Archive for July, 2014

Verela taken over the helm of leadership in Panamá, Martinelli humbled, but not bowed! And Men and women behind bars awaits their fates.

Posted in Behind Bars in Panama on July 16, 2014 by doingtimeabroad

The greatest feats of survival speak equally to the persistence and durability of the human spirit and the courage of those forced to undergo extraordinary trials.

Sometimes the thing we can’t change end up changing us.

“The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.” – Nietzsche

Tue, 1 Jul 2014
An early day, feeling bit better with regards to my lower back and sciatica pains. Praying its gets more better than how I feel now.

Went through my early morning rituals of brushing and brewing my fruit-infused green tea; the lads can’t drink pure green tea, they want something infused with fruits flavours and with added sugar, rather want mine pure y sin azucar.

Signal wasn’t at its best today, brief chat with schat, haven’t spoken with my lil girl for days now, heard she pretty busy with school work, piano lesson, swimming and football practice, so much to get her knackered at the end of each day. Schat is doing a great job with the kids. Exchanged voicenotes with my littlest princess, who’s always eager to be at the nursery; learning a lot both from nursery and from her siblings. She is yet to meet and know me in person, but adores me from the way we talk to each other, always asking when I will be back home. Can’t wait to lift her up and give her a fatherly warm hug.

Took out some beans from the lot my mate bought from the old cow who nicked it from the kitchen. But it seems the contractor in charge of our food, went to the factory where beans are processed and bought all the shafts and leftovers; had to washed it like twenty times and picked out more stones than the beans itself. Finally got it clean enough and ready to cook, left for my cell to get ready for another beautiful day in the gym.

Set the beans on fire, dressed up and left a bit late for today’s workout. My training mates were waiting for me. Started with body-weight exercises and stretches to warm up. We rushed through excruciating #HIIT #Hardcore #Back and #Biceps, then rounded up with hanging leg/knee raise.

Inside, no water today, though water came, but the lad in charge of water, whom I heard swearing to his cellmates that, when he leaves, he will be going home with the electric pump and all the pipes; what a wanker! Well, we will wait and see how it goes when he leaves.

Some water left from yesterday’s, enough to have my clothes washed and also get a proper shower. But rushed through a proper protein shake with my training partners before jumping into the shower for a quick scrub. And peeping through to watch the football match between Argentina and Switzerland. Too bad the swiss were sent home, my day would have been a perfect if Messi and his crew were sent home; tired of Barcelona fans in the pavilion and their noise 😉

Cell A7 has literally become the noisiest cell in the pavilion, a mix of an English Man, Jamaican, Suriname, Brazil, Dominicans, Africans, Colombian, American and a Caymanians has turned the cell into total chaos. They wake up everyday and start the day with lousy and noisy arguments; sometimes over nothing of importance. They once argued about women menstrual cycle, that was when I knew, an Idle man is not just the devil’s workshop but also an empty one. Why on earth should men be arguing about women menstrual cycle!? Friggin don’t want to hear or see it ;-), well do ask schat when she is under construction, so as to know when to drive through or packed out 😉

From what I have seen about the lads in cell A7, I can write a book about them; everyone in the pavilion knows and are used to them. Personally, I think it’s their own way of releasing the buildup stress on the inside. Sometimes a normal discussion becomes very heated that others will gather around to see who will throw the first punch, only then will one know, they are having manly discussions but a heated one.

Yesterday and today, they kept me up, I couldn’t catch my afternoon nap, but then, I’m used to them and used to the noise in the pavilion.

Change of leadership and the man at the helm of leadership, Martinelli is handing over to Verela, a once time ally who fought a bitter battle of words over Martinelli’s corruption and manipulating power to turn panama into his own. But, Panamanians weren’t ready to be fooled again, they voted for Verela and rejected Martinelli’s man and his wife who was a running mate. That sets all his castles of cards grumbling down.

Juan C. Verela was sworn in today as the new president of panama, to take the country through a five-year roller coaster ride. We will wait and see what he has in stock!

Wed, 2 Jul 2014
Last night, some minutes past midnight, our alarm system went off, likely someone has taken ill. The banging on the door went on for about 15mins, finally stopped, wouldn’t know if cops came for the sick inmate. Will find out later who took ill.

Woke up early around 4am, but went back to sleep, and finally got up around 6am. Bit late to get upstairs, if it’s not public holiday, there should be school today. Thus, the list will be in soon for those going to school.

Finally got upstairs with a cup of green tea and get started with surfing and reading; news and brief chat with ever-busy schat, my lil girl barely have time for me as she is choked with school work, homework, and other activities, hope a hello once in a while. Though, schat said, her phone is giving her problems and she wants a new phone; an update from the old banger she’s been using; damn trendy!

Signal wasn’t that strong, but good enough to do my daily tweeting and read today’s news and other interesting articles, those I couldn’t open, sent the links to schat, who opens them and copy me the articles on Whatsapp, saves me time and headache.

My mate lives on a shack built on top of a cell that was once predominantly Jamaicans. But, being prison and everyone is meant to do his time and leave or leave through other means, many had gone and the cell is now mixed; few of my compatriots passed through that cell and one is still there, waiting to leave. But the lads in the cell assumes everything and the cell is theirs. But, I’m yet to see any inmate upon release, breaking down his cell or bunk and take them home; maybe the Jamaicans will be the first, there’s always a first time for everything, like being banged up in my life and the first, pray it will be the last as I don’t want to go through this experience again; mentally and physically, could be draining!

One of the Jamaicans came up and started a verbal war with my mate; asked my mate if he had washed soap on top of the tanks that has water which they use downstairs, and my friend said NO, the lad started raining abuses and insults on my friend. This, got my wondering, what part of NO he didn’t understand! You asked a grown-ass man if he did something and he said NO and you don’t any witness to proved he did, then take it or leave, but lad started insulting my mate. My mate being a quiet type just kept still, but I couldn’t keep my cool. I took over and told him to fucking go to hell and be cultured! I literally shut him down, well, I was ready for whatever will come next, but he knowing me, respected himself and went downstairs. My intervention, has put his stop to his stupidity, he ‘d mentioned, that’s not my cell, I should go to my cell……to which I responded; “If you are man enough, carry me from here to my cell”, the prison is government property and we are all government properties. And I hate going into their cell, my last stop is always at my mate’s corner on top of their cell.

My final warning to him and all his dope-head friends was; “A man is quiet, not because he’s scared, but because he knows what he’s capable of doing” and I hope we wouldn’t get to that. He has his crew and I have mine; all watching each other backs.

Glad the list for school came, had to rush and changed into our conspicuous yellow coloured T-shirt; prison uniform, not provided by the prison, everyone get theirs. Some go for designer brands; Polo, Tommy Hilfiger, Armani, and other brands, but most are sport brands; Nike, Adidas, puma and other imitation stuffs. I have about four yellow tops; one polo and three Tees; Lee Copper, Timberland, Panama Canal 😉 (made for the canal company), and a Chinese cheap thing, which has grown hair ;-).

Roll call to school came a bit late, thus, a short day at school; better that way, as it’s bloody hot, felt like fainting. Had to downed a cup of water before leaving, and the classes are enclosed concrete structures, got me wondering, who designed the building, well to keep warring gangs away and out of reach. Yet, they still find ways to get knives and guns into the classrooms and finish their unfinished jobs #PrisonViolence

Classes went a bit fast, checked the prison grocery, nothing new or of importance to me; whatever is sold there, when brought down to the pavilion, the price either doubles or triples #PrisonBusiness.

It reminds me, a lad called servio (man of god) here, and sells pineapple and rice pudding; after asking him how much he bought a container of cinnamon sticks from the grocery upstairs. He laughed and didn’t tell, just because he wants to ripped me if I asked him to buy for me. One thing I have learned about prison; nobody does anything for anyone without thinking of what his profit will be.

On our way to school, we went through search and the #GayCop was still at the door; seems he’s enjoying himself patting and groping inmates. Most cops spends a week there and are rotated around the pavilion. From what an inmate said, he chose to stay there so as to feed his fantasy; groping inmates, but this day wasn’t one of lucky day. He patted a local inmate and groped the lad’s ball, the lad reacted violently, telling him; got other cops running over, but it was a light incident as they all know what the ugly gay cop was up to; maybe after frisking and groping, he goes into the dirty toilet to wank himself off; light a fag, smoke and satisfied!

Done with school and back in, an inmate made a wrong move at one of us; picking up a lad’s book, and told him, they are his. At first, the lad was scare, but held his cool, then the local laughed, that’s how they start and sooner or later, it’s a full brown war.

Back in, the lads were still busy in the gym, but too late for me to hit the weights. Rushed and showered, ate something before trying to catch some sleep, to make up for what I didn’t get last night. Few minutes into my sleep, heard screaming and footsteps as inmates ran helter-skelter; yanked off my phones and everything straight to our stash spots, within seconds we were done. But it was a false alarm, but also bad for my health, well prison is bad for my health. Couldn’t get back to sleep.

What set our alarm off, was the presence of two cops and a warden who came for a lad nicknamed #Samurai; lad was thrown out of pavilion 8, after he nicked a phone and was fought be four inmates. He had a pal here, who is now released, through his released friend, he was sent here. Lad really look like a samurai; full of tattoos and a patch of hair on the back of head like an Inca warrior. He’s in for killing; #GangsWar

Why did cops came for him as he was settling into life within our pavilion? Heard he bought coke from the locals using a name of his pal, thus, the locals who are ready to kill for dollar, descended on the lad whose name he used to purchase dope. They asked him for their money and also doubled the money; interest incurred for time-wasting #PrisonBusiness

When our pavilion direction knew about this, and what will happen, they told the cops to come get him. At first, he refused, then came the reinforcement. Finally taken out, not going back to pavilion 8. So, he will be housed with the locals and few foreigners in a makeshift holdup under the admin building; not even animal activists will like to see animals being held up under such conditions as it is under the admin building. The lads there are like zoo animals; always hanging on the bars, calling out on visitors, lawyers and anybody walking into the admin building to throw them a dollar. It’s the norm in panama (keep and treat them like savages and wild animals that they are) #Prisoners!

My intervention earlier today has sent a clear message to the Jamaican lad on his intimidating lifestyle, he calls himself #BadMan, but a coward like a cornered rat!

No football, thus the tension, please come Friday and come football to keep us calm and behaved, at least for the duration of the world cup, then we can go back and live as we use to!

I’m connected back to another wifi, but not sure how many of us are on the line as signal is very weak, so I’m back to using my signal spot; the most are there to make calls, but I use it for my surfing and other internet activities and downloading.

Getting very hot, water is sporadic, another Jamaican in charge of our water line, gives today and the next day, one is cut off. Good thing, we always enough for each day’s use; like the biblical manna, enough for the day!

Thurs, 3 July 2014
Another early day, brew a cup of green tea and rushed upstairs to get the early surf. Being our weekly headcount, there won’t be much people upstairs as some will make an early stash of their phones.

Back, downstairs, dressed up to workout under the weather while the count goes on. Phones stashed and filed out like others. Use the time outside for a proper body-weight workout, also worked with the monkey bars behind the pavilion; dips and inverse rows. Did some few sprinting, have to up my cardio, by running more or jumping rope, stopped the later because of my sore back.

The headcount went well and nothing surprising from the cops, thus, no search and none missing, everyone was accounted for.

Back inside, being Thursday, the gym will be very scanty as many were cut off from their sleep, gone back to sleep; lazy prisoners. Well, it’s the system that should be blame for creating laziness inside prison.

Went straight to the weights, hitting shoulders and abs; still recovering, thus, I’m still careful with what weight I handle and how I train. Had a wonderful workout, #HIIT #Hardcore and excruciating; rounded up with abs exercises, hanging legs and knees raise. Few lads joined me, and we did well. Satisfied!

Done and inside, the lads are busy with nothing; talking and arguing over irrelevant issues. At least something to while away one’s time, everyone just gotta be busy with something.

Made a protein shake with peanut butter; being #Lockup and left with limited or nothing has taught me to use whatever available for the best results; My protein shake are always bit and bits of what is sold here; peanuts, peanut butter, raisins, oats, fresh ginger, lemons, oranges, carrots, cinnamon, pineapple,milk, chocolate, eggs and honey (always get that through my consul). The fruits, I get as much when available and even coconuts.

Signal is terrible, even on the wifi, we are about 10 linked to it, most are just chatting with it, while one or two are busy downloading porns to build up their porn stashes from different sites and music from tubidy.

Talking of porn stashes, far back, every man’s porn stash would consist of German or Hungarian porn magazines and few from America, hidden away from prying eyes and no sharing. But, thanks technology we now stash porn digitally and having so much at the same time, sometimes, so much with no memory space to save them, and we tend to share our porns; that’s like sharing one’s woman 😉

My old cellmate who’s suffering from proper high BP is one of the few with thousands of porns; pictures and videos. We have jokingly told him, his high blood pressure is a result of viewing too much porn which his fragile and old heart can’t handle. The last time he gave me his phone to help sort out his collections in different folders, I was in awe at the stash the old man has. How he convinced so many women on the outside to send him naked pictures of themselves and they did. He wanted me to create folders for each of his ladies, had to adviced him, keeping pictures with their faces and their hot body parts together is not a good idea, if the phone is taken during search, and the memory card falls into a smart and wrong hand; then, those women will be online for the world to download and feast on them 😉

Most of us will sneak into our porn stashes late at night in the secret of our bunks, hammock or wherever one finds to lay his head, but my old cell mate is busy 24/7 flipping through pages upon pages of his collections. Done with pictures, he dives into videos, since he rarely moves from where he sits and watches his groceries business, he has just developed gout like one of the new lad, whose gout got him bedridden for days.

My mate had my masseur massage his swollen joints, glad the man told him to be moving around. I’m surprise at the sheer amount of laziness here; there are older inmates, who don’t train in the gym, but by 4am every morning, in their trainers, they can be seen walking round the passages and they do that for two good hours. These few men, do that every day, some are with diabetes, high blood pressure or other ailments that comes with old age. But they don’t want to go down with them, I have told my cell mate to join them, but he’s too lazy to get up by that time and do anything. We have our jokes, the lads always talk of his porn-addiction and his thousand collections; jokingly, we do ask him if his old heart can handle such enormous collection of nakedness.

Well, they say, it’s what we like and indulge in most that will eventually kill us. Hope his love for porn won’t kill his fragile old heart 😉

Fri, 4 Jul 2014
Woke up early and went through my daily rituals and also dressed up to hit patio; wasn’t allowed outside, thus, this cop won’t be getting nothing from me when he’s leaving.

Signal was ok this morning, so did what I have to do in my bed.

#WorldCup2014 is back today as Colombia takes on the host Brazil, it will be a tough moment, both for the players and for us on the inside; 90% of foreign inmates in Panama are Colombians. Thus, in my pavilion and the other two pavilions housing foreign inmates, Colombians are the most.

The gym is not seeing much inmates lately; it’s either due to the world cup fever or they are becoming lazy. The few who turns up are just the regular ones who are serious and dedicated to what they are doing.

My mates joined me, and we got into the day’s business; #HIIT #Hardcore #Chest adding #Triceps. Started with warming up with body-weight lunges and stretching, pull-ups. Then benchpress, inclined and declined; on the last set, the catholic priest arrived for our weekly mass; got the faithfuls out, as they brought out chairs and all that will be used during the sort service.

Those who were coming out late for workout were disappointed, some tried going outside to do whatever they can under the weather. For me, done and out 😉

Inside, rushed through my postworkout meal and showered.

The pavilion was getting ready for today’s match; Colombia vs. Brazil, the pavilion was a sea of yellow as the lads adorned yellow T-Shirts in support of their country. Apparently, conspicuous yellow is the colour of the prison; upon being called up for visit, lawyer’s, doctor’s or consular visit, an inmate wears yellow T-shirt or even to school. It’s more or less the prison uniform; but to be acquired by the inmate, thus we have them in different designs and quality. Mostly the locals go for tight-fitting ones, while the rich foreigners opts for designers one like Polo, Hilfiger, and other designers name, never knew Armani make yellow shirts, and if they know now, that their yellow shirts are favourite amongs prisoners, hummmmmm! Wondering what they will be thinking.

But, today’s yellow was just Colombia and for Colombians alone. Two Brazilians inmates were drawn into placing bets with many Colombians, I also placed $5 with my lil gay cell mate; from those who know him on the outside, it’s being confirmed, that he’s gay, he apparently lived with another man, well, don’t know why he’s trying to get back into the closet when he’s already out??? Doesn’t bothers me what he is or what he’s not, what annoyes me is his dirty habits; gays are supposed to be clean fellas, but not him…..Grrrrrrrrrg!

Loads of invitations from some mates to drink with them as the match began, decided to stay in my cell. My wine should be ready, took out a gallon and the lads got some litres of liquor out also. And there goes the much-awaited match; Brazil vs. Colombia.

At the end, Colombia lost to Brazil, the two Brazilians who placed bets with many went to their piggy banks smiling; one won about $140, won $20 from my old cellmate, apparently my old cellmate lost $40, another addiction after porn; gambling! He loves it with a passion; plays lottery and anything that comes with putting in money to either win money or something. #PrisonLife

Colombia lost sent a cold chills into the pavilion as the yellow sea became very quiet, if Colombia had won, there would have been cops around the pavilion for fear of a #PrisonBreak. Instead, it was the locals celebrating, seems they were all up for Brazil to win.

Despite the lost, the lads went on with what they had prepared and promised themselves they will do; booze, party and fiesta. Proper drinks had come in today for the fiesta. Those who can afford them, bought and drank, others kept low on our potent liquor and moonshine. Those who wanted some light, came for my wine, had a bit as I want to be out on Saturday for a short bouts of workouts.

My gay mate paid me, but decided to get himself pissed; what will later become a two-days, non-stop fiesta for him has just begun. Started from my cell and he took it outside; loads of invites for him to drink with them. At a point, he started wailing and crying, how his beloved team has lost. But then, like others before him who had played with alcohol; it wasn’t football anymore but more personal things started showing up in his speeches. Talked about his dead mum, sister and brother, we had to let him be. Heard the lad left Colombia for Panama about 27 years ago and hadn’t return, not even for a visit. Guess so much has happened within those 27 years which he only hears. For the first time in his those years, he’s living among his people in a very large community (Prison) and being here has sort of taken him aback. And whenever he adds a little too much of alcohol, its brings out does buried and hidden feelings. He cried for hours, then went about drinking, dancing and entertaining the lads. But, our eyes were on him. Once in a while he comes into the cell to pour himself a little more of his fuel; wouldn’t know if someone gifted him a line to snort, what I didn’t see, can’t tell. But at the end of the day; his wailing and lamentations were on us in the cell. The lad sat all night allowing his mind to go walkabouts into memory lane, bringing back things that should have been left lying and sleeping.

Sat, 5 Jul 2014
Like other days, first to rise, went through my morning rituals, and dressed up for an early morning workout.

General cleaning and washing of the cell; moved my stuffs, so whoever is cleaning will have his way.

With my tea, went outside, the inmate on the door didn’t want to let me out, but after letting his compatriot out before me, I attacked him for his nepotism. He eventually let me out. Spent about an hour outside, stretching, running, brisk-walking and doing body-weight exercises. And also enjoyed the freshness of the warmth sun and fresh air. The cop on duty eventually called us in for another group to go outside.

Inside, the gym was empty; tempted to hit the weights. Went for an all-body #HIIT #Hardcore workout, hitting my upper and lower bodies with compound exercises. Brief but intensive and rewarding. Back in to prepare for #TeamHolland vs. Costa Rica match.

Football fever has hit us again, dutch inmates here aren’t much, but we are loud when the time comes. Few supported me, Los Ticos (what Costa Ricans are called in Spanish) kept us on the edge of our seats as they held us to a goalless full time and thirty minutes extra time. #TeamHolland dominated the entire match, but Los Ticos were just to hard to break, the god of football was on their side, but whatever luck they had left them during the penalty shootouts.

#KoningKrul #TimKrul Dutch and Newcastle goalkeeper was the man of the match, though the Chinese-looking linesman on the left whose flag couldn’t stay put stole that medal from him; majority of us awarded him man of the match for his part in the game.

The match started well and ended well; the dutch team roared like the Lions they are, sending Los Ticos home and setting a match with Argentina for semifinal. It will be war and we are ready! Too bad, the queen is an argentine! No problem, the Dutch know how to do ’em Argentines (says the King himself).

All morning, there’s been party down the passage in one of the cells, my gay cellmate was invited to drink and entertained; had his field day, free drinks, music and jokes to keep him going. Every head that went through that part of the passage was bathed in flour; Latino custom, flours or white powder is thrown on the celebrant and sometimes eggs are added. Whoever came up with such birthday tradition, probably didn’t know, with extra ingredients added, one could bake a proper birthday cake 😉

Since yesterday, heard of proper liquor in the pavilion, and my wine is ready to be sampled; few cups to the lads around, they loved it and wanted more, but I need to recover my cost first.

The lads in the cell took to drinking, well not everyone of them, just the young lad with his new mate who bought my pharmacist-cellmate’s bunk. They drank all night, until a third lad joined them. Music and chatting all night.

Managed to plugged my ears with my collections of classical music as I was beginning to feel feverish and with sore throat. Wasn’t long before slept caught up with me and snatch me away from the reality of our lives on the inside.

Sun, 6 Jul 2014
Sunday, my real rest day from my cruelly workouts. And always the day I try to sleep longer than other days. Woke up around 7am, same time the old grocer woke up and behold the mess that was made last night by the revellers. Empty plastic bottles of powerade (a good mix with our poten liquor), pot of noddles soup (black Colombians, in-between their drinking session or at the end always opt for hot soup, back home it would have been fresh fish soup as they coastal dwellers), plates, bowls and spoon were scattered everywhere. And the young lad who is sleeping off his hangover was supposed to clean today.

Looking up on the high bunk, he and his mate laid wasted, since he does help me with my cleaning, decided to clear up the mess, wash the dishes, set a pot of water on the stove for my tea and eventually clean the shower room and toilet. Showered and get ready for an early day.

The fever that started gradually yesterday, is taken its toll on me and my throat is friggin sore, can’t even swallow saliva. It’s going to be a long and boring day for me. Got started with my self-medication, hope it works.

The day went very slow, had to get back in bed, and that was it: bedridden all day, only got up to use the loo, glad I had custard, as that was the only thing I could it. Made me some, had it for Brunch and dinner; tried making it rich and nutritious as much as I can, added peanut butter 😉

Attacked the fever with paracetamol and sore throat with ampicilin. The day went at a snail pace, but made it through the day. Showered twice, had several cups of green tea.

Spent all day in the cell, despite the heat in the cell, couldn’t feel it, as my body was hotter than the cell.

The drinking and partying has ceased, the lads are getting ready for tomorrow’s visit. Another round of food and whatever allowed or smuggled in will flood the pavilion.

Wouldn’t know if my self-medication is working, but by tomorrow, should be able to find out. Tried reading, didn’t work, so back to the only thing working now and that seems to be sleep and sleep.

Mon, 7 Jul 2014
Another early day, woke up starving, used the loo, went through my daily rituals. Felt a bit better and relieved. What a short spell with fever and sore throat. The fever has gone, but my throat is still sore with thick phlegm. Should get better in the course of the day.

After a cup of tea, made another bowl of hot custard, served as an ideal breakfast to begin my starving day.

Dressed up before other woke up, and being visit day, they should be getting soon to get ready for today’s visit.

The gym was scanty, decided to do something light, but a #HIIT workouts that will get me sweating. #Chest was the best option, members of my group who weren’t out for visit joined me for an excruciating workouts. Rounded up with stretching and abs.

Back in, my three mates who went out for visit were in with all their goodies, but only one brought in cooked food to share with the rest of us; the rest only got what they will eat alone. Well, as with every other thing about life, we learn new things everyday and reminded of old ones as well. I’m beginning to know what to do with my money.

Showered and felt very much better; but still kept on with my medication, especially the antibiotics for the sore throat.

The lad who brought in food, warmed it up, boiled rice and shared it amongst everyone. Even the ones who went out with him got some. Well, such is life and life in prison.

Today went pretty fast; my hitting the gym sort of made that possible. Forming habits is as easy and doing those habits when the urge comes, but breaking those habits is the million dollars question; hard as #PrisonBreak. But when that habit is a good one, then it serves a good end, breaking is also will be friggin difficult, and that’s my experience with my daily workouts. Since it has become part of me and my life, a day without workout is long, and can be very boring. And also keeps me away from some inmates who just can’t keep their mouths shut; out of sight is out of mind, how I wished it’s always like that, but not in prison, here, once you turn your back, then they lazy-ass gossiping begins.

Spent part of the evening upstairs with my mate, felt very much better. So much is going on inside and within the pavilion, well, if one has the ears to listen and time to waste, there’s so much to keep one entertained. Glad, I try not to give my time to what’s happening in and around here and if it’s not about me.

Back in my cell, and bit late, the lads were snoring their lives away. Took a late shower before hitting my bunk. Wifi signal was good and having slept all day on Sunday and an earlier nap this afternoon, sleep wasn’t forthcoming. Thus, decided to stay up and do an all-nighter. Read and surfed, downloaded new mp3 files, magazines and eBooks, now I really want to get an eBook reader or a tablet, maybe a 8inch one with telephone capability also. But first have to scout for a bargain, then sell my phone which has really served me well; had it more than two years now, survived many brutal searches and still working, well I kept and used it well.

Spent the night online, brewed me a late night cup of tea, and finally slept around 5am on Tuesday morning. With that, I know I’m not hitting the gym today, can’t punish my body, even if my mind wants the workout, gotta allow the body to recover.

Tues, 8 Jul 2014
First match of the semi final is on today, still eating semi-solid, though my sore throat is much better today.

Not working out, means staying indoors most part of the day. My mate checked on me to see who I’m doing; good as gold!

The pavilion is prepared for #BRAGER semi final match later in the day.

We’re still using the meats from monday’s visit; is usually last till Tuesday or Wednesday at most. After then, we are on our own; eggs or whatever anybody wants to buy for himself.

Placed a bet for a 3litre orange fizzy drink with a Brazilian before the start of the match. He was sure of his team and I was certain of the German machines crushing them. But not the humiliation Brazil suffered when the match ended.

The match began and got us all seated as we enjoyed the match, many placed bets for Brazil to win, some totalling $200. Wasn’t a nice feeling when the final whistle was blown and Brazil went down on their knees with 7-1 on the scoreboard. Defeated and humiliated, a host and a super football nation to be humbled, humiliated and shaken to its core is not what many were expecting, but that’s what happened. Brazilians are forever humbled.

Wed, 9 Jul 2014
Another early day for me, went through what has become my morning rituals. No matter what time I sleep; always the last to sleep. I always wake up before the others. Guess, a habit formed when I used to wake up early to get to the signal spot when the passage was still ok. Brush my teeth, set water on the stove for a cup of green tea, and hit upstairs.

Didn’t spent much time upstairs as I planned hitting the gym furiously today.

When I got downstairs, the lads were getting up and getting about their daily activities, if only they have one. But, there’s one that I know of, and they are good at it; talking, arguing and gossiping. Good for them and for the system.

Dressed up and hit the gym, took a cup of gatorade, well not my ideal drink, but since I bought the powder form, I now make my energy drink, cheaper than buying bottled ones from the groceries. Wouldn’t know if the lad who sold it to me for twenty bucks ripped me. Everybody here is busy trying to ripped the other man. Even one’s cellmates wouldn’t do anything without thinking of what profit would be made for doing that favour; it’s all jungle, kill or being killed.

The gym was packed and busy, went about my day’s business like others, until our Brazilian mate walked in and got the booed by others as he bored the humiliation of Brazil to Germany. When Brazil beat Colombia, he was all over the pavilion and actually won a lot of dough from bets he placed with the Colombians. But this time around, was his turn to pay, and also receive some boooing.

But then, Santa Claus ‘the only sikh in the village’ took the shaming thing too personal and to a different level; once a cellmate with the Brazilian, until the Brazilian and others kicked him out for being a difficult person or being too dirty for their liking; the old eats fresh garlic everyday to keep his cholesterol and heart on check, and being an overcrowded place, plus the heat, they shouldn’t expect him to be without some body odour; we are friggin sweating, another reason I walk around with a hand towel. Pheeeeeeew!

Santa went to far and got physical with the Brazilian lad after the lad told him to give him a blow job; such words are what one hear daily here, sometimes, it’s better to let it slide, but not many can brave to let such words slide and Santa is one of them. He threw an old punch from his flappy hands at the lad, who responded by pushing him around. Others, as always were watching, but seeing the unmatched pair, I talked the lad out of fighting the old cow, but Santa wouldn’t let it be, still wanted to fight some more. Well, he did take some boxing lessons from the professional boxer here, maybe he believes he’s ready to take anybody. Wish him all the lucks.

The president of the pavilion who was also training in the gym and witnessed everything, finally got Santa and his stuffs thrown out. Where he stayed outside all day, eventually was allowed in as no cops came for him, to get him transferred to another pavilion, preferably pavilion 16, mostly for the elderly and foreigners, in La Joyita, our sister prison.

Finally rounded up my #HIIT #Back and #Arms workout, intensive and excruciating, but rewarding.

In to prepare for #TeamHolland take on #Argentina for a place in the final. Showered and placed a bet of $20 with a Colombian.

Rushed through my postworkout meal as I was late for the match, eventually joined the rest of the pavilion. That was football, like they say in Africa; “When two elephants battles, it’s the grass that suffers”, two football giants battles for a place, it’s us who had placed our bets on them that are crying 😉

The match got us (The Dutch inmates) on the edge of our seats, as we watched and wait for a goal, but nothing happened, all our changes were made, we went into extra time and then penalty shootouts, without #TimKrul, I know we are gone. And that was it, my $20 gone. And it was my turn to get booed and catcallings, but I was ready for them 😉

These and many others crazy things keep us going and functional, if the pavilion was not an open system, there would have been loads suicides, but then, an open prison system also puts many in harm way, as confrontations are very rampant and easy for inmates to get into brawl. One can easily walk into a cell of another and let it all out; bloody and fatal.

Anyway, our boys did so well and I believe Holland will be very proud of them; a tiny nation but mighty in their courage. Now my alliance will switch to #TeamGermany to bring the cup back to Europe, moreover not to give the Barcelona fans here anything to make them shout 😉 #Leo #Leo #Leo!

Well, despite the lose of today, an inmate offered me a can of miller’s Lite, was bad, but refreshing as I mixed it with juice from fresh lemon and loads of ice; something I badly need to refreshed. Same lad, was selling proper liquor, those with benjamins will fork out about $200 for a bottle of rum. Not me, as I know what to do with my dough, and I prefer my prison-brewed wine, as I know the content as I deemed it healthier 😉

Within the walls of prison lies miseries and mysteries yet to be discovered and uncovered. It takes one keeping his eyes down and reading between even lines and hearing what that has not been said to decipher and discover those hidden things many will try to coat with their smiles and vague actions.

Sometimes, the truth about someone comes out when he’s out of sight; dead, released, transferred.

That was the case of one of the pavilion most elderly and well-respected inmate, did couple of years and got time reduced through work time and school time. And in a rush to be released, but little did he knew that the long and expansive arms of the law was waiting to swallow him up like the biblical Jonah was swallowed by a large fish or sea monster.

That was the case of our elderly inmate, who earned lot of respect from many as he walked with an air of righteousness, but then, this is prison, even those walking around with Bibles 24/7 still harbours some little secrets of theirs.

The old hand finally got his release, but before that and while waiting, he had trouble feeding. Had to eat with my mate upstairs, who didn’t mind him eating with him. And he also ran into trouble waters with me over a mattress that was left in his care for me; a compatriot of his who once lived in Holland, told him to give me his mattress, but the old lad sold it along with everything the man left behind. Heart matters!

He finally gave me another mattress, after I attacked him verbally in front of many people and reminded him his words, the day man left “you will get the mattress when I leave”.

Well, he left and was hauled to the immigration to sort him out, over there, he tried buying his way out into the streets; knowing fully well what awaits him back home in his home country #Colombia.

One can run, far and wide, but one can’t hide from the long arms of law and thanks to technology which has made the world such a small community, something old criminals don’t know. That, by punch of buttons no-one is hidden as he thought he was.

Our old lad who was one a #Bossman of an arms-running gangs; exchange coke for arms with their counterparts in Panama in the eighties. Along the line of duty and business, toes were stepped on and heads rolled, leaving many families and the law to hunt for them for justice. But then, young and armed, with blood hot as volcanic larva, nobody dares him and his group. They did what they gotta do and went away with it, no confrontation as Colombia then was all wild wild west! Who got the guns, got the might.

Years passed, somethings are forgotten, but the hurts will never forget as they cry for justice. And one of the slained was the mayor of his little town. Long story short; while serving time in panama, two members of his eighties crew were caught, judged and sentenced to twenty eight years of imprisonment in Colombia. And he was sentenced to a prison term of thirty years in absentia. Upon release, panama finally delivered him to Colombia who sent him to a maximum #Lockup in #Bogota. Despite spending money at the immigration to be released in panama. The wardens there knew his case, they just collected his money and leave him to his oncoming fate.

The old man should be in his early fifties, thus upon release, if he survives colombia’s notorious prison, will be one old grumpy, crooked old man with prison tales to tell and share with those who will care to listen to him. Well, that’s justice served! And there end his story!

On hearing and reading about this old lad, who was one of our most respected inmate here. I believe few knew about him and his past. His past, like those of many of us; can they be atoned for? Can one’s past be forgiven and forgotten? Humanly, one can try to forgive, religion teaches us, one can ask for divine forgiveness. But with the law, it’s a different ball game; restitution is served when justice is done. The law doesn’t forgive, neither does it forget, it punishes and does that very hard and well. If you survived your past, you can only build upon the ruins of those pasts, just like the vibrant cities of Europe were all built upon ruins of fallen and past empires and civilisations.

For our man, time has ran out on him, what is there to build? Guess nothing, his second time in the joint will be time to atone for all and prepare himself for the great beyond as it beckons.

For the rest of the day, nothing to do than read, play candy crush and allow my mind go walkabouts to memory land 🙂

Thu, 10 Jul 2014
Another early day, and our weekly headcount day. Up as usual, prepared for the day, stashing bits and pieces. Dressed up to make use of the time outside for a quick burst of cardio and body-weight exercises.

Went upstairs briefly for mobile signal, then came the call. Had to stash my phones upstairs with a mate; risky but no choice as I can make it downstairs to stash with the lads.

Outside, the weather was good; started with a good stretching, squats, lunges, brisk-walking and then few lapse on the field and then few power sprints. I definitely need more of these!

Finally went behind the building to workout with the monkey bar; inverted rows, dips and pull-ups. All got me pumped and ready for the day. Should have been enough but later continued in the gym when the headcount was over.

The gym was scanty as many literally went back to bed to continue with their sleep. How cozy prison has become, turning men to douchebags. The system is not really helping anyone; innocent or guilty and not even the society will be spared from the consequences of prisons sending unprocessed and unchanged men back to the streets.

Had a quick all-body workouts, #HIIT #Hardcore! Rounded up and in for a quick shower. Our aquaman, is busy selling water to those who will pay him cash. Thus, our tanks are rarely full, but enough to take us through each day. #LivingWithoutWater #LWW?????

The pastor from #EpafrasNL came visiting today, the lads left without calling me. One of those things. Was mad at them, but then what will I do, nada! At least, they brought me licorice candies and a pen. The man of the cloth came with good news; the Lord’s word and nothing from Den Haag (Man’s news), hope for much, but expect nothing and learn to live by those factual rules.

Nothing much today, Saturday’s #BraNed 3rd place match and Sunday’s #ArgGer final is the only thing important now for the lads. Will be looking for someone who will place a bet with me, I will be going for Germany.

Fri, 11 Jul 2014
Up and about, dressed up and will be hitting the gym for another round of brutal assault. The rest of the pavilion is waking up for another weekend. It’s been a busy and hectic week, despite some leading a sedentary lifestyle, everyone is always looking forward to weekend, as it gives them more reason to drink and party.

Prepared oatmeal and ate few spoons before leaving for the gym. The gym was bare, some are either having a head start for the weekend or just lazy.

Went about my day’s business, a #HIIT #Hardcore Chest, and all-arms workout. Added abs and other body-weight exercises; rope jumps, push-ups, and goblet squats to fire up my legs. Rounded early as the catholic priest could break in any moment for our weekly mass.

Rushed in, bought ice for a cold gatorade drink and ate the last of my oatmeal before hitting the shower for a cold shower. Lately, our aquaman hasn’t been giving us enough to fill up our tanks, he’s likely busy with those paying for water. But we always get enough for each day’s use. And the lads are learning to manage with whatever we are given.

Not much to do today; apparently, there’s never anything to do, one has to create and discover his own piece of whatever he wants to keep him busy himself. There’s so much to choose from; group activities like gambling, contact sports, gossiping and arguing over irrelevant issues, all fall under group activities, drinking with buddies Or individual activities, where one does without the consent or participation of another inmate, like reading, chatting, watching porn and flipping through porn photos in the comfort of one’s bunk with curtain fully drawn, or even sleeping. Well, there’s always something to do to keep one busy in a place like this, some can sit on a spot, pondering and having a mental walkabouts on what will become of them and their fate after time-done.

Well, knackered and out, decided upon an individual activity; vitamin sleep! Hit my bed for a quick power nap, something I really needed. Slept for a while before waking to eat lentils which came on the lunch cart, bought three eggs, fried and had them with the lentils.

For dinner, decided to make another bowl of oatmeal, added peanut butter for the extra protein.

As always, I prefer individuality, did some reading and listening to music. And bits of writing, just about anything to keep me busy take me away from the stress of life on the inside.

Hit the bed early as it’s our general cleaning tomorrow and gotta be up as early as possible.

Sat, 12 Jul 2014
Woke up early, messages flashing on my phone, the wifi connection is a blessing sent from above; literally the routers and modem are all hanging high above the pavilion, thus, they are truly blessings sent from above 😉

Went about my day’s chores before the others will wake up; water on the stove for a cup of green tea, should be having Earl Grey tea with milk later in the day, but the green tea kickstarts my day. Removed all my stuffs from the floor to make way for whoever is washing the cell today, took the novel I’m reading and armed with my phones and cuppa green tea, climbed upstairs. The lad cleaning is the laziest in the cell, lives with us, but rarely want to be part of the cell. Rarely contribute to the cell upkeep, doesn’t eat with us, pay a cook to get him his food, well, so long he doesn’t cross my path, we are very much ok!

It took him ages to round up with the washing and cleaning. But while upstairs, I prepared beans to be cooked later. When I finally got downstairs, cooked black-eyes peas and made vegetable stew, popped in the boiled eggs that came on the breakfast cart. That was my brunch and dinner. Lately haven’t been bothered to check what’s coming on our prison food cart and I have been living on cereals. Hope should start proper cooking next week. Maybe it’s just the world cup thing or maybe it’s because our lil gayly guy is doing the cooking. The old lad invited or brought him to the cell, but then, we didn’t know from what cloth the lad was cut from. But soon, like they say ‘time will tell’ his true colours shown; lad is friggin dirty, spits on the shower room floor, leaves tissues here and there and stores food in different bowls for days. And now he is cooking, hell no, ain’t eating anything he cooks. I rather pick what comes from the prison food cart as I don’t know who’s cooking them. They could as well be blind or stinking, since I don’t know, I can afford to eat whatever comes. But, not what my cellmate cooks, after seeing him picked his nose and then shove same hand into the pot of rice or clean up his sweat right above his pot of stew, then wiped his nose, clean his hand on his dirty shorts and then back to slicing vegetables. Naaaaaiiiiii, not me, will stick to my oatmeal and beans, wldn’t kill me. What he’s doing will friggin kill someone who knows what he’s doing.

Finally, the moment, the pavilion is prepared for #WorldCup2014 third place match between #Bra and #Ned.

Not working out today, decided to have my hair cut and did some cleaning of my bunk, can’t get my bunk to be like the others, got so much books and nowhere to keep them. Gotta live with them!

The 3rd place match wasn’t shown live on tv, thus, we plugged in our earphones as we listened to radio commentary and thank God for our smartphones, most has got FM radio, the match went fine, as Brazil received another blow; losing to Holland and incurring ten goals in two matches at home. That’s history and a very bad one, like our ongoing prison experiences, one dark history that we will all live with.

In celebration of my compatriots victory, we burst open a gallon of my wine, had a few with some mates. But my mates wanted a little more, then cooked soup to help with the hangover. Soup goes with drinking here, but most seems to throw up everything, I think, it’s a matter of timing, knowing when to stop drinking and go for a hot bowl of soup, but the lads seems to drink till stupor, then opt for a bowl of hot soup. The stomach can’t handle it.

Had an early night, while others continued with whatever they have to take them through the long boring night of prison life.

Sun, 13 Jul 2014
Officially my rest day. Despite always being alert and conscious of where one is, Sunday is one day I try to get enough sleep. Woke up around 7am, which is bloody late for me, as I’m used to waking up very early.

Set up a pot of water on the stove, while I visited the loo and went through my monotonous morning rituals. Then, the rest of the cell, gradually wake up to join me. Turned on my music, had paid $20 to fix a speaker my mate burnt, now it’s literally mine, started the day with some gospel music. The lads did enjoyed the music, though barely understood the lyrics.

Breakfast was cereals and for the rest of the day, had oatmeal and cereals, topping them up with peanuts or peanut butter and banana. No real food today, but what I have is ok with me, my cellmates are always surprised at my weird diet. I always tell them, I eat what my body need, not what I grow up eating; which might not really be healthy. Them, not ready to change; one man’s meat is another man’s poison.

Feeling feverish, the pavilion is down with flu, almost everyone is sneezing, coughing and running to my pharmacist-cellmate for whatever cure he has for them, and the lad has ran out of medicine. He’s waiting for his warden friend who brings in things for him to haul in his next supplies. Hope soon, as my nostrils are becoming blocked, glad still got some paracetamol left.

Finally, #WorldCup2014 is coming to an end today as #Germany takes on #Argentina in the final. Placed a $10 bet on Germany with the president of the pavilion. It will be a tight match, but I hope Germany takes the cup back to Europe.

Majority of the inmates are in support of Argentina, it’s a continental war; Europe vs. The Americas! Germany might not be my favourite team, but wouldn’t want to see Argentina lift the world cup, after all the bad tactics and rubbish football they played against many teams. Most especially, against my team #TeamHolland, many faults which we were not awarded.

And the match begins……. kept us on the edge of our seats, both teams are equally matched, the Germans are young and ready to play nonstop for three hours. I want Germany to win, and make my day better with a $10 win.

Finally, the used up the full time and nothing happened, went into extra time, and on the second fifteen minutes extra time, Germany netted a goal that saw them lifting the world cup for the fourth time and also won me a tenner.

There were many wins and also many loses,

Went back to my bed as there’s
Rest day, cereals and oatmeal all day
Blocked nostrils, full blown out flu in the pavilion
Germany won the world cup and I won $10.

World cup has finished, but our lives in the slammer continues, which brings us back to were we started from; monotonous routines everyday as we battles the odds of survival.

But, the only annoying thing about the world cup and which further proves that #Fifa is a corrupt outfit, was the awarding of the best player of the tournament to #Messi. Even the latinos here all agreed that Messi never and didn’t deserved it. Well, it just showed how corrupt our beloved football has become. What happened to Robben, Muller, Kroos, James and others whose outstanding performance, Messi couldn’t matched? Friggin corrupt football!

After all said and done, we are back to what we do best; talking! The lads were all in groups, dissecting what and how the football should have been. Put men together with nothing to do, then you know, #MenCanTalk!

Mon, 14 Jul 2014
Another early day and rushed through my morning rituals.

The door was opened for an early patio, the footballers went out and many others joined. The field was filled up with inmates, either walking, jogging or just chatting, but also enjoying the weather and refreshing early morning breeze.

Without water in the cell, it will be a hard day, though I have my reserves, but still need what I will use later after my workout. Other cells with pumps had water, so I fetched three tanks for my personal use later today.

Told my mates to go get some, but none were ready to move, hope our water comes and aquaman will give us some.

Hit the gym, picked out things I will use for the day, but a Venezuelan inmate who probably woke up on the wrong side today, just couldn’t keep his mouth shut. Had to leave the gym and hit the fields before our confrontation become something else.

Outside, the weather was superb, went into a quick burst of cardio; stretches, running, inverted rows and dips.

When I got in, the lad was gone. Went about my workout with my group, two new lads joined us, and got no idea about anything or what to do in the gym. Put them through the basics, and seems to be fast learners. Hope they stay and not run away like many before them.

We opt for an all-body #HIIT #Hardcore workout, with emphasis on chest. Also torched biceps, and did some pull-ups and lunges.

Done and knackered, when I got in, there was no water, but got me three tanks, used two as I had extra laundries to wash. Bit tensed in the cell, over the water issue, as I told them to fetch water and nobody did anything.

Water finally came, but not enough for the day’s use, which got me shouting orders, that we should use what have now wisely and cautiously as this could be the beginning of something greater.

Took a short power nap after shower, was what I needed to fix me back, my masseur came and worked on my back. And he also massaged my mate who has developed gout from sitting all day; chatting and washing soft and hard porn videos. As es la vida!

Meanwhile, had gotten ox lungs which my mate paid for. After taking a power nap, cooked it and made stew to be eaten with white rice. White rice, which my pharmacist-cellmate cooked; fried white rice, and hard to chew.

Shared the food amongst us, and others whom the rice wasn’t enough had the stew with the meat inside. And these ones decided to cook macaroni, then add the stew to the drained macaroni. They all enjoyed their meal. And everyone satisfied. Seems we are now cooking on our own, everyone does what he likes. I’m very much ok with my peanut butter, can literally add it to anything; rice, bread, boiled potatoes, oatmeal, cornflakes or cold oats and the taste is always superb. But my mates just want to chew meat and not ready to buy.

Not much for the day, like the caveman who sits before his bonfire and gazes into the unknown future, so are we, men befallen by our infamous deeds; sitting, sweating, swearing, and gazing into our unknowns.

Tue, 15 Jul 2014
Another early day, one day at a time. Early as other days. And done with what needed be done with.

Dressed up to hit the fields, early, you make it outside before the boxers who now have their permit signed by the various offices, but then, their going out depends on the cop on duty.

Made it outside, run and sprint, stretched and body-weight exercises before the cop called me in. Gym was packed, some days, the lads just wanna do it, other days, life is hitting them hard and bad. Loved the energy in the gym. New hands joining my group, we do what others are doing, but #HIIT and #Hardcore, which makes some old school jealous. None of us are juicing, I teach them to make good use of whatever we have at our disposal; train hard, eat healthy. The lads aren’t rich like some here, but they manage to survive on what meagre diet they can.

We had a ass-bursting shoulders and lite legs; lunges, deadlift, dumbbell squats. Went heavy on shoulder press and shrugs. Rounded up with abs.

Another search scare today, seems something sinister is coming, well what can be more sinister than finding oneself in one of latin america’s notorious prison, where inmates take selfie brandishing assault rifles and all sorts of professional weapons and crude ones.

After the stashing and waiting and nothing happened, we later found out, that new and highly volatile local inmates were brought in. They were escorted in by special police, and had to have the entire prison lock down, zero movement, no even the civilian workers were allowed out of their offices. What a waste of human resources and time.

They lads had to be protected from the various gangs running the prison, and also protect those gangs from them; prison is always a dormant volcano waiting to erupt and explode. Riot is always lying in wait, any little internal or external stimuli can sets things in motion negatively. Thus, cops does whatever it takes to prevent it, even by giving in to prisoner’s demands and pleasing the inmates; turning deaf ears and closed eyes to what is going on right under their noses.

Had the rest of last night macaroni with one avocado, bought six earlier today, whenever they come in, I try to feast on it. Better thing to spend my money on.

For dinner, had rice with three fried eggs. There was no ice yesterday, but ice came in today and a lot. Can’t help sipping iced-lemon water all day. Glad these little things that makes life worth living here are allowed in; lemon, ice, eggs, oranges and few others. But we tend to have the worst more; candies, pork skin, and loads of fried food, even potatoes chips. One choses what he wants!

Spent most of the day in my cell and in my bunk, having signal from the comfort of one’s bunk is what anybody here will wish for, less contact with people, the better!

Had an early night, meaning I will be up sometime in the night.

And I did just that…..woke up by 2am on Wed, 16 Jul 2014.

My lil gay cellmate who like taking his talking into his sleep wouldn’t sleep quietly in his hammock, always talking and screaming; lad, has got a problem. So also many of of us!

Been up from that time till now; 05:07:00! The binmen are up and working, and the diabetic Dominican old man is out doing his daily walkabouts; walks round the passages till the day breaks or daylight! Determined and dedicated, unlike my cellmate who is down with high cholesterol, diabetes and is popping medications and no exercise of whatsoever.

Talking of diabetes, remind me of a Chinese inmate who was here, was massive and enormous, admitted into hospital and came back after months, lost loads of weights. He had an ulcer on his legs, so was always on trousers, even on visits. Finally was released, after forking out large sums of dough to his lawyer. Sadly, we just heard he died couple of days ago. Probably from complications related to his diabetes. Everyone will die, but how and when is what matters.

One gone, and no feelings, we have grown hard skin and set protective cover against empathy and anything that will make us feel unmanly. Guess, it what prison does to any weak or feeble person, grows him into a monster!

The misapplication of generalisation is a quick way to insult someone, or even start a fight.

Prison is an economy where businesses thrives, wars are waged and fought, truces, treaties and armistice are signed for peace to reign and these are also broken, and the war continues; a never-ending vicious circle of violence which begets violence and more violence until blood are spilled and lives snuffed away. Technically acceptable proposition in prison is when debts, favours are paid or rendered in acceptable or unacceptable manners; either willingly or by force. And these could be bartered, cash-payment or by the most cruelty forms; ass-payment or by life!

Thus, economic cooperation implied the existence of unwritten laws and rules or treaties that governs and guides every transactions within the walls of the prison. In our case; the locals control everything that comes from outside into the prison complex. The two foreign pavilions (Six and Eight) aren’t allowed to trade with each other, we must trade with the locals, and then, not all the locals. Pavilion 15, which houses the most dangerous locals don’t get long with the other locals, and since they are close to pavilion 8 (the second foreigner’s hold), they deal with Pav8, everything the foreigners in Pav8 desires has to be purchased from Pav15. While, we in Pav6 have direct access to other locals who are willing to trade with us; even goods nicked from amongst themselves are sent to us, but then, whoever buys anything from the locals should know better; never to be seen by the locals using that thing, as you will be marked for death.

With this, I rest my case and pray I have enough signal to get this updated on my blog asap!

“You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.”

Advertisements

Panama: Sun and beaches, private banks and drugs-money, Police everywhere, Mass Incarceration, yet crimes and unsolved murders abounds. #RIP #LisanneKris

Posted in Behind Bars in Panama on July 1, 2014 by doingtimeabroad

What is a man if he does not learn from his mistakes? What is humanity if it does not give him that chance? #ChanceForChange 

 

“What we have once enjoyed deeply we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” – Helen Keller #SurvivingPrison #PrisonExperience 

 

The case of the two missing Dutch students from the beginning has opened something dark, covered and hidden about panama to the whole world.

 

Panama, a beautiful destination for holidaymakers, and others who want to hide money away from prying eyes of their capitalist government. And for others in search of cheap sex and drugs, panama has it all like a buffet dinner. 

 

But what panama has, which has been hidden to the outside world, is the increasing rate of crime in country, that has seen more police on the streets than in other bigger countries and the other thing are the vicious and heinous unsolved cases of missing people. The latter is one that has gotten too close for comfort as it’s happened to two younng dutch girls who came to panama with a mind of goodwill to learn and work; render service to improvished kids inn rural areas in the country. And they met their end in the same area. 

 

Prison is binary world; you are either banged up or not, a world where orderliness is kept in military precision, but in our case; it’s the opposite, a chaotic world with no rules of law, one where the norm is survival of most connected. 

 

Like simpleminded people struggling to decipher complex information, prisoners struggle through each day in oddities. Many will wake up each day not knowing or having any plan for the day, they get involved with whatsoever the next man does. Another’s life is their life! 

 

They say “Time meant nothing to prisoners”, we are supposed to have all the time at our disposal, but then, it comes and slipped away from us at lightening speed, that many can’t account for any useful achievement. We live in a time vacuum when our time stands still, many try to recreate and relived those precious moments, but then, like smoke and vapour gone too soon, those memories are all illusions that we wished and dreamed, we can hold onto forever. Any time used or unused, but gone can never be recovered, prison “time” is a like a wave, a true surfer waits for his to grab and glory in it; every prison, waits patiently for that opened window; to make a #PrisonBreak, strike or be struck, to start a new life. So many positive and negative thoughts are birthed within the walls of prisons.  What will become of those dreams, after prison time, remains but a mystery! 

 

Mon, 16 Jun 2014 

#WorldCup2014 is on and is keeping us calm and tranquil. Whenever a match is on, the pavilion becomes quiet like a graveyard 😉 

 

Woke up, not feeling too good; bathing with rain water has probably given me cold, and the flu bug is spreading in the pavilion like wildfire and it comes with a badass cough. The cough is dry and many with strong, thick and dark coloured phlegm. The flu epidemic been a boom for my pharmacist-cellmate, as they are lining up for his drugs. Though, I have some that schat sent with the last pack she sent me; if I will need them. 

 

Woke up bit late today, around 5am, but laid back for thirty minutes before finally getting up and went through my early morning rituals, with my tea left for the signal spot. Few inmates were there before me, but mostly to make calls. Did what gotta be done before leaving my phone with my pal upstairs to keep up with my download. Left to prepare for gym. My last time in the gym was on Thursday last week, taken a long time to recuperate. Feeling stronger but still can’t risk doing any leg or back exercises that involves pulling or starting any movement from a death position; deathlifts, or any exercises that involves lifting. But pull-ups has been very helpful as it doesn’t put strain on my back. 

 

Hit Chest today and with intensity; flatbench, inclined and declined, added flyes, pull-ups and rounded up with biceps and triceps. My benchpress is improving as I can feel more strength, seems time-out from active training has helped developed my strength. 

 

Back in, water was everywhere as it drizzled a bit and our waterman decided to fill us up today. Did my laundries and showered, a protein shake was my postworkout meal, the lads cooked rice and canned sardine sauce, didn’t eat it, as I’m full and also feeling feverish. Won’t be working out tomorrow, my program from now till I’m fully recovered will be one day in, another out to recuperate or use the day off for yoga and walking the yard if the cop on duty will let me out. 

 

Football is on, but only on radio; we had to go back the old way and listened to radio commentary as Deutsch Machines trashed Portugal, that should get their Cockerell to crow, it was a whooping beating, that should get the Portuguese back to their drawing board. Another team the world was expecting something from them; Nigeria, performed badly against unknown Iranians in the world of football. Too bad for Nigeria, with all their top clubs-playing players, they couldn’t perform as expected of them. Another African country; Ghana is losing to #TeamUSA, and finally lost. Despite outplaying the Americans, they conceded two goals. Got me wondering if any African team will make it to second round. Hope they do! 

 

Meanwhile, upstairs by our signal spot, a very crazy inmate whose water tanks were damaged by protruding pieces of metals from the passage, finally tore parts of the passage off from their points; thus, we can’t access the signal spot anymore. Too bad, hope to find another way around there. Can’t stay without my morning signal access. 

 

If the welders don’t get the passage upstairs fixed, soon we won’t be able to walk or do anything upstairs and that will bad for those with water tanks that need to be filled on top of their cells. It will be too bad if they can’t get it done on time. 

 

20:06:07.. #Breaking; seems the search team searching for the two missing Dutch students have found something belonging to them and the search has changed routes as they are heading towards Bocas del Toro, my prayers are still with their families and hope our fears is not what awaits them at the end of this search party. 

 

Had to leave early to my cell and eat proper meal for the day; my gayly cell mate got his pals who loaded chunks of meats for him, but bringing them in his hands put me off from eating them, the lad is so dirty that I don’t like him cooking, not even boiling rice. He loves picking his nose and he actually learn how to wash his hands after using the loo here and that was after millions of attacks from me. Well, I think his doping his making him act weird, these days, when he washes his hands, he actually shows me his hands so I know he has washed his hands 😉

 

Had the sardine from my lunch rice with Arepa (grilled maize flour made like pizza), and fried eggs, downed everything with a hot cuppa of #greentea. Used my hot sauce (made with Mustard, ketchup, mayo, vinegar,dried parsley, dried oregano, and el pikante).  Filling and satiated.  

 

Later in the evening, one of the threes that left on Sunday came back with his partner in his case. Had his hearing earlier in the day, and this is the third time in three years he has been having hearing and not results. They were house in El Renacer rehabilitation centre (where we were before been hauled to La Joya), they are taken daily from Renacer to their hearing in Darien (interior part of panama). 

 

Had an early night as I planned waking up early and also it seem the flu is coming to get me. Drank another cup of tea with some medications. Hope I feel much better in the morning. 

 

Some reading before nature took over! 

 

Tue, 17 Jun 2014 

Woke up to use the loo with blocked nose, and joint pains, friggin flu seems to be lurking around. Drank the last of our detox liquid, and threw away the rest; damn bitter like our bitter experience in the slammer. 

 

Brewed me a hot cup of green tea and left for our signal spot. Daylight; now I can see the extend of the damage done to our signal spot; not even the cats will dare walk through that area, dicey and dangerous walking. Have posted pictures of the damage to my twitter: @Doingtimeabroad 

 

Feeling several symptoms of flu, its coming, three of my cellmates had down with it and many in the pavilion; too bad can’t escape it due to poor hygiene in the cell. Well, I’m prepared for it as I have medication to help relieve the symptoms. 

 

Had a quick breakfast upstairs when the breakfast cart passed through the passage downstairs; took a cup of the warm cornmeal, filling and warm as my body needed something hot or warm. 

 

School has finally resumed as the roll-call was made for tuesday’s class. Mine is tomorrow, but then, if I’m not feeling too well, I might call in sick, but without doctor’s report to proof it. 

 

Since the signal spot is inaccessible, kept my phone very close to the spot and still got enough signal to be able to communicate with schat and also sent some tweets. And also completed #Sade #SoldierOfLove album download from a torrent site; better quality than what others are downloading.  

 

Downstairs in the cell, another round of distilling by my mate who came back from the interior last night starving and unkempt as the police didn’t provide anything for them, and not even proper meal; they had one meal a day and were refused even buying food with their own money. 

 

Rushed my first hot shower of the day before blending beets and melon for a breakfast smoothie. Aches and pains forced me to slipped into my bed for a quick nap, but just couldn’t sleep as the heat was grilling and my body just couldn’t shut down to sleep. 

 

After distilling, my mate cooked soup with pork tails that came in the lunch cart, decided to take some of the soup but with added chillies flakes, which got my sweating that I had to take another hot shower. 

 

In-between my nap and lunch, followed the football matches of the day. The much-awaited match #BrazilMexico was not aired on any of the stations, we had to listen to it on radio. Followed the rest of today’s matches, so also the rest of the pavilion. 

 

My pharmacist-cellmate had his fortnightly conjugal visit with his missus today, came back with foods but wouldn’t share with none, got the raise of the lads talking; such is his life. 

 

19:40:01 on the news tonight, more revelations on the missing Dutch students, their rug sack and passport found, but more mysteries still surrounds their disappearances, and more news of unsolved cases of #MissingPersons in #Panama #MissingPersonsPanama are coming out. It’s so sad that there are some serial killer (s) operating silently and they had been left unchecked for so long. The case of the two missing Dutch students seems to have awoken many of cold cases that had been left to sleep. Panama is still waiting for arrival of another Dutch team of experts; probably there will be forensic scientists in this team to check for #DNA or anything that will link them to a third party. Hope this case is solved as it has kept many on the edge of their seats. 

 

My phone is upstairs, but no signal as I can’t make it to the signal spot, hope our welders will find a solution to the problem and get it sorted asap! 

 

From words going around, the new prison #MegaJoya #PenalCity is alive and running with new inmates. Few inmates from joyita and newbies from the transitional jail had been transferred to the new prison. Nobody knows what will become of us, if they will come for us and when?  What we dread most, how we will move with our phones and weaponry to our new abode. 

 

When I finally got downstairs, my mate who just got back from court was packing, this is the third time the lad is packing to be released. Praying this packing will be his last, lawyers, prosecutors and judges had played enough with him and his companion. His people had paid enough money to buy his freedom, but like always, one greedy person still want more; typical human nature. 

 

Down with the flu bug, can’t eat anything solid, went for a hot oatmeal with peanut butter. The lads were busy chatting like always, slipped into my concrete bed for an early night. Wasn’t long before nature took me on her wings to dreamland, where we’re free 😉 

 

Wed, 18 Jun 2014 

Woke up around 2am as someone was busy in the toilet; and that was our gayly Dopemaster, he’s taken to odd hours to do his dope so that nobody will see him. Nothing we can do for, it’s self-redemption or the drugs will waste him, which its already doing; sometimes he rushes his food with bare hand forgetting that he has a spoon, when reminded, he will answer he forgot. The system has no cure for him, he’s on his own like everyone else here in the pavilion.  

 

Back to sleep after using the loo, and with a blocked nostril, popped in paracetamol to help with the symptoms, did some reading until sleep sets in. 

 

Only to be awoken with a strong pungent smell, somebody is in the toilet and no other person that our gayly lass; guess all the pig tails and whatever he eats around is doing him bad. Got everyone up around 5:30am with his bomb. Quickly brush and changed, took my cup and tea to have it brew upstairs by my mate. 

 

Another round of footie will be on air today, glad #TeamHolland vs. #TeamAustrialia match will be aired, the other two matches later in the day won’t be aired. Only on radio! 

 

Roll-call for school came, as our PA system blasted out names of inmates for today’s school. Made up my mind and left, despite the state of my health, still went out for the three hours of time-wasting. 

 

Very sick, but sat through the classes, even when one of the teachers told me to leave, I insisted on staying through the classes. 

 

Apparently, I’m in a new class, while many of my former peers are still in the old class, not bad for a non-native speaker, apart from the Jamaicans who are slow learners of spanish, many who failed are spanish speakers. The old sets of Jamaicans here were fast learners. In the final class which will end in September and graduation in December.  Can’t wait to get through this ordeal; every walk to the school is an exposure to danger as one comes in close contacts with the locals who are always on the hunt for foreigners to fleeced. 

 

Back from school with my flu at its peak, my final option is to try my elixir; concoction made from our distilled liquor and mixes of herbs (Garlic, Cinnamon, Black pepper, Coriander seeds, aniseed, cardamon, chilies flakes). My temperature was very high, rushed my brunch and showered with a very hot water; finally took a shot of my cure-all concoction and slumped into my bed. When I woke up around 10pm, the lads were drinking and revelling as one of us will be leaving on the morning.  Drank some water and back to bed. 

 

Thu, 19 Jun 2014 

 

Woke up around 5am, feeling much better than yesterday. From my feelings, I know I can hit the gym today, but first thing first, headed to the signal spot as we will be having our weekly headcount later this morning. With my cup of #greentea, hurried to the table by my mate upstairs. 

 

Nobody was there, and signal was great; news update; #BBC seems to have the best news app with friendly user interface compared to other news apps. Thus, I stick to BBC for British, Europe and World news and BBC magazine. For Dutch news; since I follow most on twitter, I tend to get all news and gossips via twitter and if something worth reading, I check up the url. Updated apps that updated, sent off tweets and brief chat with schat; always busy. 

 

One of the three from my cell that went to the interior for hearing went to the clinic for a last check up before he leaves on bail; after 3yrs, but later have to make a bail out for good. He’s the lad #IBS and with phobia for germs; always washing his hands, literally every minute of the day 😉 

 

Flu and joint ache all gone, well the lower back still stays as it didn’t come with the flu, was there before the flu. Stashed my stuffs like others and made my way outside. But first got into the gym and arrange what I’ll be doing today; Chest, Biceps and Triceps. Outside while headcounts was going on, used the monkey bars to hit reverse rows and dips; exhausted on both, did some brisk-walking and stretching before the cops were done. None missing and no surprise search.

 

Back in, straight to my workout, started on the bench and did successive reps of multi sets, added closed, and flyes and DB press, then cable for triceps and biceps isolation, also did landmine. Got me exhausted before calling it off. My mate and his companion finally left, so also two other inmates after years in the dungeon. #Freedom at last for them, but first they are heading to the immigration where they will be sorted out accordingly.  And it could take forever at the immigration.  

 

My other cellmate got us on the bender, as he also will be going free after his companion took the rap for their case and bagged 80 months; thus, he’s celebrating his freedom. One that will see him outside hustling to get his companion out asap! 

 

Like others who had gone before him, his major preoccupation right now, is and solely ‘getting laid’. He asked me to search online for a hotel/resort with swimming and one on a beachfront, his pals has assured him, there will be loads of fishes for him when he comes out. I’m beginning to think if he also has gotten polished dominoe inserted in his mojo, as he’s so desperate about getting laid. But, there’s still a clause in his freedom; he has to pay what he owed his lawyer before his release. If he doesn’t pay, I know for sure, the lawyer will use all his legal and illegal means to stop his release. 

 

With news of his release and Colombia winning Ivory Coast and qualifying to the second round in #Brazil2014, more reason to break open our gallons of liquor. Lot of betting in the pavilion for the matches and many Colombians won. While those who betted on England lost. Being Thursday, not many are drinking, but quite a handful are celebrating colombia’s qualification. Their real party will come in the weekend. And it’s the weekend before our next fortnightly visit. 

 

Each time Colombia plays football matches, our passages are always free of inmates, yesterday was one of those days. Both passages were free of any human, and that gave the cats guts to walk around, guess they were surprised at the silence and emptiness, they invaded the passages, but as Colombia scored and with noises rising and clanking metal sounds, the lads celebrated their victory and a comback after sixteen years of absence in the #WorlddCup, the cats ran helter-skelter looking for places to take refuge, sort of fun watching them run. 

 

Mobile signal at night is becoming hard to hook on, after trying for hours, bowed out and left for my cell, took another shower; this time a cold shower as my flu seems to taken a bow, hope for good. Feeling much better, except for my sore back, which my flu concoction won’t and can’t cure 😉 

 

 

Fri, 20 Jun 2014 

 

An early day, woke up knowing I’m definitely hitting the gym today; whatever I’m doing, will do be done. Flu is gone and bit relieved of my sore back. 

 

By the time I finished upstairs at the signal spot and got downstairs to pick up my stuffs, the catholic priest was here for his Friday mass, since he doesn’t come every Friday, he’s forgiven for nibbling into our gym time. 

 

The lad on the door, allowed me outside; apart from Thursdays headcount, been a very a long while I was outside to workout and enjoy nature. Like an unleashed dog, I savoured the freshness of the open air and basked in the hot sun; stretching, brisk-walking, did some body-weight exercises and used the monkey bars behind for dips and reverse rows. Stayed outside until the priest was through with his mass. 

 

When I finally got in, the gym was empty, except for two lads who braced the coldness to get back to where the stopped when the priest came. 

 

Guess exhausted from the intense exercises outside, did couple of sets for an all-body #HIIT #Hardcore workout; starting with pull-ups, lat cable pull-down, triceps, biceps body-weight squat and lunges, enough to round up my day and week at the gym. Will take the weekend to fully recover, to be back on Monday for a normal routine and hope to keep on and up with my daily rituals of hardcore training. Have had enough time-out and rest, but will still be off from normal squating, will rather stick to dumbbells and goblets squats and lunges and more of body-weight exercises for my legs. 

 

The last of my mates has gone; he was the loudest and the noisiest, and also the glutton who eats every time he turns around. And the one who usually end his night of binge drinking by throwing up. Wouldn’t know if prison turned him into all that or that’s him before being slammed. Though he once told me, he turned to eating because of stress of being locked up. Well, we all turn to something to help with the stress. I for one, prefer my gym and music and reading, the oldest by age in our cell prefers diving into his porn stash and collections of fat ladies cunts; different songs for different folks. Others will die for a joint, a line of el rey (king of all powder), a pint of moonshine or our potent liquor, while others just want the company of the only lad with tits. 

 

Done with workout, and it’s weekend, the pavilion is waking up to what keep us alive and kicking; raving! But this time around the passion of football is awoken in us, keeps the passage empty of humanity when a match is on tv. 

 

Showered and washed up my clothes, enough water for each day. Nobody seems to be complaining or fighting over water for now. Many are focused on their freedom, as many are due to be freed but flimsy Panamanian bureaucracy is still keeping them. 

 

Helter-skelter and chaos, as our alarm system went up, first man I saw running was our vice president, then I knew something is going wrong; cops are coming down on us (not literally coming down like our shemale does) , but another search. But it turned out to be another round of headcount. We just had our weekly headcount yesterday’s morning and not that a hundred inmates were released between yesterday and today, that got the cops confused with their maths. Something had prompted this urgent call for headcount. Being headcount didn’t stop us from stashing our phones and weapons of warfare and all the undesirables 😉 

 

Outside, tongues wagged as each talked of why the sudden headcount. Having heard all and adding one and one from what my freed mate told me; it’s the fear of what they have heard about the new inmate in our midst. The lad to me, look the opposite of all that had been said of him; quiet, rarely talk and rarely seen. The only time he’s seen is when his lawyer comes and that exactly what prompted the sudden headcount. After he met with his lawyer and sent back with a cop and a warden, the cops who don’t trust their ranks, came for a recount to be sure that the lad is in. Satisfied, they left and we, back to our lives behind closed doors, everyman to his stashes to remove his hidden wares. And there began our weekend. Hope the presence of this one man would have the cops on our ass every second of the day. 

 

Another weekend before our fortnightly visit, thus, it will be fun and loads of revelling as the lads know very well on Monday, there will be fresh foods. 

 

Still on the mysterious disappearances of the two dutch young women, who had been missing for over two months now. All that had been found so far doesn’t give one any hope for a happy ending this missing saga. And some stupid Panamanian investigators are already suggesting that, they were probably klled by wild animals; snake, tigers and whatever animals they’ve got out there. (we have had our own share of panama jungle; snakes, gigantic spiders, frogs and different wild animals had made their way into our pavilion), if the DNA proves the human remains found to be theirs, then those poor girls were probably killed by some local and a serial killer running wild and free in panama. And the government had had their eyes closed to several unsolved disappearances in the past. But this one case is unearthing so many buried and unsolved cases in this beautiful tourist and banking haven; #Panama. Beggars belief upon hearing some local investigators saying, the two missing Dutch students could have been probably attacked by wild animals or snakes. Had expected them to say, with chains of events and many unsolved disappearances, there’s probably a serial killers, sexual predators and someone who has been evading the authorities out there and is still evading the lapse security in panama. Hope this one case will turn every unturned stone in panama on cases of #MissingPeople. 

 

Fast forward; back in the cell, showered and hit my bunk, but my English mate and his drinking cayman Islands companion took to the bottles, maybe to celebrate England quick exit from the world cup. They drink and sang-along some good ballads and old club anthems. But one that got me wondering how close they were becoming was both singing to Celion Dion’s ‘Tell me….that the sun and moon rise in your eyes’….Hummmmmm! that line alone got me fretting what our two blokes were up to. Well, it’s the drink and that’s what drinks does, either turns a man into a sissy or makes him think he’s a superman, like the lad nicknamed superman after flying from the top floor and crash-landed down on the hard concrete floor. That act alone friggin earned him the name; #Superman! 

 

 

Sat, 21 Jun 2014 

Woken from the claps of thunders as it poured hard for couple of minutes, such type of rain, always comes with destruction, maybe not here, but in the city and several parts of the country, people will feel the aftermath of the few minutes rain. But gave us enough water, added to what we had yesterday.  

 

Slide back into my bedsheets, not bothered for an early day upstairs, just needed some hours of sleep. Finally up before the others as it’s our general cleaning day; removed my stuffs, mostly my reserve gallons of water and gym box. 

 

Left for the signal spot, which was already crowded by those trying to connect for either calls or internet. Took my position and set my phone rolling, couldn’t do much, but did updated my news and sent off few tweets before whistle went off; an early morning patio. Doubt if many will be going out, as some are still sleeping off their hangovers. My hustle for early patio to run will begin on Monday as I’m feeling much better. 

 

The tension in my cell is loosening up as the two noisemakers are gone, less gathering and bit quiet, I actually took a power nap, despite one of the lads distilling, it was so quiet, unlike my cell. 

 

Many inmates are hit by the flu bug, and three of my cellmates are down with seriously strong dry cough, gets worse at night. Hope they find a remedy for themselves as getting one’s name on the clinic list is just but a dream. 

 

The world cup matches are keeping us occupied as we see powerful football nations beaten by underdogs. That’s the beauty of the game; expecting the unexpected 😉 

 

The cops that mounted the powerful searchlights on Friday night because of the new man in our midst are still camping outside the fence, with their truck and powerful searchlights focused on our pavilion. This one fish must be the catch of all time for them, thus, they wouldn’t let it slip back into the sea; hard to find then! 

 

Still on the missing Dutch girls, everyone following the case is left in suspense as we awaits the result of the DNA test to confirm if the human remains and other things found at different sites in the jungle belong to the missing Dutch women. 

 

Meanwhile, in the pavilion, it’s a bit of our weekend mood and many are thrown into repressive-thinking mode as this week has seen a handful released, leaving their friends behind. And one those is my boxer-cellmate, whose buddy left after his companion took the rap for their case; had to be released as one accepted responsibility for the finding in their boat. His other pals who had done the stone-in-the-dick thing had all gone out and they seems to be chatting from their different hotels telling of their sexploits and what their pearled-dicks are accomplishing. One even texted that he laid a broad who cum 5x and he only cum 1x! What a massive #Sexploits! Altogether, about six of his close pals had all gone out on bail or free, for sure none is coming back or the stupid ones that will hit the sea again with dangerous cargos. 

 

Also with the locals, they are leaving and released en mass, all the old faces I used to see and know are all gone, replaced with new faces and hungry ones who are new to the rule of engagements and in dealing with foreigners. 

 

With the passage to our signal spot damaged and the welders are not in a hurry to get it fixed, then accessing the signal area is out of reach. I’m used to waiting by my mate’s table till signal comes in. But nightly waiting is always in vain as nothing happens most night. 

 

Thus, early night to my cell and it’s bloody hot! 

 

Sun, 22 Jun 2014 

The smell of distilled mash got me up, as my boxer-cellmate was busy distilling. After a brief stretching and my quiet moment with my maker, used the loo and pick out my stuffs as I left for my signal spot, couldn’t brew my tea as I will be in his way. Decided to brew it upstairs. 

 

Upstairs, my mate was still sleeping or awake, but his door was shut, and wouldn’t want to disturb him. Thus, went about my thing until he had his door opened, then I went to him and brew my morning #greentea, refreshing and gave me the early needed boost I wanted. 

 

Went about my signal business which is getting harder with each new day. It’s something I’m now used to and also living with it! 

 

18:33:45 #Breaking #News and still on the missing Dutch ladies, it’s likely the human remains and other things found deep in the jungle of panama belongs to the two missing Dutch young women. Search will begin now on two men captured on camera to have been with them at a certain location before their disappearances. 

 

23:59:03 just threw my little prick crack-head cellmate from the cell, don’t friggin someone to die of overdose in my cell and called upon to give statements. Statement given at my fall is enough and that was me and my case. His compatriots in the cell had been turning a blind eye to his drug usage. But, being in the cell today and seeing all he did and how many time he walked into the toilet, closed the curtain and do his dope without taking a drop of shit and his weird behaviour; soiling the toilet, spitting on the floor, and denied, then I know, I have had enough of him. 

 

00:15:26 opened the door and let him; felt so bad about what I did, but it’s the norm in the centre; every cell always throw out their cellmates who are crack-heads as they start stealing when they can’t afford to keep up with payment and are denied credits by their dealers. 

 

Thought over my action, and seeing the situation of the pavilion; full but to the authorities there’s still room for one more! 

 

I called him and had a pret-talk with him, sort of advice, advice or counselling that the prison is supposed to do to many addicts here. Many had died from their addictions as none came to their rescue, heard a dutch inmate committed suicide by hanging himself in El Renacer after suffering from depression, when he couldn’t afford his dope any more. 

 

Have told him to seek help in whatever way he can, the church, good friends (if they will listen to him as each man has his own problem). He promised to sort himself out, hope he does and hope this will be the last time. 

 

He said, he knew what the situation is like in the gym hall, he wouldn’t want to be moved there, and that’s the only place he can go to if kicked out from my cell. No cell will receive him as they all know him and what he’s like when intoxicated. Pray he finds his redemption like everyone else here. 

 

Mon, 23 Jun 2014 

Prison is a binary world, either you are locked up or you aren’t. 

 

It’s visit day today, as many will be coming in to see their loved ones, hugs, kisses and touching exchanged. Others will go up just to leave the pavilion for a while, for me and few others, we only leave the pavilion for consular visit and our fortnightly school. Other than that, and lucky to get your name on the clinic visit and be taken; then you have made it far enough from the pavilion. Sometimes, I dread leaving the pavilion as to minimised contacts with local inmates who are always edgy and constantly walking around with knives; looking for a foreign inmate to rob. 

 

Woke up late, by late I mean anytime after 6am, rushed upstairs where an annoying cries of a kitten kept me irritated, little did I know the kitten was a dire need of help. A crack-head inmate had thrown the little through the bars on the backdoor of the sewage passage into the passage, getting the poor thing trapped. It’s been meowing and crying all morning and nobody gives a fuck about rescuing the poor thing. 

 

Finally took a look and saw the lonely kitten, gotta go get the key to the passage and walk down and get her out. But first have to inform everyone upstairs not to urinate, wash, spit or pour water on my head. 

 

09:54:58 the visit list just came and names called; the lads are filing out. Couldn’t make it to the gym early as I needed to be upstairs. Heading to the gym now. 

 

Beginning to feel much better, but still not at my best state of health and mind. That can only be when the body is fully healed. A minor row with a lad who took all my weights away without asking me. Though it was a sort of verbal brawl that lasted about 5 minutes. 

 

Being our visit day, three of my mates had visit, but only one brought food and shared with the rest of us. Not so many in the cell now. Like always, rice with hard-fried chicken, taste different but salty, as they love salty food. At least something for a change from our prison-cooked food. Got chocolate powder from one of my cellmate.

 

18:20:39 #Breaking #BreakinNews #RIPLisanneFroon who disappeared since 1st of April in #Boquete in #Panama. After hundred of hours of search through the jungle of panama and the border to #CostaRica, Human remains were found. #DNA test were carried out, which came back positive that the DNA from the  human remains is compatible with the DNA of Lisanne parents who are rarely seen on camera. The last time I saw Lisanne’s mother on tv, she looked so frail and worn-out from crying her heart out. The latest is the fear everyone who has been following this new dreaded to hear. I pray the good Lord gives #Lisanne family the heart to bear the lose of their daughter. It’s been a heartbreaking journey, travelling this far only to be met with a nightmare that one wished he shouldn’t wake up from.  So much has been said about their case, but the one million dollars unanswered question will be; who killed her (and Kris, if she is also dead) and motive behind the killing? In a close knitted community of the indigenas, where everything is hushed, nobody will ever know the last hours of those girls who gave their lives for the services of humanity, only to be rewarded by being killed. To keep Dutch TV viewers and Radio listeners abreast of what is happening in Panama and on the case of #LisanneKris, Dutch news media are here in panama; saw quite a few during the different press conferences and briefing during the search and finds of things belonging to the two missing Dutch students. The dutch media in panama will keep the dutch public abreast with the latest on this mysterious case in the jungle. This evening, just found

 

20:33:54 many in the pavilion are also following the news about the missing Dutch girls, some did asked what the Dutch Embassy and the Den Haag will do about the incident. Hope the Dutch government will keep the pressure on their panama counterpart to find the sex-predator (s) that is lurking around killing foreigners. 

 

Had an early night as I planned waking up early to make it upstairs as signal wasn’t good today. 

 

Tue, 24 Jun 2014 

Woke up very early, around 4am to use the loo, but decided to dressed up and head upstairs. Went through my morning rituals and brewed a cup of green tea. When I got upstairs, was silent and bare, but also hot, had to take off my T-shirt, glad the bugging flies were still snoring like many of my fellow inmates. Though on my short walk through the passage, the last of our nocturnal inmates were still sitting around smoking, chatting and talking in low tones. 

 

Signal was superb, good enough to blast all of my saved tweets and finished my downloads; another full album of #TrintjeOosterhuis #NeverCanSayGoodbye ; Sound wicked, jazzy and blues. Another addition to my collection 😉 

 

Started another download; collection of New York time bestsellers of Fictions and Non-fiction novels, should be enough read for me, though with my Samsung Galaxy S2 screen. Brief chat with schat and my lil girl surprised me with answers to questions sent to her; always sent her quotes to read and write back what she understands from the quotes and in her own words, she surprised me with every response (posting a screenshot of her answers to the last three quotes on my twitter timeline). Tah Dahh! …. that was her last words after answering my questions. how time flies! 

 

Quickly read through news making headlines around the world, and updated my news apps, and downloaded articles that I will read later today. 

 

Finally done, and left for the gym; but left the phone behind with my mate, so the downloads will be running. 

 

Downstairs, starving, rushed through a breakfast of cold cereal (cornflakes + oats + whey protein) and left for the gym. Bit full, but found enough metals to start my workout; back + biceps, an old training mate joined me. We had an intensive workout, though, very careful with what I had to do as I’m not 100% recovered from my back and sciatica problem. 

 

Tried going outside for a quick burst of cardio but the cop on duty won’t let me as it was about raining; and it never rained, only dark sky with bits of drizzle! 

 

Got in and shower, my mates had cooked rice with some chicken from yesterday’s visit, had a bit after shower and took a long deep-power nap as I didn’t get much last night.

 

The meat from the visit will take us through Wednesday and then we’re back to buying whatever comes in or eating whatever comes on the prison food cart.  

 

Had a brief chat with one of the newly released lad on whatsapp, lad has gone back into the jungle; his profile picture was him saddling a massive brown horse, got my laughing, but it’s their lives, boats and horses. The terrains that they work and live is not one for the luxury of cars. He’s having the time of his life, he’s out and his partner is still at the immigration waiting for families and friends to raise a grand and get him out. Hope they do! 

 

Spent most of the day upstairs, but signal was terrible, maybe the cops behind the signal has decided to block everything altogether. It will be real devastating if the signal is blocked for good, well, wouldn’t be for our good. 

 

Wed, 25 Jun 2014 

Planned waking early, but couldn’t make it as planned, woke up around 6am, well, for many in the pavilion, that’s way too early. Years of behind bars has made me realise how lazy prison can turn people to. 

 

Rushed through my morning rituals before leaving for the signal spot. There wasn’t anybody around, so also signal, spent about two hours and nothing. Had to surrender and leave to change for the gym. Starving, rushed a quick breakfast, and left for the gym. Hitting shoulders today; few lads joined me and we had a good workout, I’m gradually coming back to form. Things are taking shape gradually. Focused on my flexibility as I did loads of stretches and body weight exercises. Wanted to hit the fields, but it was past 10am, the cops won’t let anyone out again. 

 

Back in the cell, water came but not enough to fill up all our tanks, and one of the lads was distilling. Well, no cause for alarm as the sky is dark and it look like there will be a pour today. Lately, we haven’t had water crisis like in the past, but doesn’t mean we have forgotten and lose our guard, our reserves are there in case it does happen. 

 

Showered and washed my gym clothing, since I tend to wash everyday after workout, barely have dirty clothes like most lads who piles clothes and then send them out to our different launderettes to wash for a fee. 

 

Took a protein shake, before slumping into my bed for an hour of power nap. Sleeping and half awake as France took on Ecuador to a goalless draw; sending Ecuador out while Switzerland beat Honduras to qualify with France. 

 

#Breaking #News; the family of #Lisanne has accepted the death of their daughter, on news, the mother was shown talking during a press briefing. She and Lisanne’s father have been in panama throughout the search, only to be shown remains of their precious daughter. Vicious and heinous things do happen in this beautiful paradise, yet to be discovered by foreigners; Panamá 

 

I’m beginning to think very hard on getting a router of mine, but the problem is the climbing and taking it down when our alarm system goes off. The lad that fail and sprained his back is still walking like a crooked old man. He was lucky to have survived the fall, after crashed landing on the concrete floor. 

 

Signal is very bad today, left my phone upstairs all day, and nothing has happened to the signal reception. Frustrating, but gave me time out to do loads of reading and writing. 

 

Earlier today in the gym, saw some new faces, since my time-out from training, quite a lot had happened in the pavilion, lots of new inmates hauled in to begin a new life in the slammer. But have taken note of the old ones; those close to me that had been released on bail. Three from me cell, but then with their partners, thus, six people that were very close to me. Everyone in the cell are beginning to feel their absence. After years of living, brawling together, we became so close, became band of brothers; living and watching out for each other. But one thing so unique about prison’s journey; it’s a personal one. You can get hauled in with a partner, but once inside, you are on your own. New alliances and friendship are forged for one’s benefit. I pray they stay safe and out of harm’s way and out of crime. It’s only a prayer! They have to do something on their part! 

 

Meanwhile, before the cop on duty left for the day, he was taken around the passage for his due; everyone that benefits from his kindness, letting us out to run and workout under the weather gave him whatever they can afford. I parted ways with my precious dollar; same cop was in the gym earlier today and did some reps on the bench, turned red after couple of reps 😉 

 

Should be crashing earlier tonight as it’s our weekly headcount tomorrow morning, and who knows what the cops has got in their sleeves for us. Though we will be doing our parts of hiding and stashing and leave them to find 😉 

 

Before hitting my concrete bed, had all prepared to be stash on the first call, took out removable parts from my phone and stashed them. It will be a long day tomorrow if we are stormed on. 

 

 

Thu, 26 Jun 2014 

Woke up very early to use the loo, around 5am and that’s how my sleep ended. Rushed a pot of water to brew tea and dressed up for an early workout. Upstairs, signal was fine as I was able to get online, chatted with schat and responded to few other chats. Quickly send out some old tweets and updated my news and magazines apps for current news. 

 

Then, came the call for our weekly headcount, haad to stash my phone upstairs with a mate. 

 

Downstairs in my cellmates were busy stashing whatever needed stashed, as we don’t know what the lads in blue has got for us. 

It was going to be a very lengthy count as they decided to count cell by cell on the second run. Used the long time outside to brisk-walk, run and did loads of body-weight exercises; reverse rows, hanging leg raise, pull-ups, push-ups, lunges and loads stretches. My cell were called in, got in and that was my workout for the day. 

 

Showered and washed, also my bedsheets and my trainers; need a new trainer as the old one is worn-out, my socks were soak with water from the fields. 

 

Cooked ripe plantains to eat with the lungs of last night, and a cup of ice-cold grape juice. While eating upstairs, then came another call for another round of headcount; seems the cops need to get re-education on how to count. Well not sure why the call for the second count, we all had our stuffs probably stashed as we filed out again to be counted for the third time today. 

These time, it went fast and quick and without any error. 

 

Back in, slumped in my bed to catch a quick nap, but then came another call and this time around, it was the much-awaited call; our consular visit. 

 

She finally came at last, guess she and the embassy crew have been dead busy with the case of the two now-confirmed dead students #LisanneKris; #RIPLisanneKris! The embassy has been the 

liaisons between the parents of the dead girls and the local authorities who are doing everything to sweep the case under the carpet with flimsy excuses that they could have been killed by wild animals. Well, that theory and many others doesn’t hold, they should come up with something a bit concrete, like how corrupte their system is; how police could be paid to release murderers and rapists. 

 

We filed out and met with her, got our extra shopping done, but not all I asked for; a beggar has no choice! One thing she did get for me that got me smiling, is ten packs of green tea, which is enough to take me through loads of months. 

 

She brought in lots of magazines and few novels which will keep me busy, also went into the library and borrowed three books; Othello, Tailor of Panama, and the writings of Karl Marx. Should be through with them and send them back before next weekend. 

 

Those and what my consul brought will keep busy for a long while. 

 

Just found out today from an American-panamanian mate who was with us and will be leaving tomorrow, that the cop on duty at the admin is a friggin gay. Now I know why he takes pleasure is wanting to check every inmate before they climb upstairs to the admin block. And he likes groping when he searches people, everyone is always complaining his crude method of searching inmates, but nobody thought he enjoys what he’s doing. I guess one reason we never suspected him to be gay was, he’s damn too ugly and unkempt to be gay 😉 

 

But, he is and is one of the few ugly ones around, well, there are many ugliness in pavilion two (our shemale holdout) , loads of them and they come in different shapes and sizes, one will find whatever he’s looking for, and some of our lads have been doing just that, someone to exchange saucy photos at night ;-). Few had come to me to have their media folders locked or encrypted, that nobody could see what is meant for their eyes only. But, out of curiosity, I have seen things I’m not supposed to see. Got me thinking, what prison time does to heterosexual men; after years of incarceration, heterosexual men tend to be developing sexual tendencies for other men. And many will try to hide it, but within them, they want to explore such fantasy. Weird…..innit?  My released Canadian mate called them #WeakMinds or I will simply put it as #SimpleMindedMen, men who can’t hold up to their words. 

 

Brief chat with my consul, no new news from #DenHaag, we are still on our own as we have been from day one. But at least she got my injections; for the sciatica and back pain. Enough to take me through for a very long while if I can only stay away from strenuous exercises. 

 

On our way back, dropped a dollar for the lads in chains under the admin building. A lad who has been in chain for months upstairs is been sequestered from the general population as there are gang soldiers on mission to take him down in any way or any means they can. He was brought in from colon; since he came here, there had been three attempts on his life, well, his low and cheap life. He’s accused by his assailants to have killed one theirs, thus, he’s marked for death. And they won’t stop till he’s taken down. Another was released after years of incarceration, on getting to the final control on gate one, someone pulled the trigger of a gun on him and ended his life on the nozzle of a gun. Live by the gun, die by the gun. 

 

Finally in, dumped all my consul brought today and slumped into my bed and finally got my nap. Sleep through and woke up starving, and in need of a cool shower, as it was grilling hot in the cell. Showered and ate beans that came with pork tails earlier in the day. Always passed the tails and most porky meat. Brewed a cup of green tea with fresh ginger and left for our signal spot; haven’t held my phone all day. 

 

Took a shot of Dexa-Doceplex from what my consul brought in for me, cost me a fortune, thus, being a prisoner in panama is an expensive business and also a deadly adventure, especially for foreigners. 

 

On my way upstairs, met our reina, she’s dressed to kill, wondering if someone is celebrating something tonight, or she’s having an early weekend. Hope she will drink till stupor tonight and puke all over the passage. 

 

Saw the local shemale working upstairs in the admin,  and claims to have gone under the knife for sex reassignment to become a true lady. Well good for her numerous clients who are enjoying the new him. 

 

The pavilion is still tensed from today’s headcount, every finger seems to be pointing to the new lad whom the authorities see as highl-risk inmate, if he’s such, then they should get him out and keep him a more secured facility than sending panic signals through the population 😉 

 

Like always, until the real thing (search) comes, we will always be in panic. 

 

Called it a night as I made my way downstairs for an early night. 

 

Fri, 27 Jun 2014 

#TGIF it’s #Weekend, well for some lads here, everyday is weekend as names of days doesn’t stop them from revelling and feasting. With a prison system like this, one can decide to be happy or sad throughout his prison time as he so choose. 

 

Have been up since 2:30am, after waking with a full bladder, used the loo but just couldn’t get back to sleep, tried everything, even counting sheep; literally counting months and time to go. Well, allowed the mind to have its walkabout into memory lane; went fine, uninterrupted, uncovered many things, that I would love to let them lie. But such is life; the conscious battling with the unconscious! 

 

On my way upstairs around 4am with a cup of green tea as I make my way through the dark passage; always keep the cover open to be used as a quick weapon. An inmate once told, me, he has his trainers on all day as it’s prison where anything can happen any time. At the corner of the passage, our reina sat with a see-through nightie puffing fag, probably after a busy night of hard work. Someone gotta keep the lads giggling and satisfied. Her gran tetas were all poiten as we greeted each and I stole a look. Nice lass though!

 

Decided to read downloaded news from yesterday as I wait if sleep will come back to me. By 4:30am, I was done with sleep, maybe I will be lucky to catch an afternoon nap later today. For now, time to climb upstairs to our signal zone, if I’m lucky, I will get online, for a brief chat with schat, uplaod latest news, and try and round up with my downloads. 

 

07:32:10 Signal is pretty this morning, doing some downloads, hope they all get through before the zone is congested and signal is disrupted. 

 

Another drug bust, 200 kg of pure coke busted early this morning, soon the lads will be hauled in here or pavilion 8 to start their own uncertain journey.  

 

Finally left around 8am after the download of New York Time Bestsellers was completed, started another download which should be through by tomorrow morning. 

 

Waking up early helps with getting online and benefitting from the early morning surf. Trying to get some hours of nap later in the afternoon is always hard because of the afternoon heat. 

 

Had a good workout today; basically hardcore chest and added military press! Enough for the week, will be off for the weekend to recover and also get some shots of Dexa-Doceplex to help with my sciatica pain. 

 

Barely ate anything solid today, after our mass protein shake with my group and others in the cell. Took a power nap and later had spaghetti which a lad gave me. And that’s my meal for today. Maybe cold cereal later tonight. 

 

20:20:51 cops have mounted the powerful search light outside the pavilion again, and Latino sounds belting out from our boom box at the back of the cells as the lads are in the la fiesta mode. Others are also drinking to whatever reason they deemed befitting tonight. At least u’ve sold three gallons of my prison-brewed wine. Saw two gallons of grape juice, should get both and prepare a new batch of wine. It’s so funny, those going for my wine are like the elite in the pavilion; educated, and always kept to themselves, avoiding the bunch of many. It clearly shows the difference between them and those that prefers the stronger, lethal and potent distilled liquor, which could be fiery. 

 

Signal dropped this evening, had to leave for an early night as I will be getting up very early tomorrow to get online and catch the first surf. 

 

Back in the cell, had another cold or cool shower after downing a bowl of cold cereal; literally cold as I got a cup of ice, it’s friggin hot, feel like sleeping without my clothes on, but dare not try that here, slipped into my concrete bunk with my Tommy boxer, played some Candr crush, friggin difficult level 250! Read some pages from my bedtime novel before nature took me on another ride into dreamland.  

 

Sat, 28 Jun 2014 

Up several times to use the loo; took my direutics very late, and that got my several times to take some leaks. Finally got myself up by 6am, brew green tea and changed for another round of an early day upstairs. An early drizzle of rain brought in some cold air, the lads will be in their deepest phase of their sleep, finally some cool air to keep us cool and chilled. 

 

Upstairs was scanty, two lads were on their phones, either with loved ones of business associate. For me, needed to know how schat and my musketeers are faring, as they are my strength and what keeps me going. I know many men who had broken down after it all fall apart within their families. When slammed up, something has to keep one going and stronger; and for many of us, it’s our families. 

 

Talked with schat, loads that I’m missing; especially my lil girl growing up and learning to bang doors when upset, and beginning to feel and want to be treated as an individual. Glad schat is also growing up with her and learning from her; for me, it’s all female hormones setting in ;-), schat promised to put them under control. Funny how they both battle and are still best of friends. But she misses me most as she does say that on her chat, can’t wait to be back home and give that one warm fatherly hug and reassured her that I won’t be away for such a long time as I am now. 

 

She replied my last puzzle of quote, but with a wink, she definitely knew what the quote mean. Pray she can apply it to her young life. Full of energy and wants to do everything; mostly what makes her happy. But I always tell her, so long it doesn’t make others sad, and she understands. She is trying to be the big sister her siblings wants. Pray her the strength to understand that she is loved and we want the best for her. 

 

Back to the centre; it’s our weekly cleaning of washing, went downstairs to move my stuffs and also took all my reserves upstairs as one of the lad has moved down to the vacant bunk. That will be a big relief to the lads, who are always shouting over my gallons of reserves. The cleaning went fine, bought a pack of ox foot, another mate got one. Enough meat to cook; cooked Colombian Sancocho and made a sauce with one, but pikante sauce with loads of chillies, not for the fainthearted ;-), the lads who wanted that, loved it and his mate also. Everyone in my cell had a portion, exception of the lad who moved down from upstairs; lad tend to eat on his own, thus, can’t share my food with him…..well for now! 

 

Did some working of mine today, clean and washed my fan, friggin dusty, that it blows hot air. What’s is worth doing is worth doing well…..worth my time and my $3, that’s what I used to pay the lad who cleaned it before and he never did a satisfactory Jon; commercial! too many fans at the same time. Now I’m doing it myself and very proud of my handiwork 😉 

 

A police scare this morning got us scrambling to our stash spots as we hid what ought to be hidden. But it was a routine check around the perimeters. Doesn’t mean we believe them, gave them another 2hrs before taking out our stuffs. 

 

World cup is back, Brazil were lucky today and Colombia displayed what they have practising for the last sixteen years, got the pavilion boiling as the lads celebrated the glorious triumphantly win of Colombia over Uruguay; 90% of the inmates here are Colombians, thus, it was Los Cafetores or Los Tres Colores that took over the pavilion today and gotten us celebrating. If they play what they played today with Brazil in quater final, the latter, being host will be packing their boots. But then, I wait my celebration tomorrow, when #TeamHolland take on #Mexico tomorrow to set up a meeting with either #Greece or #CostaRica. 

 

There’s proper victor’s celebration in the pavilion, as the Colombians celebrate their victory over Uruguay, an on and off training mate has been on me all day to drink with them. Dodging him as I’m not in the mood, had woken up early to get online and I need some hours of power nap. Finally got an hour or less of power nap. And finally left for upstairs, but he and his buddies cornered me. 

Went over to them, music and booze flowed freely and swiftly, shots of our potent liquor were downed and with every shot, goes a sip of water to cool the burning effect of our lethal cocktails. The distil wasn’t bad as it came from my cell’s distillery; the lad had used some of my juniper berries and Aniseed, which gave the drink a different flavour compared to what others distil and sell in the pavilion.  

 

Finally took over the music and belted out some of Latino finest; salsa, vallenato, and more of both. The lads weren’t in the mood or mode to listen to any other genre of music, just those two and we had enough illegally downloaded mp3 files to serve the night and help with our booze. And we also have our mouths as we talked and talked football; what else to talk about, other than football as it’s football season. Spent few hours with them before taking a leave to hunt for signal, which was null.  

 

Headed down to my cell, everyone seems to be in their respective corners; either trying to sleep, but can’t, pings of incoming instant messages from whatsapp and BBM was coming from different dark spots in the cell. One of the young lad who drank with us but left earlier when he realised he was misbehaving, good a thing he left. I follow suit, but our boxer cellmate later staggered in after I was through all the chores that I had to do before crashing into my concrete bunk. Pitch black in the cell, heard noises from the new lad who just bought pharmacist-cellmate bed above the toilet. He also was dead drunk, didn’t want to get involved, thus, stayed quiet but with my ears wide open for any scuffles, none. 

 

On my way down, along passage B, Mexicans and Colombianos were high in one of the biggest fiestas in the pavilion so far; they had our queen, alsl dressed up to entertain her host, and in the part, everything and whatsoever that is needed to keep them high and happy was available. Booze, lines that aren’t meant to be crossed but snorted, jumbo seize joints rollled by the best rollers, and more of everything and music to help with emotions. And it all goes down to private moments with our queen of the pack; touching and being touched. Some of us are definitely enjoying our time on the inside. But at the end, when it all wears out, we are back to square one, where we started from. 

 

Despite their revelling, they managed to keep the noise down; respecting our unwritten rules of engagements. 

 

Sun, 29 Jun 2014 

Woke up around 4:30am to use the loo, only to find out someone had vomited, later found out it was our boxer-cellmate, lad was wasted when he walked in, unlike him; never miss his nightly shower, but yesterday, he walked in and climbed into his bed and snored off his drunken life. Had to double checked the door if he locked it. 

 

Vomiting for the first time, he’s forgiven, and being me day to wash our toilet and shower room. I have to clean up his mess and help nurse him back to his former self. 

 

First thing first, went upstairs to get online. With my cup of hot green tea, set about my early morning cyber rituals of updating, downloading, browsing, fast-paced reading of new headlines and scan through twitter timeliness. Loads of new stuffs and some old ones; like facebook doing psychological studies secretly without its users knowledge. Seems everybody is playing #NSA and #BigBrother, snooping on everyone without their knowledge. Nowhere and no place is safe anymore, prison that’s supposed to be the most secured facility is just one big joke.

 

In the middle of my chat with schat and my lil girl who sent me a voicenote of what she did in the nursery today, heard a loud deadly scream in front of me. An epileptic inmate had seizure and was about falling head down unto the concrete floor downstairs, left me phone and rushed up to him, his compatriot who wa standing by grabbed him by his legs as half of his body was hanging halfway down the edge of the cell’s top, if his compatriot wasn’t there, it would have been a different deadly story; how he fell to his death.  

 

We rushed him inside far from the edge, someone got a slippers between his teeth, while I stabilised his head, another loosen his shirt as it’s was blazingly hot. He finally came back and was taken inside his bunk; which is built upstairs on the top of the cell. The lad, under this condition should be sleeping in a cell downstairs and on a lower bunk. But nobody is willing to switch or give up their bunks for him. Sleeping upstairs and walking around is very dangerous for someone like him. He has once fallen on the passage upstairs and got torn by the metals. But because of his business he prefers living upstairs, he’s one of our many laundrettes, does loads of washing jobs upstairs. Guess I’m one of the few here that does their washing on their own. 

 

The lad survived the epileptic attack today, the authorities are aware of his condition and that of another epileptic inmate, but they won’t do anything. In such situation, we have grown to be our brother’s helper. 

 

We have crossed our ethnicities, colours, races, nationalities, languages, status, classes and even gangs creeds to help each other when the need arises. Such is what prison has turned us into; band of brothers, looking out for each other. And that’s how we survived life’s ordeal behind bars; united we stand, divided we fall and that fall can be real bad! 

 

Finally left to change and get ready for today’s workout. Water finally came, we have been without water for two days. Had to tapped into my reserves and it helped, also prepared a tank of my grape juice wine; should be ready by Friday for #ColBra match, if Colombia wins, it will be drink till dropped!  

 

The gym was packed, being Monday, some will be full of energy others will be sleeping out their hangovers. But many came out to work and burn out the fats accumulated over the weekend. 

 

Got myself started with warm up; hitting chest and triceps, started with a 110lbs dumbbells on each arm and that set me up for an hour long intensive #HIIT #Hardcore workout for the day. Very hot in the gym, had to buy powerade halfway through my workout and also got bananas for me and my training partners. Rounded up with good stretching and hanging legs/knees raise for abs. The lad enjoyed every seconds of the workout, already asking what we are doing the next day. 

 

Back inside, enough tanks filled for the day, my boxer-cellmate who was battling his hangover all Sunday did some washing, and finally got himself together. Lad did had way too much on Saturday. Glad everything is back to normal. And our lives back to what we know as normal. 

 

Nigeria is taking on France, from past matches and performances, I see France crossing to the next stage. And Nigeria going home, and that’s exactly what happened. Africa now has one team leaft; Algeria, and they will battle it out with The Germans, but they are won’t be a match to the formidable force of German lads. The only team now that has the potential to take on Germany should be #TeamHolland 😉 

 

Had chilled protein shake, showered and washed, the lads cooked rice but no sauce as none is ready to buy meats. Had tilapia fillets which I bought before my workout, should be steaming them with onions, garlic and oregano later on. But, then many mouths are waiting to eat. 

 

Tried napping but too knackered and heat was building as one of the young lads was distilling. He’s building up his stock against Friday’s #WorldCup2014 match between Brazil and Colombia. If Colombia wins, the police will definitely be coming to pay us an impromptu visit as all hell will be let loose in the pavilion; the lads just know how to celebrate. On Friday that Colombia beat Uruguay, there were about eight officially reported deaths in Bogota, Colombia. That’s the latinos way of celebrating football winnings; guns, booze, lines snorted, joints and more and more with vallenato to fine tuned movements.  

 

The insecticide we used to kill and keep cockroaches away is wearing out, they are back with a vengeance. Little did I know of the different species of roaches, there are albino ones, giant and even flying ones and there are the annoying ones; little tiny twats with eggs hanging out in the butt, friggin look like minor girls with protruding pregnant belly. My best weapon against them is just hot-boiling water, once read that exoskeleton insect like roaches could survive a nuclear attack, well, they don’t stand a chance with my nuclear-hot water 😉 

 

While roaches are busy climbing over our bodies, rats are busy munching on anything munchable; books, inmate’s feet or toes, electric cables, foods and anything their metal-like teeth can tear through, they are our number one menace here. The worst that rats does here, is urinate on anything and everything. And our lazy cats are busy tearing bin bags and jumping from one bin to another in search of good food. And making kittens, friggin lazy like some inmates; sleep all day and play all night. It beggars belief to see catching rats and feed our lazy cats with what they should be haunting and hunting. Good for them 😉 

 

On the news this afternoon, a released local prisoner was on television singing of the corruption in prison; the lad seems to forget that corruption is systematic and institutionalised in Panama and most part of Latin America, every office, department, ministries, arms of government, functions and office are all corrupt. The lad said, inside Panama prison one can literally get anything and everything that one’s need or want. He talked of prices of guns and knives, they are so expensive that it has become a lucrative business on the inside like other things sold on the inside. The lad sang how guns were sold for $500 in the past, but are not worth more than $3000 a piece, which has become a lucrative business for Cops and Wardens. Last year, a warden was arrested as he tried smuggling a pistol, which eventually will be sold to inmates. 

 

There’s a young local inmate who walks around shoulders high, because he feels protected with his arsenal of weaponry and all inside the prison complex. I have seen pictures of revolvers, glocks, Uzi’s, sub machine guns and other arsenals ready for warfare.  

 

Cops, wardens, visiting family members and even spouses or mothers of inmates are involved in the racketeering of smuggling whatever could be sold into their locked hubby, boyfriends, sons, fathers, lovers and for the wardens and cops, they do for business; they earn much better from inmates if they successfully smuggled things in for them. Phones are three times more than the street price, so also everything here, even our food, vegetables and other edibles. Cigarettes was legalised to curbed smuggling, yet the cops as those controlling what is sold here and what they should prohibit won’t allow cigarettes to flow in freely; instead someone is controlling it and fix the price. The lads are still hoarding and selling fags at exorbitantly high price. Someone gotta smoke! 

 

Over the weekend I saw gallons after gallons of rum (proper street drink), many drank away their time and got too pissed that they slumped on chairs around the passage. Well, with nothing to do, there will always be something to do and it could be booze or snorted white lines. 

 

Tue, 1 Jul 2014 

@rmartinelli is now ex-president of panama, change of government which many Panamanians are waiting for. With everything new, many don’t know what this change will bring. But many are optimistic that #Varela will be the change they are dreaming of. Many want reductions in the prices of foods. But, got me wondering, if nobody is talking or thinking of unemployment. And for us, banged up on the inside, hope there’s something positive for us. 

 

09:33:31 time to get ready for my daily workout, been upstairs chatting and surfing at my mate’s bunk, and trouble is brewing over their water problem. There’s something to be done, and everyone believes someone will do it, but it ends up nobody did it. That’s the problem with my mate and his cellmates; they are all waiting, expecting each other to do things, but nobody will do anything and it end up, nothing is done! Lazy prisoners! Don’t wanna work, then you will eat shit and friggin prisoners shit 😉 

 

Cooking black-eye peas which we bought from our big miser, who nicked from the kitchen. Had to wash it about twenty times as the beans is full of dirts and stones. Seems the contractor in charge of our food went to the factory and bought all the leftovers, can’t believe this is what we have been eating. Well, so long it doesn’t kill anyone. 

 

Leaving to get ready for gym…. had enough this morning already. Hope to hit back and biceps. 

 

Missing schat and my musketeers 😉 

 

Comeback’s vijf D’s: Dromen, Denken, Durven, Doen, Doorzetten #MindsetOfAPrisoner #Comeback #Startups 

 

Problemen zie ik als een denkpuzzel die moet worden opgelost. Bovendien leert de ervaring dat moeilijke tijden juist nieuwe kansen scheppen.

 

“The darker the night, the brighter the stars,

The deeper the grief, the closer is God.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment.

 

“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.” –  Kenji Miyazawa