned money. But for the kick of it and lack of something to do; they just can’t resist the urge or temptation. Well, whatever each does amounts to paying his dues; doing time! 

 

Had thought I will be out and about when I finally dropped the novel, but didn’t went as planned. Diarrhoea sets in, think from the day old beans that I feasted on; good idea as I need the nutrients and good fibre, but bad on arrival inside. Got me bedridden, when I managed to climb upstairs, it sent me back scrambling to my cell. Finally got to sleep worn-out around 10pm.  

 

Monday,  21 Apr. 2014 #EasterMonday

Up around 3:30am to use the loo, hope the last of the diarrhoea that started yesterday. Remembered I have something to stop it; check my medicine cabinet and two tablets were still intact, far from expiring, quickly popped those two. Wanted to get upstairs, but too weak. Decided to get some sleep. 

 

Finally up around 7:30am, woken by the sound of metals in the gym; glad our lives is going back to what is normal. I will be hitting the gym, but nothing heavy today or for the time being, gotta watch out for my back. 

 

We are gradually going back into our water crisis, tanks are lined up at he back of the cells and in front of cells with pump; whatever comes each day is not enough for everyone. In most cases hot words are exchanged or punches thrown. 

 

I and my compatriots are still waiting for our leaders back in #DenHaag to finally decide of what will become of us. One of the lads said, it will be done this week, and it could be take forever; one thing for sure, prisoners from time before time have always learn to wait, everything within and behind the walls of prisons is done in and with patience, never does one rush! 

 

A new day and a new week begins, for a waiting and patient man slammed up and left with just hope, a new day means so much and is worth dying for in order to survive this day; an opportunity given to prove himself and his worth. 

 

Happy Easter! Hope we will find our redemption as the easter stories tells us!

So What Happens When….. Nothing Happens?

Posted in Behind Bars in Panama on April 14, 2014 by doingtimeabroad

“Most people fancy themselves innocent of those crimes of which they cannot be convicted.” -Seneca

‘Failure to prepare is preparation for failure. Prepare for the worst while expecting the best’

 

Wednesday, 2 Apr. 2014 00:24:59

Life on the inside is one full of expectations, sometimes and most of the time, these expectations which one has hung unto with all his life, love, hatred and guts could come crashing like a house build from  haystack; crashing and burning along with all hopes and dreams……then you know something definitely going to happen when nothing happens; other plans come into play. 

 

Tuesday, 1st of April 2014 

Schat’s birthday today, so much birthdays had come and gone, marked and celebrated just like the many Christmases and all without me. Always praying to be there for the next one. Someday, those prayers will come true. 

 

Celebrated her day with special tributes on #Socialmedia, the kids were not left out as they made special handmade card for her with the note: #OneInAmillionMummy, how sweet and lovely. 

Her friends from the church took her and the kids out for a birthday dinner, my daughter confessed that she was a bit naughty, told her she is forgiven; how happy she was. She is growing and learning new things with each new day. 

 

Back home, her friends had arranged flowers to be delivered, while they were out dining; what a way to end a wonderful day #ThePerfectDay. I may not be there physically, but my presence is always around them, in their hearts, thoughts and my massive wall-frame photos commends some good presence; one that gets my little girl to eat her vegetables when told daddy won’t get her something she so desires….lol! Away from home but ever present. 

 

Back in our jungle, the belly of the beast; the day started like every other day, up to use the loo around 4ish, ended going upstairs with a steaming cup of green tea/ginger. Signal wasn’t at its best, but enough to chat with schat. Then it all went off by 7am, nobody had any idea why it went off. Later we knew as it was the inauguration of the new prison, christened #MegaJoya, the largest prison complex in Latin America. A project the opposition party called the #WhiteElephant of Martinelli; apparently on the run to the presidential election is busy commissioning new projects to woe the hearts of voters, politics like warfare is full of deceptions.  

 

Helicopter hovered the centre like a giant buzzing bee, we followed the inauguration like most Panamanians on the local television channels. The president promised sending the more than a thousand Colombia prisoners back to their country at his own cost. Well, fingers crossed, hope he is a man of his words. 

 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014! 

Signal seems to have been restored, meaning it was switched of yesterday due to the inauguration of the new prison. Whoever controls the signal jammers knew what they are doing, let some signal in to keep the prisoners at peace.  Anyway, it’s still difficult getting online, have to wake up very early to sit and stare into the endless horizon behind our wire fence as I wait for the ping sound of incoming messages. 

 

Workout was excruciating, planned hitting shoulders, but upon walking into the gym, someone has set up the squat poles, did few stretches and good light warm up and then hit 10 sets of increasingly weights. Friggin got my legs fried. Went straight into shoulders, starting with military press, shrugs, lateral raise, upfront row. Rounded up with abs. Less than an hour despite a group of six men. Was satisfying! 

 

Had proper meal after my workout; rice and chicken, down it with a glass of chocolate + milk! Showered and hit my bed, tried napping, but the intense heat wouldn’t let me and one of the lads was busy distilling which got the cell fried. 

 

Upstairs was busy with lads overcrowded at our signal spot, but a bit cooler as cool evening wind was blowing in. 

 

Spent some hours with schat, who was busy tucking the kids into bed. Finally left for my comfort zone; my bunk! 

 

Thursday, April 3, 2014.

Weekly headcount, with no plan to wake early as I slept pretty late. But a cellmate got up and wants me to join him. Finally, got myself together and met him, but signal wasn’t at its best, though spent some moments on chat with Schat. Then came the catcalls, wasn’t one that sound like we were about to be invaded for another round of brutal search. Looking outside, the locals in pavilion 5 were outside, thus, if they want us outside at the same time; it won’t be a search, as they won’t risk having more than a thousand inmates outside at the same time with a handful of cops. 

 

Left my phone in a mate’s bunk upstairs, got down and dressed up for a quickie outside; fresh morning breeze as I warmed up, did some sprints, reverse row on the monkey bars behind the pavilion (a gift from #ElAbuelo that was extradited to the #US; of all inmates here, he was the only one with passion for fitness, had all the weights, bars, DB, gym hall painted, those are his legacy, and will live after him). 

 

Inside the gym was scanty as many had gone back to sleep; got me wondering, how many hours do these lazy-asses sleep every night? The most I catch a night is 5hrs! But some are really here to do time; day and night, some of my mates hits their sleep sack as early as 9pm and by 8am are still snoring. Guess, prison here in Panama is doing the opposite of what it was meant to accomplished in inmates; making them lazier! 

 

A good all-body workout got me pumping, rounded my workout up with triceps and biceps and abdominal. All were enough to kickstart my day. Just outside the training area, on the other half of the gym hall (as from 6pm every day, the gym hall becomes one big cell, with cartons spread out and mattresses laid down for inmates who have spots there). They have been fighting to have us stop working out, told them, they are sick! Those who were fortunate to have positions on the first half floor of the gym, tends to leave their belongings permanently on the floor; the only time they are moved is when they are washing the floor, which is every fortnight.  

 

On that part of the gym hall, I heard Doc telling an English mate of an elderly inmate that was bleeding from his mojo on Wednesday’s night; Doc was called up to attend to the old lad. But on getting there like every doctor would, he was confronted by what is becoming a new trend among many of the young lads here; insertion of stones (pearl should’ve been used) under their foreskin so they can ehance their sex drive. 

 

I know couple of lads who had done  just that, but this very man ain’t no young man; he should be doctor’s age mate or bit older than Doc, and adding insult to injury, he is #Diabetic, Guess Doc did what he had to do, but also asked that the man be sent to  the clinic, as of my time of writing, heard his bleeding has stopped. But the one million dollar question still remains, ‘what would have driven a supposedly intelligent man into that’….. the answer lies in man’s need and desires for the ultimate satisfaction; our insatiable needs. He has heard like I have heard what the stone does; the woman is taken into the other side through ecstacy from the sensation of having the stone rubbed against her clitoris #Clitorisstimulator. The craziest thing here; none of them are having conjugal visit, the ones having ain’t interested in enhancing their sex life, they are pretty ok with getting laid every fortnight.  I asked my pharmacist-cellmate; If he will like to have the cut-out dominoe piece inserted in his mojo, he replied ‘I barely have enough, why would I cut off a piece of my small man’, got me #LMAO 

 

@Behindbars everyone is searching for things to do to help with the boring time; glad I have found enough things to keep me busy, such that, getting an afternoon nap is so difficult as others are always coming around with phone problems, some can keep good numbers in their stuffed head, but not their passwords; thus, I started using five sets of passwords whenever I opened any online account for them; dating site (Tagged.com very popular) , emails, facebook, twitter, instagram and the mother of all social media; Skype, it’s the best as the lads gets to see flesh in real-time and live ;-). 

 

Skype is also the favourite as many can’t cope with the stress of typing on tiny virtual keypads, personally I loathe touchscreen keyboard, give me BlackBerry anytime ;-), the next good thing from Canada that is useful to us behindbars after Dr. Porter 😉

 

Had an early night as I was way knackered from my workout and from not napping during the day. 

 

Friday,  4 Apr. 2014 

 

Slept deep as I have never done for a long time, but woke up at the sound of the binman changing our bin bag and his mate washing the passage; the bin in front of each cell is changed every morning, while the passage and the gym hall (doubles up as a cell for those without cells) are washed every fortnight. Qucikly made me a cuppa of my green brew, which I took along as I climbed up to my signal spot. Few inmates were hanging around as they hustled for signal. Got online with chat, she sent a video of my little girl who was at home with her today. She was over the moon to be home; a free day from nursery. 

 

Left the spot around 7:30am to prepare for my daily workout. Made enough oatmeal + muelsi for the cell, added almond butter + Cinnamon, the lads devoured all of it, had few spoonful before heading out to the packed gym. Lucky enough to find some weights for a proper #HIIT #Chest workout. Focused more on intensity, going light but more repetition, added hanging leg raise during my pauses. And finally rounded up with #Hardcore #FullDeepSquat; some of the lads tried correcting me; that deep squat is bad for the knees, well, haven’t seen any of them search, read or buy magazines or books on exercises, training, fitness or anything to do with #MensHealth. No wonder majority get burnout and wornout from repetitions; doing the same exercises day in and day out. There are few I shared #FitnessTips with, just downloaded an hour-long kettlebell workout video; shared it with an Irish-mate namesake; funny enough, we have the same first name, small world.  The lad is bent on leaving here with an excellent bill of health, super fit; he’s working out seriously, but it’s always the diet that’s our setbacks. I try getting the best from what we have here and what I can afford. 

 

Had a good workout, but Friggin knackered, that after shower and feasting on my morning oatmeal, I couldn’t sleep; due to today’s heat. Friggin hot, got me sweating all over, had to shower for the second time, thank goodness water is no problem now, we do get enough for each day’s use. 

 

The evening is a bit cooler, hope rain will come soon. 

 

Earlier today, around 4am, a Canadian was extradited to The US, don’t know what case he’s got with uncle Sam, but the yanks wants him badly, hope he sorts himself out there. 

 

Another Canadian (the polish-canadian) and the only Sikh in the village who was battered by a local inmate before been sent off; has been having problems after problems with his cellmates. The old man has no bunk in the cell, he perches on a spot on the top of the cell, but the lads don’t seem to like or get along with him. They finally got him packing, throwing his things out, not even his buddy wants to help him. My mate has allowed him to keep his stuffs in a space around his corner,, but he will be sleeping in the gym hall. I adviced him to get the Canadian embassy to call and have him transferred to pavilion 16, which is old people friendly. Hope he does that. 

 

Just spoke with our only Sikh in the village about his problems with his cellmates who had successfully conspired and kicked him. He’s been busy all evening moving his things from one corner of the passage to another; forced to emptied all his tanks of water, so he can get them downstairs to the gym hall where he will be sleeping. From what he’s saying, the lads had made life very miserable for him; one threatening raping him when he sleeps, guess that alone will keep the old man awake all night watching his ass ;-), couldn’t help the laughter. Did reassured him, nobody will rape him here if he doesn’t willingly and on his own accord submit. Another told him, he’s more holy than him, that he see god and talk to him; I definitely know who that is. Another told him, his god doesn’t exist; if he does, why is he here? A million dollar question, that has only one answer; our sikh fella or santa claus as he nicknamed by rasta was nicked at panama’s international airport with luggage lined with angel dust! Enough reason to send him here! 

 

Complained how the lads nicked five of his tanks and some gallons of water, which made me brought his attention and senses to where he is, told him ‘You’re in a prison and not a monastery’ does expect nicking and also start watching your back, as we’ve had meteorite fell on an inmate’s head while walking around the passage after a brawl with a gang of lads. Thus, he should be watchful and be his own keeper. 

 

Well, he has finally packed all his meagre stuffs, hope he’s welcome back to the gym hall, which was his first place of abode when he first got in here, but got thrown out after he got into a fight with one of the lads there for sleep space. 

 

From all that has happened to our ‘Only Sikh in the village’ and if he’s a smart man like he says, he should examine himself, why is he in trouble with everyone, many of us been here for years, and the most we have gotten into are verbal brawls and we are ok with that. Hope the Canadian embassy calls and get him transferred to pavilion 16 for his safety, wellbeing and most importantly, for his sanity; they wouldn’t want him repatriated back to Canadian impaired, battered, loco, and a nightmare to the Canadian society;-)

 

Sooner or later he will realise that he’s on his own and that nobody is anybody’s keeper; moreover he can’t fit into any of the prison’s gangs. Thus, he’s definitely on his own. 

 

Fast forward! Wednesday 9 Apr. 2014 

 

So much has happened within my last punch of the buttons of my phone’s keypad.  Prison world is where nothing is certain, not even one’s life. One lives for the moment, sleep, wake up alive, then another chance. But then, each day is battle to survive the odds of living. 

 

On Sunday, 6th April, when we least expected them, we were stormed by about 30 cops, many had no time to stash their phones. We couldn’t get to our normal stash, but it went well, few had their phones taken, ours survive on this day. After the search, life went on as it’s always been, living by chance. 

 

Monday, the 7th! Up from my sleep and climbed up to our signal spot, had the chance to chat with schat and my daughter who went swimming, but wanted more time in the pool. Headed back to prepare for my daily workout, gym was packed, but had a wonderful back and biceps workout, added some abs and cardio routines for the extra burn. 

 

Later on Monday evening had a verbal row with a lazy-ass old cow who sits everyday in my cell gossiping about who’s shagging whose wife on the street. The old man leaves his cell every morning to ours, just to sit and talk absolute rubbish, but on this Monday,  he made a big mistake to take on me. He said something stupid  about fitness and my working out. Well, I gave him a food for thought words; that he is a waste of space! Finally walked him out of my cell. Hope he doesn’t come back, though he co-accussed is my cellmate. Just hope he wouldn’t cross the door when he comes to see him. Same man has had brawl with almost all of my cellmates, and he lives off people, uses every of my utensils and eats from us, but can’t friggin live his age. Glad he didn’t push me over the edge, and I was able to control myself.  

 

Read online of two dutch students missing in Panama, hope it ain’t true, but reading it on a dutch media and also heard it on the local news on Panamá television, I knew it’s true; pray they are found on time. 

 

Tuesday came, less tension, got a bit late to the gym, which was a bit scanty, seems the lads are losing their mojos; one moment they are hot and the next they are cold as dead. 

 

Just into my chest and biceps workout, our president came in to inform an English bloke that we might be storm again. Dropped my weights and ran in, just before my cell, I heard our alarm system raised and cat calls as the approaching cops were already in the building; they were cadets from police academy, lots of girls, the girls were more than the lads and they were all natives, got me wondering if the way out of the jungle for the natives is joining police or becoming wardens. Within seconds all our stuffs were stashed, one stayed behind as the rest left. We were search as we walked outside into the blazing sun; and no water today. 

 

They did a thorough search, roughed up and left no stones unturned, usually my books are always scary when cops sees them, not these tiny Indians (indígenas, as they call them here), they threw all my books on the floor, ripping whatever look suspicious. Some voluminous books were ripped open…….fcuking! painful! 

 

And finally, they hit on our stashes, taking about eight phones; one of my old banger; a broken BlackBerry 9900, a mate was lucky, when his stash was opened, they didn’t realised the double layer bottom; saved three new phones, they would’ve killed him, as he has saved money from selling liquor to buy the newest piece in that very stash; a samsung Duos! 

 

We weren’t alone in counting loses, other cells felt the impact of the search as many had phones, tablets, routers, knives, and lots of stuffs taken. 

 

The hardest blow that really hit me hard was my almost-ready wine; made from welch’s grape juice, just two days left to be drunk, and had clients waiting. And another two tanks of mashes to be distilled into gin; and I had prepared these two tanks on Monday night with no inkling of what will happen on Tuesday. All together, four tanks were taken. Glad the tanks were returned, but empty and without my drinks 😉 , Friggin painful, lots of money gone in the drain just like that. Well, such is our life and it’s prison, where upon incarceration one loses everything that means something to humans; except one thing….. #Hope! this one thing they can’t take from us. 

 

I had to work all day yesterday like others, cleaning and changing my bedsheets, arranging my books and checking what else they must have taken during the search, after all done, had to cook for our lunch/dinner; all left me knackered and worn-out. And no water all day, the lads are yet to realised that the period of abundant water is over. They are still using water as if we live right beside a river. 

 

Was so knackered that by 8pm I was feeling sleepy. Had to call of my night and headed downstairs, did some dishes, and took a shower before hitting my bunk; though with aching back, popped 200mg of diclofenac and B Complex, had a long sleep. 

 

Wednesday  9 Apr. 2014 

Lately, tend to wake up around the same time every day; between 4am and 6am, after then, can’t friggin close my eyes as my mind goes walkabouts into lala-lands of memories past. So to safe myself from the self-torture I rather stay awake than get back to pretending to sleep, which will never come. 

 

I tend to hit the hay between 11pm and 2am, yet I still wake up with 4 – 5hrs later. Some days, I tried getting some hours of power nap during the day, which helps with the body aches after my excruciating workouts. 

 

Left my signal spot to dress up for my daily workout, then came the roll-call for school, it was my group, but didn’t hear my name. Had to change and head outside, rushed my breakfast of leftover beans and ripe plantain from Tuesday night. Down a cup of water, then out and my name was on the list, the lad omitted it, just he can’t friggin pronounce such an easy name #Spaniard 

 

We were hauled out in a single file, approaching the first security, we were stopped as there was a row up at the second and final control before entering the admin block which house the classrooms. About 10 cops were able to contained the situation, cuffing the lads and hauled them away after spraying gas on them; wouldn’t want to know who they wanted to stab or kill. Sometimes I loathes leaving my pavilion to anywhere outside, as they say “far from home is near to harm”…… that’s exactly my story, had gone way too far from home and family and ended up here. Within my pavilion, I know my way and I know the people, though everything changes, but I try to keep up with the changes, watching closely and observing every intentions and reading between the lines of every words uttered.  

 

Finally got to school, I wasn’t prepared for, but had to go as it helps with time reduction, felt sleepy all through, but managed to pull myself through all the classes. Back in, was starving, made myself a quick bowl of muesli with extra nuts, was filling and delicious. It’s day two without water, my cell has ran out of water and I’m left with a tank from my reserves, the lads had forgotten and underestimated where we are and what could happen. For months now, water has been flowing like life, and none care to stop and think that this is a prison where in the past we have been left without water weeks after weeks. Everyone in my cells used to keep reserves, but they all lose their guards and threw all those vital gallons away. I kept seven gallons with four tanks; eventually used the tanks to prepare my wine and mashes which were taken and thrown away during the search; a friend gave me a tank, which will take me through today and Thursday. 

 

Upstairs, there’s tension still building up as many believes the cops are coming back. My friend, an old timer, who has done time in America and loves #PrisonTalk more than anything, confirmed the rumour, but I ignored him. Don’t want anything to get me panicked and shaken more than I am, my heart is Friggin fragile 😉 

 

The signal spot was full and busy as inmates were out hustling for a sign to get online. On Tuesday and Wednesday morning, I actually had signal on my bed, which is very rare since the signal jammers were installed. But not enough strength to have my lying down and get online; sometimes I wake up to find messages and emails had come through. Lucky me 😉 

 

Around 9ish I was feeling sleepy, had to pack up and left for my cell which hot as hell; that’s if there’s another hell (can this friggin phone stop correcting my spelling; I want HELL and not he’ll) after here 😉 

 

Had to do my dishes with a gallon of water; water becomes very useful and important when one is in this sort of situation; Drought! 

 

Even the heavens has withheld rain from us, there’s been sign of rain lately, but it all amounts to nada! Showered with about 3 litres of water; soak a hand towel and clean myself, Doc calls that Mexican shower 😉 

 

The news of the missing Dutch students is gaining grounds has it has brought the government to its knees; #Holland #TheNetherlands  #Nederland being a big player in panamá, the third country after USA and Canada trading with Panama and also Dutch businesses are growing in panamá won’t be happy with her host if these girls aren’t found (hopefully and prayerfully, found alive). My Colombians mates are joking that they had probably gone to join the other Dutch lady who has been with the #Farc rebels for years now. Many of then wouldn’t had known there was a Dutch lady with #Farc if not for the Colombian series #ComandoElite which shows how the government’s elite police captured or killed all the top players in the country’s america-funded #Drugwar and #LaViolencia. Doubt if this war will be won as it has spread to america’s backyard; Mexico, and it’s all america’s guns these cartels are using, brings in mind operation #FastAndFurious which went totally wrong, got many fingers pointed at different directions; an operation that was meant to track guns as they move within cartels went wrong when the same American guns were used in killing of innocent people. That operation got Nieto (Mexico president) to rethink their part of the war on drug, they are at the losing side. A new approach need to be taken, old draconian laws like ones in place in panamá had to be changed, view on drugs like marijuana have to be changed also. Instead of slamming someone in for years for possession of a joint, he could be offered treatment and a job, as most I have seen here were jobless and will forever remain jobless!  And that’s the case of…… 

So What Happens When….. Nothing Happens!

 

In their cases and with many of us here, nothing happens, except one comes out of his own cocoon and fights himself into the life he had dream and always wanted to live. 

 

Finally hit my concrete bed which I have improved with a wooded bed made by a Chinese who spent thirteen odd years for murder; murder was his case and he did the time. He was the best cook in the pavilion. The wooden structure on top of the concrete slab has really helped with my backache.  

 

Thursday, 10 Apr. 2014  

 

Weekly headcount today, woke up around 5ish, set the pot to boil for a cuppa green  and ginger/lemon tea, would have love a cup of old Joe this morning, but the old guy brewing at the beginning of the passage is not one that should be trusted, friggin look like he recycles his coffee; one can see the bottom of his cup after a filling of his coffee, it’s meant to be black and thick, he uses sugar to deceive the lads; they friggin love sugar, once it’s sweet, they just like it. The only thing he can’t cheat on is his tea; you get a fresh bag from the pack and fill your cup with boiling water and make yourself a cuppa 😉 

 

Upstairs look deserted, seems the lads are yet to wake up from the toll of Tuesday’s search, in the four years plus I have been here, we’ve never been hit so hard like this search; every cell took a bit of the storm, they were young tiny Indian girls (indígenas), all in training to become wardens; funny thing, those girls weren’t allowed into the local’s pavilions, they were only sent to the foreigners; they know, their people will abuse them in one way or the other. As tiny as they were, they were able to get into every crook in the pavilion. One thing they didn’t know; they couldn’t figure out what bluetooth earphones were and USB chargers, they found mine and my mate convinced them, they are for my blood pressure and cholesterol machines; they friggin believed him and left them behind. Good they don’t have these technologies in their reservations #JustSaying, for years now the natives has been protesting against the government plan to build hydroelectric station around their territory; friggin hate development and growth. Good for them! But lately, they are getting obese, seems they sneak out into the city in their wooden and binged on BigMac and Triple Whopper, hope the government finds solutions for them! 

 

As the sun begins to rise, the pavilion gets its life and inmates rose to stash their phones and other things that shouldn’t be found if we are stormed again. Got mine stashed and got dressed to use the open patio for a quick cardio circuit. Was out with the first batch; did some good stretches, haven’t been outside for a very long while, did some good sprints and use the monkey bars for reverse rows and dips. More spins around the field, push ups, stretches and more sprints before the count was over. Back in, the gym was empty, used the opportunity to have one of my best workouts since my incarceration; #HIIT #Hardcore #UpperBodyWorkout and #DumbbellLunges, did some #Landmines circuit and burned it out with countless reps of abs circuits. Felt satisfied and good on my inside; but not having water to wash my gym clothing will spoil my day. 

 

Back in, made a smoothie of banana + almond butter + cinnamon + milk, glad there was ice as it would’ve been a warm smoothie. My mates wanted some, shared with them, I’m out of drinking water, have to find a way as I need water and more of it daily. Shower and soaked my clothes with a bit of bleach to kill the odour, hope there will be water tomorrow so I can wash them. If there’s no water, then I’m definitely not working out. Right now, our major concerns is water for the toilet, if one wants to use the toilet, we are as fucked as the word #FUCK! Literally fucked! There’s not even a drop of water around in the cell. Which means I can’t afford to break any sweat. 

 

The pavilion seems to be calm, the police on duty has confided in a member of the pavilion’s ruling council that there won’t be anymore search; don’t fucking trust no cops, ‘cos they don’t trust us either! #WeAreAtWar! My war ends when I’m out and free 😉 

 

17:18:47 

Had wanted to cook pastas with tuna I bought from one of the lads working in the kitchen, but can’t afford to that now as there’s no water. I rather bought a gigantic fried chicken leg (thigh and drumstick together) and a piece of #Arepa (latin america’s favorite food; made from maize and grilled) and it sets me back $4.50ct, too expensive for a friggin chicken leg, but I need my protein, would’ve cooked kidney beans or lentils, but such food are not what someone should eat when there’s no water in sight, wouldn’t want to be seen with bags full of shit. Better keep them at bay till we have enough water. 

 

Ate the chicken with guacamole pikante which I made with avocado bought here and dried chillis that schat sent. 

 

Stayed up till late, waiting for the lads to sleep and the cell to cool a bit before hitting downstairs.  

 

Friday, 11 Apr. 2014 

 

Day 5 of our water crisis, woke at my normal time around 5am, but lay back as I can’t afford sweating much today, there’s no sign of water. Slept through the night with stench of urine and faeces, heard some inmates are bagging SHIT, hope someone will throw it at the cops, so they know what we are going through.  

 

Made coffee for breakfast with two slices of whole grain bread topped with almond butter spread. Not training today, thus, careful with whatever I’m eating. An early row with the little twat in the cell, he threw away all the gallons when they all assumed water will be flowing forever; now they used mine in my absence without my permission. Made them understand how they got relaxed that all our reserve tanks got nicked upstairs; at one point we had about twenty reserve tanks of water upstairs, but today, we have less than six tanks and all are empty. They wait and wants me to do all their shits, ain’t gonna happen. 

 

Gone upstairs to get online, we our alarm system went off and sent us scrambling to our stash spots as everyone got panicked. We’ve still not recovered from tuesday’s brutal search that saw many lose things for the first time in their four or more years incarceration. Many have sunken low mentally after the search and will be hustling for money to buy a new one soon. Heard an inmate gave someone a thousand dollars during the search and during the ramblings, and he forgot whom he gave the money to; and the friggin crook won’t return the money to him. The owner of the money is a fool forever. He would’ve gone out with his money as the cops won’t take it, but because of his stupidity and greed, he lost such amount of money. 

 

The search scare today happened when three cops were seen walking towards the pavilion, tuesday’s memories are still fresh in our mind and that’s the driving force behind our alertness.  And many are yet to recover from the loss of that day. 

 

Many with contacts among the locals are hustling water from them, our PA systems went up with announcement of water from the authorities later today; hope they will do as promised. 

 

Well at time of writing this, nothing had happened concerning us getting water; and this has resulted in the locals selling water to us. It’s amazing how the human body is; a psychological machine, without water, everything seems to have short down. My cellmate whom I believe has irritable bowel syndrome #IBS and start using the loo as early as 3am and does that every 2hrs in the course of the day, has stopped visiting the shit room, barely see him walk in there. Myself, despite feasting on chillis, beans and lentils, my system also knows what is happening; use the loo once most days. 

 

Forced to buy a gallon of water at $3.50ct, that’s the amount for a plate of meal in the pavilion. But weighing both, water is more important than solid food at this critical time. 

 

The water crisis couldn’t stop the lads from living what they know to be normal; still drinking, smoking, gambling, wrangling, heated verbal brawls and endless arguments that will eventually build up walls of aggression between factions of people you can’t avoid as we’re all within arm’s length of each other, like in my case with the old cow who thinks fitness and exercises are waste of time when he’s a waste of useful space 😉 

 

Late in the evening around 8pm, intel came in that an inmate has escaped; an Israeli inmate, friggin didn’t know we’ve truly become the #UNO of prisoners from all nations of the world; a brotherhood united in crime 😉 

 

Heard the lad who’s always smoking and punching buttons on his blackberry has been making plans of his own version of #PrisonBreak, but someone gave him up as I heard, and all fingers pointed to a portugués inmate who works with the cop outside. Nobody will know, but in prison, when one’s plan fails, he’ll definitely look for someone to caste the blame on, as it is in this case. 

 

With this information at hand and knowing where we are, and the tsunami effect of the last search still lingering on our memories; many had their phones stashed as cops came around for a round of headcount. Sending inmates outside at such time is also a risky business as there could be mass escapes; but as we have come to know the cops more better, they are trained to shoot any moving object, thus, nobody made any attempt. The count went well; before the cops came, a cellmate of the Israeli inmate had threw a hot punched battering porto (as the portugués inmate is called) face, heard that the lad is also sick and on special treatment……wouldn’t want to know. 

 

Nothing was done to the boxer, but loads of tongues were wagging and whispering of what will happen next. From more intel, the israelí lad was caught in the kitchen, probably hiding there till late when he can sneak out of the complex. 

 

In the midst of the commotion and chaos, my mate said, the only time an inmate escapes is when he jumps over the fence, other than that the cops are involved in such plan. And the other types of escape plans is one involving the locals who use escape scams on the foreigners; they tell a foreign inmate, they have way to get them out, collect money and take the foreign inmate into their pavilion for a day or two, and later tell him to go back to his pavilion that the route has been blocked; and the foreign inmate goes back empty-handed, smartly robbed of his hard-prison money 😉 lol! 

 

Thus, any escape is one that an inmate or with a group plots and executes their plan on their own with knowledge of others. That’s is a true #PrisonBreak 

 

Back in, finally took my shower with a gallon of water, and that happens to be my last except for the mineral water I bought from a miser inmate who runs a grocery business that’s ripping us of every cents we thought we had. 

 

The cell was blazing hot as mates of my cellmates gathered for their daily talkative sessions. Upstairs was cool with cool wind blowing in from the mountains, but all gets spoilt with the stench of urine and bags of shits which the lads has resorted to, gallons of urine lined the walls of the passages and upstairs on the passage, the water crisis coupled with tuesday’s search has gotten us broken and mashed up mentally; we seems to be in total confusion and disorientated. Hope water comes and the lads are able to restock what was taken during the search; not until then shall there be rest 😉 

 

Two new inmates were hauled in today, one a young lad whose dad, our in-house electrician has been doing time for years on now, can’t friggin believe my eyes, as he went out to receive his young son; reminds me of what a retiring judge in Sheffield, England once said “he has sat trials of generations of criminals; grandfathers, fathers, sons, and grandsons”……..sort of make sense, when they say, ‘it runs in the family’. The poor man was short of words, but warmly received his son, his own blood; make him comfortable. Wouldn’t want to know what he’s thinking in his congested mind, guess lotd

 

A Dominican lad whom I believe is in confusion or denial of his sexuality lost phones totally about a thousand dollars; BlackBerry 9900, iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3. It was so painful that he had to change pavilion ;-). The lad upon arrival some years ago, couldn’t keep his mojo in his pants, he started shagging the Jamaican lad (lass I meant to say), he used to train with me, but the moment he found prison love in the Jamaican with silicone-ass he stopped training and concentrated on getting laid. Gringo loco who was his cellmate then, said of them, that both were truly in love as they tend to do everything together. But then, after the Jamaican who was in for fraud was release; though, visited the lad in couple of occasions and also bought him stuffs and the iphone, the lad started a relation with his compatriot’s lawyer and eventually got married to the lawyer. From all I have seen, he seems to be confused, he’s got five kids scattered around the Caribbean with three different women. Well, he needs the lawyer to get him out on time and also need proper conjugal, which I believe he’s already doing with his lawyer-wife. Desperation can drive some people into desperate decision making; he wants a quick way out and getting married to the lawyer is what he thought will be his qucik way out; wish him luck. 

 

Spent hours upstairs as signal was a bit better, but nature’s call wouldn’t allow me more hours, had to leave for my sleepy-hollow cell which was cooling down as the lads were all asleep. Spent an hour or more reading before I gave in to nature. 

 

Saturday, 12 Apr. 2014 

 

A full bladder got me up from sleep, but couldn’t get to the loo as the lads were hovering in and out of the toilet, had to wait until the last man finished. Then went in to do my thing, swiftly as I can. 

 

The pavilion is hot, planned cooking spaghetti with vegetables as we seem to have loads of them now and the heat is destroying them, also to use some of my now-ripe avocados. Doubt if I will do it. 

 

Water later came briefly, enough for today’s use, but we are still on our water crisis ration; bathing with half tank, that will be the new norm till we have enough to get back to using a full tank. I managed to hustled water from other cells and got my gym clothing washed, which has been in soaked in water since our water crisis began. 

 

My last workout was on Thursday after our headcount, we were just a handful, as many weren’t having water to braced breaking a sweat. Can’t wait to hit the gym on Monday when the lads are out for their family visit; my pharmacist-cellmate is taking one of my spanish – English books for his daughter, he really wants the daughter to learn English, nice of him; he also watches Dora the explorer all day with hope of learning English, but many end up learning Jamaican patois as it’s the loudest and widely used language closed to English 😉 

 

His boxer-friend who just got in after nicked for trying to rob a taxi from its owner is busy getting himself adapted to his new life on the inside; he was supposed to take a spot upstairs, but my mate who lives in fear of reprisals and sleeps with a baseball bat doesn’t want anybody upstairs. #Fear can cause a man to go to the extreme. 

 

Another newly arrival; a lad whose dad is here, his dad happen to be our technician, fixes all our electrical problems, from chargers to breakers, blenders, ovens, and just about anything that allows the flows of electricity. He was seated upstairs with his son, having a father and son moments, got me wondering what the heck he will tell the baby-face looking lad. When I asked how old he was, was told he’s 19yrs and also a father, got a few months old baby, then my mate is an abuelo (grandad), the lad friggin look 15, wondering if he can clean his friggin ass before making a baby. #PatheticWorld! 

 

Intel came in later in the day that our #Israeli would-be escapee had forked out 10grand for the fail #PrisonBreak expedition, guess he’s been scammed by the locals who set up the deal. Someone gotta profit from another’s stupidity. Anything other than jumping or cutting through the wire fence, raising the alarm and being shot at is not escape or #PrisonBreak 😉 

 

The lad just fell victim to one of many scams that runs in our world; sometimes the locals steals stuffs within their mates and sells them to us. But if any stupid foreign inmate steals from amongst us and ask a local to sell the loot, the local ends up ripping or stealing the item from him; and the foreigner can’t say a word as the local will threatened telling us what he had been given to sell. They use every method in and outside the book to rip the greedy ones. My business with the locals starts and ends with buying water when we don’t have. Can deal with anyone within my pavilion but outside the gate is near to harm’s way! 

 

With the little water, life is brewing up in the pavilion, music, drinks and whatever keeps us kicking is on. The only lads whose habit were not disturbed during the water crisis were the smokers, smoking joints doesn’t require water, thus, they were upstairs and below at the back of the cells, puffing and coughing on the mixed rolls. 

Hope on Sunday, we will have enough to get the cell washed and do proper cleaning of the dishes. 

Meanwhile, the Panamanian authority has mobilised massive troops, using helicopters, dogs in the search of the two Dutch students who went missing since 1st of April. Their families are here in panamá. And the president is putting pressure on his search parties to search every nook and cranny of his country for the two girls. He wouldn’t want to upset ties with #Nederland which recently has become a big economical player in panamá; upgraded her consulate to an embassy, closed all embassies in central America to centralised in Panamá. A Dutch company is contracted to widen the #PanamaCanal, #Philips the Dutch super electrical industry based in eindhoven is opening it’s first factory in panamá after martinelli visited holland to sign a bilateral trade deal between the two countries. Which makes The Netherlands the 3rd trading partner with panamá after The US and Canada.  

With all these on ground, martinelli will send all his sentinels to find these girls, who unknowingly came to a country whitewashed to foreigners as tourist haven, but behind the façades of the city high rise skylines are poverty, rising crime rate, rising numbers of homicides and assassinations and gang-style killings, which the main opposition party is using against the government’s running candidate. The opposition has proposed lengthy prison time for murderers and using iron hand on minors who are readily used in liquidation and eliminating of unwanted foes; and being minors, they end up doing no time for taking another’s life. Nice law! 

Such law has seen a Dominican lad who was kicked out of our pavilion escaped prison despite killing five people when he was a minor. My mate told me, most homicide cases are thrown out for lack of evidences or witnesses who are too scared to take the witness stand. From what my mate told me about the lad; he was used by business associates to do their partners who had gone awol on business deals. #ThePrisonExperience 

Sunday, 13 Apr. 2014 Woke up around 5:30am this morning, haven’t been going up to the signal post for two mornings now, but decided to get up today and get my tweets up and update some of my news apps. 

Scanty upstairs as most inmates are sleeping out their time, none is hurry to do anything. #PrisonLife will bring a great awakenings to some, but to some it’s a just a laid-back to life and live each day as it comes. 

Few came up as the day brightens more are joining me, and downstairs, our smoking team are busy passing rolls of joints amongst themselves.  

Others will soon get up to start their day, the only thing that can get them up fast is either our alarm being raised or the sound of rushing water; then everyone is up on their heels 😉 

Family visit is on Monday, those with families or friends around will be getting ready; grooming themselves for their D-Day with their loved ones. While the rest of us waits for whatever they will bring in for us. 

Since the search, few phones has been coming in through the locals; doubt if they are phones that were taken in the Tuesday search, some could be phones taken from other pavilions; it’s business as usual. Someone gotta eat! 

Signal is a bit ok today, should be able to get this published asap! If I can’t, then will try tomorrow morning before our airwaves is congested and jammed with phones, tablets and routers seeking signals. 

Should be heading downstairs for a bowl of muesli, my mates will be cooking beef sauce with beef bought from a lad who works in the kitchen; borrowed pounds of beef to sell and keep himself going 😉 

We hustle, bustle and ripped each other to survive; such is the mentality behind bars. Nothing is for free, not even a good morning; one greets you, he’s definitely expecting a favour from you. #LifeBehindBars #PrisonLife. 

‘Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.’ #MindsetOfAPrisoner

Every saint has a past. Every sinner has a future. – Warren Buffet

So What Happens When…… Nothing Happens?

Posted in Behind Bars in Panama on April 13, 2014 by doingtimeabroad

So What Happens When….. Nothing Happens? 

‘Failure to prepare is preparation for failure. Prepare for the worst while expecting the best’

Wednesday, 2 Apr. 2014 00:24:59
Life on the inside is one full of expectations, sometimes and most of the time, these expectations which one has hung unto with all his life, love, hatred and guts could come crashing like a house build from  haystack; crashing and burning along with all hopes and dreams……then you know something definitely going to happen when nothing happens; other plans come into play. 

Tuesday, 1st of April 2014 
Schat’s birthday today, so much birthdays had come and gone, marked and celebrated just like the many Christmases and all without me. Always praying to be there for the next one. Someday, those prayers will come true. 

Celebrated her day with special tributes on #Socialmedia, the kids were not left out as they made special handmade card for her with the note: #OneInAmillionMummy, how sweet and lovely. 
Her friends from the church took her and the kids out for a birthday dinner, my daughter confessed that she was a bit naughty, told her she is forgiven; how happy she was. She is growing and learning new things with each new day. 

Back home, her friends had arranged flowers to be delivered, while they were out dining; what a way to end a wonderful day #ThePerfectDay. I may not be there physically, but my presence is always around them, in their hearts, thoughts and my massive wall-frame photos commends some good presence; one that gets my little girl to eat her vegetables when told daddy won’t get her something she so desires….lol! Away from home but ever present. 

Back in our jungle, the belly of the beast; the day started like every other day, up to use the loo around 4ish, ended going upstairs with a steaming cup of green tea/ginger. Signal wasn’t at its best, but enough to chat with schat. Then it all went off by 7am, nobody had any idea why it went off. Later we knew as it was the inauguration of the new prison, christened #MegaJoya, the largest prison complex in Latin America. A project the opposition party called the #WhiteElephant of Martinelli; apparently on the run to the presidential election is busy commissioning new projects to woe the hearts of voters, politics like warfare is full of deceptions.  

Helicopter hovered the centre like a giant buzzing bee, we followed the inauguration like most Panamanians on the local television channels. The president promised sending the more than a thousand Colombia prisoners back to their country at his own cost. Well, fingers crossed, hope he is a man of his words. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014! 
Signal seems to have been restored, meaning it was switched of yesterday due to the inauguration of the new prison. Whoever controls the signal jammers knew what they are doing, let some signal in to keep the prisoners at peace.  Anyway, it’s still difficult getting online, have to wake up very early to sit and stare into the endless horizon behind our wire fence as I wait for the ping sound of incoming messages. 

Workout was excruciating, planned hitting shoulders, but upon walking into the gym, someone has set up the squat poles, did few stretches and good light warm up and then hit 10 sets of increasingly weights. Friggin got my legs fried. Went straight into shoulders, starting with military press, shrugs, lateral raise, upfront row. Rounded up with abs. Less than an hour despite a group of six men. Was satisfying! 

Had proper meal after my workout; rice and chicken, down it with a glass of chocolate + milk! Showered and hit my bed, tried napping, but the intense heat wouldn’t let me and one of the lads was busy distilling which got the cell fried. 

Upstairs was busy with lads overcrowded at our signal spot, but a bit cooler as cool evening wind was blowing in. 

Spent some hours with schat, who was busy tucking the kids into bed. Finally left for my comfort zone; my bunk! 

Thursday, April 3, 2014.
Weekly headcount, with no plan to wake early as I slept pretty late. But a cellmate got up and wants me to join him. Finally, got myself together and met him, but signal wasn’t at its best, though spent some moments on chat with Schat. Then came the catcalls, wasn’t one that sound like we were about to be invaded for another round of brutal search. Looking outside, the locals in pavilion 5 were outside, thus, if they want us outside at the same time; it won’t be a search, as they won’t risk having more than a thousand inmates outside at the same time with a handful of cops. 

Left my phone in a mate’s bunk upstairs, got down and dressed up for a quickie outside; fresh morning breeze as I warmed up, did some sprints, reverse row on the monkey bars behind the pavilion (a gift from #ElAbuelo that was extradited to the #US; of all inmates here, he was the only one with passion for fitness, had all the weights, bars, DB, gym hall painted, those are his legacy, and will live after him). 

Inside the gym was scanty as many had gone back to sleep; got me wondering, how many hours do these lazy-asses sleep every night? The most I catch a night is 5hrs! But some are really here to do time; day and night, some of my mates hits their sleep sack as early as 9pm and by 8am are still snoring. Guess, prison here in Panama is doing the opposite of what it was meant to accomplished in inmates; making them lazier! 

A good all-body workout got me pumping, rounded my workout up with triceps and biceps and abdominal. All were enough to kickstart my day. Just outside the training area, on the other half of the gym hall (as from 6pm every day, the gym hall becomes one big cell, with cartons spread out and mattresses laid down for inmates who have spots there). They have been fighting to have us stop working out, told them, they are sick! Those who were fortunate to have positions on the first half floor of the gym, tends to leave their belongings permanently on the floor; the only time they are moved is when they are washing the floor, which is every fortnight.  

On that part of the gym hall, I heard Doc telling an English mate of an elderly inmate that was bleeding from his mojo on Wednesday’s night; Doc was called up to attend to the old lad. But on getting there like every doctor would, he was confronted by what is becoming a new trend among many of the young lads here; insertion of stones (pearl should’ve been used) under their foreskin so they can ehance their sex drive. 

I know couple of lads who had done  just that, but this very man ain’t no young man; he should be doctor’s age mate or bit older than Doc, and adding insult to injury, he is #Diabetic, Guess Doc did what he had to do, but also asked that the man be sent to  the clinic, as of my time of writing, heard his bleeding has stopped. But the one million dollar question still remains, ‘what would have driven a supposedly intelligent man into that’….. the answer lies in man’s need and desires for the ultimate satisfaction; our insatiable needs. He has heard like I have heard what the stone does; the woman is taken into the other side through ecstacy from the sensation of having the stone rubbed against her clitoris #Clitorisstimulator. The craziest thing here; none of them are having conjugal visit, the ones having ain’t interested in enhancing their sex life, they are pretty ok with getting laid every fortnight.  I asked my pharmacist-cellmate; If he will like to have the cut-out dominoe piece inserted in his mojo, he replied ‘I barely have enough, why would I cut off a piece of my small man’, got me #LMAO 

@Behindbars everyone is searching for things to do to help with the boring time; glad I have found enough things to keep me busy, such that, getting an afternoon nap is so difficult as others are always coming around with phone problems, some can keep good numbers in their stuffed head, but not their passwords; thus, I started using five sets of passwords whenever I opened any online account for them; dating site (Tagged.com very popular) , emails, facebook, twitter, instagram and the mother of all social media; Skype, it’s the best as the lads gets to see flesh in real-time and live ;-). 

Skype is also the favourite as many can’t cope with the stress of typing on tiny virtual keypads, personally I loathe touchscreen keyboard, give me BlackBerry anytime ;-), the next good thing from Canada that is useful to us behindbars after Dr. Porter 😉

Had an early night as I was way knackered from my workout and from not napping during the day. 

Friday,  4 Apr. 2014 

Slept deep as I have never done for a long time, but woke up at the sound of the binman changing our bin bag and his mate washing the passage; the bin in front of each cell is changed every morning, while the passage and the gym hall (doubles up as a cell for those without cells) are washed every fortnight. Qucikly made me a cuppa of my green brew, which I took along as I climbed up to my signal spot. Few inmates were hanging around as they hustled for signal. Got online with chat, she sent a video of my little girl who was at home with her today. She was over the moon to be home; a free day from nursery. 

Left the spot around 7:30am to prepare for my daily workout. Made enough oatmeal + muelsi for the cell, added almond butter + Cinnamon, the lads devoured all of it, had few spoonful before heading out to the packed gym. Lucky enough to find some weights for a proper #HIIT #Chest workout. Focused more on intensity, going light but more repetition, added hanging leg raise during my pauses. And finally rounded up with #Hardcore #FullDeepSquat; some of the lads tried correcting me; that deep squat is bad for the knees, well, haven’t seen any of them search, read or buy magazines or books on exercises, training, fitness or anything to do with #MensHealth. No wonder majority get burnout and wornout from repetitions; doing the same exercises day in and day out. There are few I shared #FitnessTips with, just downloaded an hour-long kettlebell workout video; shared it with an Irish-mate namesake; funny enough, we have the same first name, small world.  The lad is bent on leaving here with an excellent bill of health, super fit; he’s working out seriously, but it’s always the diet that’s our setbacks. I try getting the best from what we have here and what I can afford. 

Had a good workout, but Friggin knackered, that after shower and feasting on my morning oatmeal, I couldn’t sleep; due to today’s heat. Friggin hot, got me sweating all over, had to shower for the second time, thank goodness water is no problem now, we do get enough for each day’s use. 

The evening is a bit cooler, hope rain will come soon. 

Earlier today, around 4am, a Canadian was extradited to The US, don’t know what case he’s got with uncle Sam, but the yanks wants him badly, hope he sorts himself out there. 

Another Canadian (the polish-canadian) and the only Sikh in the village who was battered by a local inmate before been sent off; has been having problems after problems with his cellmates. The old man has no bunk in the cell, he perches on a spot on the top of the cell, but the lads don’t seem to like or get along with him. They finally got him packing, throwing his things out, not even his buddy wants to help him. My mate has allowed him to keep his stuffs in a space around his corner,, but he will be sleeping in the gym hall. I adviced him to get the Canadian embassy to call and have him transferred to pavilion 16, which is old people friendly. Hope he does that. 

Just spoke with our only Sikh in the village about his problems with his cellmates who had successfully conspired and kicked him. He’s been busy all evening moving his things from one corner of the passage to another; forced to emptied all his tanks of water, so he can get them downstairs to the gym hall where he will be sleeping. From what he’s saying, the lads had made life very miserable for him; one threatening raping him when he sleeps, guess that alone will keep the old man awake all night watching his ass ;-), couldn’t help the laughter. Did reassured him, nobody will rape him here if he doesn’t willingly and on his own accord submit. Another told him, he’s more holy than him, that he see god and talk to him; I definitely know who that is. Another told him, his god doesn’t exist; if he does, why is he here? A million dollar question, that has only one answer; our sikh fella or santa claus as he nicknamed by rasta was nicked at panama’s international airport with luggage lined with angel dust! Enough reason to send him here! 

Complained how the lads nicked five of his tanks and some gallons of water, which made me brought his attention and senses to where he is, told him ‘You’re in a prison and not a monastery’ does expect nicking and also start watching your back, as we’ve had meteorite fell on an inmate’s head while walking around the passage after a brawl with a gang of lads. Thus, he should be watchful and be his own keeper. 

Well, he has finally packed all his meagre stuffs, hope he’s welcome back to the gym hall, which was his first place of abode when he first got in here, but got thrown out after he got into a fight with one of the lads there for sleep space. 

From all that has happened to our ‘Only Sikh in the village’ and if he’s a smart man like he says, he should examine himself, why is he in trouble with everyone, many of us been here for years, and the most we have gotten into are verbal brawls and we are ok with that. Hope the Canadian embassy calls and get him transferred to pavilion 16 for his safety, wellbeing and most importantly, for his sanity; they wouldn’t want him repatriated back to Canadian impaired, battered, loco, and a nightmare to the Canadian society;-)

Sooner or later he will realise that he’s on his own and that nobody is anybody’s keeper; moreover he can’t fit into any of the prison’s gangs. Thus, he’s definitely on his own. 

Fast forward! Wednesday 9 Apr. 2014 

So much has happened within my last punch of the buttons of my phone’s keypad.  Prison world is where nothing is certain, not even one’s life. One lives for the moment, sleep, wake up alive, then another chance. But then, each day is battle to survive the odds of living. 

On Sunday, 6th April, when we least expected them, we were stormed by about 30 cops, many had no time to stash their phones. We couldn’t get to our normal stash, but it went well, few had their phones taken, ours survive on this day. After the search, life went on as it’s always been, living by chance. 

Monday, the 7th! Up from my sleep and climbed up to our signal spot, had the chance to chat with schat and my daughter who went swimming, but wanted more time in the pool. Headed back to prepare for my daily workout, gym was packed, but had a wonderful back and biceps workout, added some abs and cardio routines for the extra burn. 

Later on Monday evening had a verbal row with a lazy-ass old cow who sits everyday in my cell gossiping about who’s shagging whose wife on the street. The old man leaves his cell every morning to ours, just to sit and talk absolute rubbish, but on this Monday,  he made a big mistake to take on me. He said something stupid  about fitness and my working out. Well, I gave him a food for thought words; that he is a waste of space! Finally walked him out of my cell. Hope he doesn’t come back, though he co-accussed is my cellmate. Just hope he wouldn’t cross the door when he comes to see him. Same man has had brawl with almost all of my cellmates, and he lives off people, uses every of my utensils and eats from us, but can’t friggin live his age. Glad he didn’t push me over the edge, and I was able to control myself.  

Read online of two dutch students missing in Panama, hope it ain’t true, but reading it on a dutch media and also heard it on the local news on Panamá television, I knew it’s true; pray they are found on time. 

Tuesday came, less tension, got a bit late to the gym, which was a bit scanty, seems the lads are losing their mojos; one moment they are hot and the next they are cold as dead. 

Just into my chest and biceps workout, our president came in to inform an English bloke that we might be storm again. Dropped my weights and ran in, just before my cell, I heard our alarm system raised and cat calls as the approaching cops were already in the building; they were cadets from police academy, lots of girls, the girls were more than the lads and they were all natives, got me wondering if the way out of the jungle for the natives is joining police or becoming wardens. Within seconds all our stuffs were stashed, one stayed behind as the rest left. We were search as we walked outside into the blazing sun; and no water today. 

They did a thorough search, roughed up and left no stones unturned, usually my books are always scary when cops sees them, not these tiny Indians (indígenas, as they call them here), they threw all my books on the floor, ripping whatever look suspicious. Some voluminous books were ripped open…….fcuking! painful! 

And finally, they hit on our stashes, taking about eight phones; one of my old banger; a broken BlackBerry 9900, a mate was lucky, when his stash was opened, they didn’t realised the double layer bottom; saved three new phones, they would’ve killed him, as he has saved money from selling liquor to buy the newest piece in that very stash; a samsung Duos! 

We weren’t alone in counting loses, other cells felt the impact of the search as many had phones, tablets, routers, knives, and lots of stuffs taken. 

The hardest blow that really hit me hard was my almost-ready wine; made from welch’s grape juice, just two days left to be drunk, and had clients waiting. And another two tanks of mashes to be distilled into gin; and I had prepared these two tanks on Monday night with no inkling of what will happen on Tuesday. All together, four tanks were taken. Glad the tanks were returned, but empty and without my drinks 😉 , Friggin painful, lots of money gone in the drain just like that. Well, such is our life and it’s prison, where upon incarceration one loses everything that means something to humans; except one thing….. #Hope! this one thing they can’t take from us. 

I had to work all day yesterday like others, cleaning and changing my bedsheets, arranging my books and checking what else they must have taken during the search, after all done, had to cook for our lunch/dinner; all left me knackered and worn-out. And no water all day, the lads are yet to realised that the period of abundant water is over. They are still using water as if we live right beside a river. 

Was so knackered that by 8pm I was feeling sleepy. Had to call of my night and headed downstairs, did some dishes, and took a shower before hitting my bunk; though with aching back, popped 200mg of diclofenac and B Complex, had a long sleep. 

Wednesday  9 Apr. 2014 
Lately, tend to wake up around the same time every day; between 4am and 6am, after then, can’t friggin close my eyes as my mind goes walkabouts into lala-lands of memories past. So to safe myself from the self-torture I rather stay awake than get back to pretending to sleep, which will never come. 

I tend to hit the hay between 11pm and 2am, yet I still wake up with 4 – 5hrs later. Some days, I tried getting some hours of power nap during the day, which helps with the body aches after my excruciating workouts. 

Left my signal spot to dress up for my daily workout, then came the roll-call for school, it was my group, but didn’t hear my name. Had to change and head outside, rushed my breakfast of leftover beans and ripe plantain from Tuesday night. Down a cup of water, then out and my name was on the list, the lad omitted it, just he can’t friggin pronounce such an easy name #Spaniard 

We were hauled out in a single file, approaching the first security, we were stopped as there was a row up at the second and final control before entering the admin block which house the classrooms. About 10 cops were able to contained the situation, cuffing the lads and hauled them away after spraying gas on them; wouldn’t want to know who they wanted to stab or kill. Sometimes I loathes leaving my pavilion to anywhere outside, as they say “far from home is near to harm”…… that’s exactly my story, had gone way too far from home and family and ended up here. Within my pavilion, I know my way and I know the people, though everything changes, but I try to keep up with the changes, watching closely and observing every intentions and reading between the lines of every words uttered.  

Finally got to school, I wasn’t prepared for, but had to go as it helps with time reduction, felt sleepy all through, but managed to pull myself through all the classes. Back in, was starving, made myself a quick bowl of muesli with extra nuts, was filling and delicious. It’s day two without water, my cell has ran out of water and I’m left with a tank from my reserves, the lads had forgotten and underestimated where we are and what could happen. For months now, water has been flowing like life, and none care to stop and think that this is a prison where in the past we have been left without water weeks after weeks. Everyone in my cells used to keep reserves, but they all lose their guards and threw all those vital gallons away. I kept seven gallons with four tanks; eventually used the tanks to prepare my wine and mashes which were taken and thrown away during the search; a friend gave me a tank, which will take me through today and Thursday. 

Upstairs, there’s tension still building up as many believes the cops are coming back. My friend, an old timer, who has done time in America and loves #PrisonTalk more than anything, confirmed the rumour, but I ignored him. Don’t want anything to get me panicked and shaken more than I am, my heart is Friggin fragile 😉 

The signal spot was full and busy as inmates were out hustling for a sign to get online. On Tuesday and Wednesday morning, I actually had signal on my bed, which is very rare since the signal jammers were installed. But not enough strength to have my lying down and get online; sometimes I wake up to find messages and emails had come through. Lucky me 😉 

Around 9ish I was feeling sleepy, had to pack up and left for my cell which hot as hell; that’s if there’s another hell (can this friggin phone stop correcting my spelling; I want HELL and not he’ll) after here 😉 

Had to do my dishes with a gallon of water; water becomes very useful and important when one is in this sort of situation; Drought! 

Even the heavens has withheld rain from us, there’s been sign of rain lately, but it all amounts to nada! Showered with about 3 litres of water; soak a hand towel and clean myself, Doc calls that Mexican shower 😉 

The news of the missing Dutch students is gaining grounds has it has brought the government to its knees; #Holland #TheNetherlands  #Nederland being a big player in panamá, the third country after USA and Canada trading with Panama and also Dutch businesses are growing in panamá won’t be happy with her host if these girls aren’t found (hopefully and prayerfully, found alive). My Colombians mates are joking that they had probably gone to join the other Dutch lady who has been with the #Farc rebels for years now. Many of then wouldn’t had known there was a Dutch lady with #Farc if not for the Colombian series #ComandoElite which shows how the government’s elite police captured or killed all the top players in the country’s america-funded #Drugwar and #LaViolencia. Doubt if this war will be won as it has spread to america’s backyard; Mexico, and it’s all america’s guns these cartels are using, brings in mind operation #FastAndFurious which went totally wrong, got many fingers pointed at different directions; an operation that was meant to track guns as they move within cartels went wrong when the same American guns were used in killing of innocent people. That operation got Nieto (Mexico president) to rethink their part of the war on drug, they are at the losing side. A new approach need to be taken, old draconian laws like ones in place in panamá had to be changed, view on drugs like marijuana have to be changed also. Instead of slamming someone in for years for possession of a joint, he could be offered treatment and a job, as most I have seen here were jobless and will forever remain jobless!  And that’s the case of…… 
So What Happens When….. Nothing Happens!

In their cases and with many of us here, nothing happens, except one comes out of his own cocoon and fights himself into the life he had dream and always wanted to live. 

Finally hit my concrete bed which I have improved with a wooded bed made by a Chinese who spent thirteen odd years for murder; murder was his case and he did the time. He was the best cook in the pavilion. The wooden structure on top of the concrete slab has really helped with my backache.  

Thursday, 10 Apr. 2014  

Weekly headcount today, woke up around 5ish, set the pot to boil for a cuppa green  and ginger/lemon tea, would have love a cup of old Joe this morning, but the old guy brewing at the beginning of the passage is not one that should be trusted, friggin look like he recycles his coffee; one can see the bottom of his cup after a filling of his coffee, it’s meant to be black and thick, he uses sugar to deceive the lads; they friggin love sugar, once it’s sweet, they just like it. The only thing he can’t cheat on is his tea; you get a fresh bag from the pack and fill your cup with boiling water and make yourself a cuppa 😉 

Upstairs look deserted, seems the lads are yet to wake up from the toll of Tuesday’s search, in the four years plus I have been here, we’ve never been hit so hard like this search; every cell took a bit of the storm, they were young tiny Indian girls (indígenas), all in training to become wardens; funny thing, those girls weren’t allowed into the local’s pavilions, they were only sent to the foreigners; they know, their people will abuse them in one way or the other. As tiny as they were, they were able to get into every crook in the pavilion. One thing they didn’t know; they couldn’t figure out what bluetooth earphones were and USB chargers, they found mine and my mate convinced them, they are for my blood pressure and cholesterol machines; they friggin believed him and left them behind. Good they don’t have these technologies in their reservations #JustSaying, for years now the natives has been protesting against the government plan to build hydroelectric station around their territory; friggin hate development and growth. Good for them! But lately, they are getting obese, seems they sneak out into the city in their wooden and binged on BigMac and Triple Whopper, hope the government finds solutions for them! 

As the sun begins to rise, the pavilion gets its life and inmates rose to stash their phones and other things that shouldn’t be found if we are stormed again. Got mine stashed and got dressed to use the open patio for a quick cardio circuit. Was out with the first batch; did some good stretches, haven’t been outside for a very long while, did some good sprints and use the monkey bars for reverse rows and dips. More spins around the field, push ups, stretches and more sprints before the count was over. Back in, the gym was empty, used the opportunity to have one of my best workouts since my incarceration; #HIIT #Hardcore #UpperBodyWorkout and #DumbbellLunges, did some #Landmines circuit and burned it out with countless reps of abs circuits. Felt satisfied and good on my inside; but not having water to wash my gym clothing will spoil my day. 

Back in, made a smoothie of banana + almond butter + cinnamon + milk, glad there was ice as it would’ve been a warm smoothie. My mates wanted some, shared with them, I’m out of drinking water, have to find a way as I need water and more of it daily. Shower and soaked my clothes with a bit of bleach to kill the odour, hope there will be water tomorrow so I can wash them. If there’s no water, then I’m definitely not working out. Right now, our major concerns is water for the toilet, if one wants to use the toilet, we are as fucked as the word #FUCK! Literally fucked! There’s not even a drop of water around in the cell. Which means I can’t afford to break any sweat. 

The pavilion seems to be calm, the police on duty has confided in a member of the pavilion’s ruling council that there won’t be anymore search; don’t fucking trust no cops, ‘cos they don’t trust us either! #WeAreAtWar! My war ends when I’m out and free 😉 

17:18:47 
Had wanted to cook pastas with tuna I bought from one of the lads working in the kitchen, but can’t afford to that now as there’s no water. I rather bought a gigantic fried chicken leg (thigh and drumstick together) and a piece of #Arepa (latin america’s favorite food; made from maize and grilled) and it sets me back $4.50ct, too expensive for a friggin chicken leg, but I need my protein, would’ve cooked kidney beans or lentils, but such food are not what someone should eat when there’s no water in sight, wouldn’t want to be seen with bags full of shit. Better keep them at bay till we have enough water. 

Ate the chicken with guacamole pikante which I made with avocado bought here and dried chillis that schat sent. 

Stayed up till late, waiting for the lads to sleep and the cell to cool a bit before hitting downstairs.  

Friday, 11 Apr. 2014 

Day 5 of our water crisis, woke at my normal time around 5am, but lay back as I can’t afford sweating much today, there’s no sign of water. Slept through the night with stench of urine and faeces, heard some inmates are bagging SHIT, hope someone will throw it at the cops, so they know what we are going through.  

Made coffee for breakfast with two slices of whole grain bread topped with almond butter spread. Not training today, thus, careful with whatever I’m eating. An early row with the little twat in the cell, he threw away all the gallons when they all assumed water will be flowing forever; now they used mine in my absence without my permission. Made them understand how they got relaxed that all our reserve tanks got nicked upstairs; at one point we had about twenty reserve tanks of water upstairs, but today, we have less than six tanks and all are empty. They wait and wants me to do all their shits, ain’t gonna happen. 

Gone upstairs to get online, we our alarm system went off and sent us scrambling to our stash spots as everyone got panicked. We’ve still not recovered from tuesday’s brutal search that saw many lose things for the first time in their four or more years incarceration. Many have sunken low mentally after the search and will be hustling for money to buy a new one soon. Heard an inmate gave someone a thousand dollars during the search and during the ramblings, and he forgot whom he gave the money to; and the friggin crook won’t return the money to him. The owner of the money is a fool forever. He would’ve gone out with his money as the cops won’t take it, but because of his stupidity and greed, he lost such amount of money. 

The search scare today happened when three cops were seen walking towards the pavilion, tuesday’s memories are still fresh in our mind and that’s the driving force behind our alertness.  And many are yet to recover from the loss of that day. 

Many with contacts among the locals are hustling water from them, our PA systems went up with announcement of water from the authorities later today; hope they will do as promised. 

Well at time of writing this, nothing had happened concerning us getting water; and this has resulted in the locals selling water to us. It’s amazing how the human body is; a psychological machine, without water, everything seems to have short down. My cellmate whom I believe has irritable bowel syndrome #IBS and start using the loo as early as 3am and does that every 2hrs in the course of the day, has stopped visiting the shit room, barely see him walk in there. Myself, despite feasting on chillis, beans and lentils, my system also knows what is happening; use the loo once most days. 

Forced to buy a gallon of water at $3.50ct, that’s the amount for a plate of meal in the pavilion. But weighing both, water is more important than solid food at this critical time. 

The water crisis couldn’t stop the lads from living what they know to be normal; still drinking, smoking, gambling, wrangling, heated verbal brawls and endless arguments that will eventually build up walls of aggression between factions of people you can’t avoid as we’re all within arm’s length of each other, like in my case with the old cow who thinks fitness and exercises are waste of time when he’s a waste of useful space 😉 

Late in the evening around 8pm, intel came in that an inmate has escaped; an Israeli inmate, friggin didn’t know we’ve truly become the #UNO of prisoners from all nations of the world; a brotherhood united in crime 😉 

Heard the lad who’s always smoking and punching buttons on his blackberry has been making plans of his own version of #PrisonBreak, but someone gave him up as I heard, and all fingers pointed to a portugués inmate who works with the cop outside. Nobody will know, but in prison, when one’s plan fails, he’ll definitely look for someone to caste the blame on, as it is in this case. 

With this information at hand and knowing where we are, and the tsunami effect of the last search still lingering on our memories; many had their phones stashed as cops came around for a round of headcount. Sending inmates outside at such time is also a risky business as there could be mass escapes; but as we have come to know the cops more better, they are trained to shoot any moving object, thus, nobody made any attempt. The count went well; before the cops came, a cellmate of the Israeli inmate had threw a hot punched battering porto (as the portugués inmate is called) face, heard that the lad is also sick and on special treatment……wouldn’t want to know. 

Nothing was done to the boxer, but loads of tongues were wagging and whispering of what will happen next. From more intel, the israelí lad was caught in the kitchen, probably hiding there till late when he can sneak out of the complex. 

In the midst of the commotion and chaos, my mate said, the only time an inmate escapes is when he jumps over the fence, other than that the cops are involved in such plan. And the other types of escape plans is one involving the locals who use escape scams on the foreigners; they tell a foreign inmate, they have way to get them out, collect money and take the foreign inmate into their pavilion for a day or two, and later tell him to go back to his pavilion that the route has been blocked; and the foreign inmate goes back empty-handed, smartly robbed of his hard-prison money 😉 lol! 

Thus, any escape is one that an inmate or with a group plots and executes their plan on their own with knowledge of others. That’s is a true #PrisonBreak 

Back in, finally took my shower with a gallon of water, and that happens to be my last except for the mineral water I bought from a miser inmate who runs a grocery business that’s ripping us of every cents we thought we had. 

The cell was blazing hot as mates of my cellmates gathered for their daily talkative sessions. Upstairs was cool with cool wind blowing in from the mountains, but all gets spoilt with the stench of urine and bags of shits which the lads has resorted to, gallons of urine lined the walls of the passages and upstairs on the passage, the water crisis coupled with tuesday’s search has gotten us broken and mashed up mentally; we seems to be in total confusion and disorientated. Hope water comes and the lads are able to restock what was taken during the search; not until then shall there be rest 😉 

Two new inmates were hauled in today, one a young lad whose dad, our in-house electrician has been doing time for years on now, can’t friggin believe my eyes, as he went out to receive his young son; reminds me of what a retiring judge in Sheffield, England once said “he has sat trials of generations of criminals; grandfathers, fathers, sons, and grandsons”……..sort of make sense, when they say, ‘it runs in the family’. The poor man was short of words, but warmly received his son, his own blood; make him comfortable. Wouldn’t want to know what he’s thinking in his congested mind, guess lotd

A Dominican lad whom I believe is in confusion or denial of his sexuality lost phones totally about a thousand dollars; BlackBerry 9900, iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3. It was so painful that he had to change pavilion ;-). The lad upon arrival some years ago, couldn’t keep his mojo in his pants, he started shagging the Jamaican lad (lass I meant to say), he used to train with me, but the moment he found prison love in the Jamaican with silicone-ass he stopped training and concentrated on getting laid. Gringo loco who was his cellmate then, said of them, that both were truly in love as they tend to do everything together. But then, after the Jamaican who was in for fraud was release; though, visited the lad in couple of occasions and also bought him stuffs and the iphone, the lad started a relation with his compatriot’s lawyer and eventually got married to the lawyer. From all I have seen, he seems to be confused, he’s got five kids scattered around the Caribbean with three different women. Well, he needs the lawyer to get him out on time and also need proper conjugal, which I believe he’s already doing with his lawyer-wife. Desperation can drive some people into desperate decision making; he wants a quick way out and getting married to the lawyer is what he thought will be his qucik way out; wish him luck. 

Spent hours upstairs as signal was a bit better, but nature’s call wouldn’t allow me more hours, had to leave for my sleepy-hollow cell which was cooling down as the lads were all asleep. Spent an hour or more reading before I gave in to nature. 

Saturday, 12 Apr. 2014 

A full bladder got me up from sleep, but couldn’t get to the loo as the lads were hovering in and out of the toilet, had to wait until the last man finished. Then went in to do my thing, swiftly as I can. 

The pavilion is hot, planned cooking spaghetti with vegetables as we seem to have loads of them now and the heat is destroying them, also to use some of my now-ripe avocados. Doubt if I will do it. 

Water later came briefly, enough for today’s use, but we are still on our water crisis ration; bathing with half tank, that will be the new norm till we have enough to get back to using a full tank. I managed to hustled water from other cells and got my gym clothing washed, which has been in soaked in water since our water crisis began. 

My last workout was on Thursday after our headcount, we were just a handful, as many weren’t having water to braced breaking a sweat. Can’t wait to hit the gym on Monday when the lads are out for their family visit; my pharmacist-cellmate is taking one of my spanish – English books for his daughter, he really wants the daughter to learn English, nice of him; he also watches Dora the explorer all day with hope of learning English, but many end up learning Jamaican patois as it’s the loudest and widely used language closed to English 😉 

His boxer-friend who just got in after nicked for trying to rob a taxi from its owner is busy getting himself adapted to his new life on the inside; he was supposed to take a spot upstairs, but my mate who lives in fear of reprisals and sleeps with a baseball bat doesn’t want anybody upstairs. #Fear can cause a man to go to the extreme. 

Another newly arrival; a lad whose dad is here, his dad happen to be our technician, fixes all our electrical problems, from chargers to breakers, blenders, ovens, and just about anything that allows the flows of electricity. He was seated upstairs with his son, having a father and son moments, got me wondering what the heck he will tell the baby-face looking lad. When I asked how old he was, was told he’s 19yrs and also a father, got a few months old baby, then my mate is an abuelo (grandad), the lad friggin look 15, wondering if he can clean his friggin ass before making a baby. #PatheticWorld! 

Intel came in later in the day that our #Israeli would-be escapee had forked out 10grand for the fail #PrisonBreak expedition, guess he’s been scammed by the locals who set up the deal. Someone gotta profit from another’s stupidity. Anything other than jumping or cutting through the wire fence, raising the alarm and being shot at is not escape or #PrisonBreak 😉 

The lad just fell victim to one of many scams that runs in our world; sometimes the locals steals stuffs within their mates and sells them to us. But if any stupid foreign inmate steals from amongst us and ask a local to sell the loot, the local ends up ripping or stealing the item from him; and the foreigner can’t say a word as the local will threatened telling us what he had been given to sell. They use every method in and outside the book to rip the greedy ones. My business with the locals starts and ends with buying water when we don’t have. Can deal with anyone within my pavilion but outside the gate is near to harm’s way! 

With the little water, life is brewing up in the pavilion, music, drinks and whatever keeps us kicking is on. The only lads whose habit were not disturbed during the water crisis were the smokers, smoking joints doesn’t require water, thus, they were upstairs and below at the back of the cells, puffing and coughing on the mixed rolls. 
Hope on Sunday, we will have enough to get the cell washed and do proper cleaning of the dishes. 

Meanwhile, the Panamanian authority has mobilised massive troops, using helicopters, dogs in the search of the two Dutch students who went missing since 1st of April. Their families are here in panamá. And the president is putting pressure on his search parties to search every nook and cranny of his country for the two girls. He wouldn’t want to upset ties with #Nederland which recently has become a big economical player in panamá; upgraded her consulate to an embassy, closed all embassies in central America to centralised in Panamá. A Dutch company is contracted to widen the #PanamaCanal, #Philips the Dutch super electrical industry based in eindhoven is opening it’s first factory in panamá after martinelli visited holland to sign a bilateral trade deal between the two countries. Which makes The Netherlands the 3rd trading partner with panamá after The US and Canada.  

With all these on ground, martinelli will send all his sentinels to find these girls, who unknowingly came to a country whitewashed to foreigners as tourist haven, but behind the façades of the city high rise skylines are poverty, rising crime rate, rising numbers of homicides and assassinations and gang-style killings, which the main opposition party is using against the government’s running candidate. The opposition has proposed lengthy prison time for murderers and using iron hand on minors who are readily used in liquidation and eliminating of unwanted foes; and being minors, they end up doing no time for taking another’s life. Nice law! 

Such law has seen a Dominican lad who was kicked out of our pavilion escaped prison despite killing five people when he was a minor. My mate told me, most homicide cases are thrown out for lack of evidences or witnesses who are too scared to take the witness stand. From what my mate told me about the lad; he was used by business associates to do their partners who had gone awol on business deals. #ThePrisonExperience 

Sunday, 13 Apr. 2014 
Woke up around 5:30am this morning, haven’t been going up to the signal post for two mornings now, but decided to get up today and get my tweets up and update some of my news apps. 
Scanty upstairs as most inmates are sleeping out their time, none is hurry to do anything. #PrisonLife will bring a great awakenings to some, but to some it’s a just a laid-back to life and live each day as it comes. 

Few came up as the day brightens more are joining me, and downstairs, our smoking team are busy passing rolls of joints amongst themselves.  
Others will soon get up to start their day, the only thing that can get them up fast is either our alarm being raised or the sound of rushing water; then everyone is up on their heels 😉 

Family visit is on Monday, those with families or friends around will be getting ready; grooming themselves for their D-Day with their loved ones. While the rest of us waits for whatever they will bring in for us. 

Since the search, few phones has been coming in through the locals; doubt if they are phones that were taken in the Tuesday search, some could be phones taken from other pavilions; it’s business as usual. Someone gotta eat! 

Signal is a bit ok today, should be able to get this published asap! If I can’t, then will try tomorrow morning before our airwaves is congested and jammed with phones, tablets and routers seeking signals. 

Should be heading downstairs for a bowl of muesli, my mates will be cooking beef sauce with beef bought from a lad who works in the kitchen; borrowed pounds of beef to sell and keep himself going 😉 

We hustle, bustle and ripped each other to survive; such is the mentality behind bars. Nothing is for free, not even a good morning; one greets you, he’s definitely expecting a favour from you. #LifeBehindBars #PrisonLife. 

‘Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.’ #MindsetOfAPrisoner

“When something bad happens, you have three choices. You can either let it define you, let it destroy you or you can let it strengthen you.”