The search that wasn’t, and fighting armed cops with stones and rocks; when hell broke loose.

The search that wasn’t, and fighting armed cops with stones and rocks; when hell broke loose.

“Life in the natural condition of mankind is “nasty, brutish, and short,” – Thomas Hobbes (English Philosopher)

#BehaviourModifications #MindControl: The best way to deal with an enemy is to control his mind, make him your friend, without him ever realising that he’s been manipulated. And then wack him woefully. #PrisonViolence 

Mon, 4 Aug 2014 
04:40:33 been up since 2am, full bladder kept sending me to the loo; finally gave up on sleep and climbed upstairs to get some update done. 

Some lads upstairs are taking things into their hands; turned up their music very loud. Very inconsiderate as others are sleeping. They started around 4am. Finally, someone has gotten up against them, gringo loco has gotten up and told them to turn the volume more louder. Just told them, he’s been here for ten years, there’s gonna be a serious problem. It wouldn’t end well today. Likely, cops will storm us and probably seize all our electronics. Just because of some ingrates and their stupidity.  

The rest of the pavilion are rising to see what is happening. Too bad, this is what happens when a prison is open, and everyone does what he pleases; like the friggin wild wild west! An open prison system also put inmates at risk of harming each other. Since the doors were left unlocked after many deaths, many had gotten padlocks to lock up themselves at night for their own protection and safety; prevention, they say is better than cure. 

As the incident happened this morning, many woke up and never returned to their sleep. Thus, ending their so-much love sleep. As it has happened this way, it will affect every other activities today. 

07:30
As the first batch of the early gym goers hit the gym, inmates sleeping in the gym hall refused moving their cartons, and whatever they had on the floor, citing the early morning disturbances. Thus, ended today’s workout. Wasn’t feeling like hitting the gym as I didn’t get enough sleep. Thus, good for me to get my missing vitamin snooze. Later took a power nap later on in the day. 

Saw Gringo that was hit on his face that morning by one of the lads who were playing music and woke us all from our much cherished sleep. Man wasn’t looking his best, his face was battered, like always, nothing would be done, and neither the #AmericanEmbassy in #Panama will do anything about their citizen; just a prisoner. But he’s also a Veteran of the Vietnamese war! 

The day went on slowly and dull, some decided to use the time to start drinking or continued from where they stopped last night. And being our visit day, there were lots of fresh food from outside; lately, there’s been incessant complains from inmates and their families that cops at the controls won’t let in food, some of the food are taken out. The cops know fully well, that most and all of these foods aren’t meant for one inmate, just a handful amongst us get visit, the rest of us are happy to contribute to their families to cook extra portions so we can get bit and pieces of what will come in. But the cops are always taking out some of these food. They are so bad and inconsiderate, washing soaps, powder milk, chocolate powder and other things are taken and large portions are removed. Got me wondering why they are doing that, when the food we get on the prison carts are always sending us to toilet with diarrhoea. The most thing we get enough of and in excess at all time is the salt-laden half-cooked white rice which accompanies everything that they churns out of the kitchen. 

Two of my mates came back with enough food that will take us through a day or two. After then, we will go back to surviving the odds in our individual ways. 
 
We cooked our own rice and made sauce with lasagne that one of my mate brought. Told them, lasagne is best eaten on its own, but been something new to them, wasn’t bad with rice either as many here eats for the nutritional benefits of food, but to get filled up and kill the hunger worms 😉 

Spent the rest of the day reading and brainstorming about #LifeAfterPrison, one thing I pray always is to walk out of here alive, healthy and in one piece. Who knows what lies out there for me, hopefully what I have learned from this school of hard knock life will help me survive the odds on the streets. The world is enormous and massive but becoming a small village through technology. Glad I’m not locked out from what’s happening in the world, doing my best to keep abreast with latest newsbites and current affairs and also studying and reading on fields I could get myself started on a new career pathway. Out of nothingness something definitely has evolved. One can sit through a 10 years prison time without learning nothing because the system doesn’t and wouldn’t allow him to learn anything new and for a change of career; the system wants him out and back to what he was before, so he can come back and do more time. And it goes on and on, and someone or some groups of consortium are profiting from this vicious circle of crime and lock up. Then, they labelled him; a #RepeatedOffender! 

Tues, 5 Aug 2014 
Hope I’m not becoming insomniac, always last to sleep and the first to rise and shine. Anyway, I do try to make up for the missed nights with bouts of short naps in the afternoon or evenings, and it does help. 

I’m up for the day and awaits what the day will throw at me and the rest of my gangs 😉 

Rushed through my morning rituals as the rest of the cell were waking for the day. If I’m first to rise, I rushed through my things even before the one cleaning wakes. But, I decided to lay back, I will wait for all of them to finish before getting down from my top bunk. And I always ask, if they are done, as one of our major problem here is space-problem; the cells were build for 6 inmates at one point in time, but most cells are holding more than that, some has 9, 10 and even 13 inmates in one cell. My cell has 10 inmates now, 9 sleeping inside the cell, while the 10th one built a shack on top of our cell; climbs up with ladder, and down to use the loo or shower, not a good idea when diarrhoea strikes 🙂

After my green tea, dressed up for the day’s workout, rushed through a half cup of early grey tea with milk and egg sandwich (made sandwich filler with boiled eggs that came on the breakfast cart yesterday), my cellmates are not boiled eggs lovers, thus, whenever there’s boiled eggs on the breakfast cart, I’m literally left with lots of eggs. One or  two will eat, but I do get about 4 or 5 eggs, which I normally make sandwich filler, always filling and nutritious.  

Now the lads have eaten proper food from the streets, debtors pay their debts, creditors and dealers got paid, even those rendering nightly secret services get paid on visit day, as visit day is our pay day. But for the Europeans, Canadians and Americans, the days of our different consul visit is always our pay day; our creditors are always on us on such days. The Spaniards are the ones mostly hit, after accumulating debts from buying dopes, or binging on our lethal weapons; moonshine and liquor. Eventually, they do get to pay, sometimes after receiving threats and punches.  

Still working out solo as yesterday, two lads later joined me for what would be a badass #HIIT #Hardcore #Back and #Biceps routine for the day. We had a bloody good workout, well without spilling no blood 😉 

Back in, the lads had cooked; always rice fried or burnt in oil till it’s brown; sometimes they use so much oil that the rice itself becomes oily and shiny, and they also made sauce with beef from yesterday’s visit. The meat should take us through Wednesday or Thursday if they managed it probably and also keep it from going bad. Got me wondering why they don’t want to put them in cooler with ice, to keep them fresh. Maybe they like them fermented 😉 , as my lil gayly cellmate does; lads stores bowls upon bowls of food for a day or two and then eats them gradually, no wonder his shit stinks like hell. 

Finally bought a router of mine (2nd hand) and also got a modem;  what works here comes from Colombia. A lad is making fortune from selling them, it’s almost free or cost less than $5 but he sells each for $80 and once they come in, they are gone within seconds. Good business and he sells for cash, no credit. 

Got it set up and finally online with my own router, hope to share the cost with a new inmate and probably will give signal to few people to meet data’s cost. 

Chat with schat, she doing well and the kids are busy, waiting for their Disney Paris trip, they just can’t wait for the day to come. She and my kids are my strength and what keeps me going. Always wondering what other thing could have given me joy outside of my family.  

With my own router, and having wifi signal from the comfort of my bunk, I will be spending more time in the comfy of my cell and on my bed. Well, have always been spending more time here, as I really don’t relate much after gym. Try to always round up all conversation in the gym and it does work for me. 

Wed, 6 Aug 2014 
Another early day for me, despite sleeping late as I was busy with phone and other things. 

Went through my morning rituals before the first of the lads woke up. Dressed up for an early workout, but ended up on whatsapp with schat. We talked about the kids; my boy has gotten a football club, my big girl has joined an athletic club and the little one has started swimming lessons. It’s beautiful idea to keep them busy with healthy activities, so when they grow up, they will continue from what they had learned as kids. Schat once sent a video clip of my big girl reading in school during one of the assemblies meetings; she was reading about the benefits of exercises, so nice that they learn that from childhood.  

My kids enthusiasm for fitness and healthy living has also spurred schat to take her fitness serious, she is also joining the athletic club for cycling to combine with her kettlebell training. So proud of her determination dedication. All she is, gives me the strength and courage to survive this place and come out stronger; “what doesn’t kill me, will make me stronger”! 

Finally hit the gym, bit late though, but was able to pull off a good shoulder workout and added some abdominals to torch my abs. Didn’t train alone as some lads joined me. Did and enjoyed the shoulder press (military press). In and out within the hour. 

Lately water only comes for the day’s use, we barely get enough to take us into the next day. But I do have my reserves and they are untouched. I try to fetch a tank or two for use after workout, as I would need to wash my gym clothes and shower. 

Had a postworkout shake of chocolate + milk + oats. And later a lunch of rice (fried or burnt rice) and sauce made from dried-fried meats from monday’s visit; probably the last, or something is left for tomorrow. With many still dining on food from monday’s visit, they ain’t bothered with what rubbishes comes on the prison menu; as always, it’s rubbish. 

Took a power nap to catch up with what I don’t get at night. Might not be the same as the nightly snooze, but it’s needed and helps with workout recovery. 

Spent the rest of the day in the cell and occasionally out to get a cup of ice as it’s bloody hot, we literally being grilled by the heat. The prison is so overcrowded, that one feels the body heat of the next man standing. And cops are hauling more and more inmates into the pavilion, and they don’t stop to find out where they will sleep or how they are fending for themselves. Well, I guess it’s the corruption that is making us feel too comfy here, as many with money can get whatever they want. Soon, our overcrowding condition will push us very hard against the wall and we will react.  

Have lost count of how many we are, but the cops haven’t as they take count of inmates every Thursday morning. But from what I’m seeing we are close to 600 inmates in a pavilion that was build for 216 inmates. Walking around the passage is like being in an open market; takes minutes to navigate through human’s maze as inmates are standing on every free spot or space in the passage in serious or lousy conversation and others are busy shuffling cards or throwing dices as they gambled their time and money away. Something gotta be done to keep one busy or evil will prop up in someone’s weak mind. Simple minded people!  

Thurs, 7 Aug 2014 
Tension is high, it’s been a while we have search, thus, no taking of chances. Woke up before others, and had all that needed be stash stashed. The rest of the pavilion went about stashing their stuffs as we expect the cops soon. Just before 7am, they were in pavilion 8, very early, so we know they will be coming to ours soon. 

When they arrived, I was all dressed up, among the first set outside. Went about working out in the open. Did all I could outside before the count was over; my workout outside today should be enough for the day. I did some sprinting, brisk-walking, inverted rows and dips on the monkey bars behind the pavilion. Also did some pull-ups and hanging leg raise, added some lunges and push-ups, body-weight squats and finally stretches. 

Back inside the gym after the headcount, decided to use the Olympic bar; set it on one of the corners and work my arms, shoulders and back. And also focused on arms; biceps curls, hammer curls, E-Z bar curls and other triceps exercises. A man who does the same thing every day on that corner started a row with me, saying I should move, told him, I need the corner for the bar as I can’t use the other corner because of the pull-up bar. He wasn’t happy, well, made him understand that I tend to start early every Thursdays as I can’t get back to bed after sweating outside. Sorry though, kept on with my workout. 

The gym was scanty as many went back to sleep, and I know not many will be working out today. Good for them. 

As I thought, my mates were able to rationed their visit meat to take us through today. But from the smell of it, it’s almost getting bad. But then, what can we do? Nada! But eat! 

They cooked rice and made sauce with the last of the meat (mix of very dried chicken and beef), wasn’t bad as it was filling. And help calmed the worms 😉 

Showered and had my lunch, also had a banana and finally get to get some sleep; I was really knackered and really needed the sleep. Slept for a very long time; probably for 3 hours. When I woke up, the rest of the pavilion was up, alive and kicking. Business was on as usual. 

Went about my day like other days; reading, tweeting and retweeting, on and off chats with the lads as we argue over lousy subject; just about anything that makes us humans or makes us feel we are smart fellas. At least it all adds up to what keeps us busy and useful to ourselves, well, so we think. At the end of the day, everyone has made his points, either in sharing an information someone else just told him, or telling another’s secret or sharing new news on James Rodriguez (the new Real Madrid purchase), just because he’s Colombian, thus, he’s the talk of the month. The next best thing out of Colombia after coke or maybe El Malo Efe (#PabloEscobar). At the end of the day, everyone goes to his bunk satisfied for having contributed to what makes us laugh. 

Reading and writing as I’m working on a facebook page for a business line, I ‘d like and love to take on when I’m back on the streets. “God helping”

Spent all night brainstorming……until nature said no, time to get some snooze! 

Fri, 8 Aug 2014 
Having slept late, was bent on sleeping till 8am or 9ish, but around 6:30, our alarm system was set off as inmates whistled and catcalls after seeing cops rushing like a flood of water towards the pavilion, called my mates, who quickly knocked off their sleep and went about pulling and taking down what needed to be stashed. The cops thinking, they had gotten us, decided to flushed out with gas, but we were able to get all our stuffs stashed. 

Due to delay as most inmates were still struggling trying to get out, more cannisters of gases were shot into to pavilion, it was overwhelming as we rushed through the only small door that leads to the gym hall, but then, we were met with more gas. Many collapsed as they find it difficult to breathe, the lads couldn’t take it anymore, those outside, gathered enough stones and rocks, threw them at the cops. Who were then firing pellets of rubber bullets at us. The toll of the fracas was more evident outside; many inmates were laid out on the field as their buddies attended to them. One inmate that was badly hit was Dr. Arthur Porter, he was on laid on the grass with just his shorts, hooked unto his oxygen machine, lucky he had that. A lad who once suffered low blood pressure, passed out faeces in his short almost died as he struggled to breathe. I also made my way outside for a catch of fresh air; the air wasn’t fresh at all, as it was windless and thick with tear gas, despite being in the open, many were gasping for breathe of fresh air. 

The most affected by this brutality of Panamanian police were the elderly and sick inmates. Many were laid scattered in the field. But the younger inmates wouldn’t take it any longer, and nobody was taking it any longer, we’ve been pushed hard and harder against the wall. And this is what we can do in return. We ended up flushing the cops outside of the pavilion, many of the cops were physically attacked, gas mask taken from them, so they could experience what we are experience; drink from their own cup of tea. 

Having them outside the gate was locked and a blockade was set up behind the gate; nobody was going out or coming into the pavilion. Then it was time to take note of our loses, as we had many injured inmates clean and dress their bullet wounds. There was no casualty amongst the cops, lucky them! 

Them outside and we on the inside; apparently, that’s where we have always been, on the inside. Other high rianking officials were called in, the prison’s commissioner of police, and non government officials from the office of the Defensora de peuble, who happened to be in the centre at the moment of the mutiny.  

At the back of my mind, I know, none of them are and will do us any good; in the past, they had all been here, talk and talk and nothing was done to change our conditions. Promises after promises were made, but nothing changed once they finished and walked out on us. The puppet director finally came, made his long speech; about new government #Verela, changes that will take place, and also make sure his superiors will hear of our ordeals. At the end of the day, we know it’s all stories as it will go nowhere and will bring us nothing. 

Dr. Porter was later wheeled out in our grocer cart, to be taken to the unstaffed clinic. Well, as a Doctor himself, it beggars belief at what he seen and experienced at the hands of the so-called doctors here, how unhygienic the ccentre’s clinic is, inmates are brought in with stabbed wounds, left on the floor bleeding while the nurses and doctors contemplate if or wheter to send them to the city’s government hospital Santo Tomas. At the end of the day, cops reluctantly will take them and at the end the inmates dies; one mouth short! Best policing policy and it’s working so far! 

Whatever will become of Dr. Porter, we wouldn’t know, until inmates working upstairs return with message or news of his condition. But as of the moment he was wheeled out, he was barely breathing. Pray he survives this onslaught.  

Food was not allowed in, inmates contributed and bought what they can find, and soup was cooked outside with woods from pallets and crates which plantains are brought in. I heard the young lad who has paid fortunes to his lawyer to be brought here from the transitional jail foot most of the bill. The lad, as I heard is a big fish, more or less a shark, his boss is in America’s custody, thus, he was running things. And Panama now have him; since he was brought here, many had been going to him for favours, even the oldest staying pastor here, now takes his church to him; good news and also big favour. 

While outside and others chatting, gathering more stones and rock; I used the opportunity to workout under the warm sun. Using the monkey bars behind the pavilion, I did loads of body-weight exercises, torching and touching everybody parts. Lose one and gain another, the gym will be a no go area today as the lads sleeping there ain’t ready to move their beddings. And nobody under this conditions and situation will be ready to ask them to move. 

In the midst of the fracas, an inmate who has done time here twice was called out for his release. Hope he doesn’t return for the third time. Some don’t and won’t just learn, pray he does this time as age is not on his favour. 

Hours after the fracas, stench of CS gas was still in the air inside the pavilion, that shows how poor the ventilation system is here. Only at the top of the cells, do we have gush of fresh air, but downstairs, it’s all body odours and our bodies emitting heat. 

The team from Defensora de Pueblo were led inside the pavilion, they took pictures of our lives and everything about us. Deep inside me, I know, it’s all formalities to get us calmed, nothing will be done to change our conditions. 

Finally get to take a quick nap after having my first shower of the day. We also cooked soup of eggs and noodles; always the easiest and cheapest food here. 

The rest of the day was spent recounting what happened during the day. The lads were proud of themselves, that they fought back and fought off the police today. If we should unite, corporate and work as a team of sentenced men, we will achieve a lot. But many of us are sell-outs, and switches; one of the lad from Defensora de pueblo, after listening to my story, promised getting me to the clinic, I bluntly refused him; telling him, it’s ain’t just me, what about those who can’t talk for themselves, more sick than I am, those lazy ones who don’t know the million benefits of exercise and healthy eating, that are sleeping their lives away in sickness? Who will take them to the clinic. I refused his offer, will manage to stay healthy through my daily workout and try to eat as healthy as much as I can afford. For most of us the Europeans; our embassies try to make sure we get medication by buying for us, but with our own money, nothing is free. Other times, my consul goes all way out and send letters, make calls to correction and the hospital to see that we get medical attention if the need arises. 

Life in the pavilion should have been like “Espirit de corps” “One for all and all for one. But when it gets down to the nitty-gritty, it’s always every man for himself and God for us all. Everyone seems and tends to be hustling for his belly, even those who fell or dropped together, sometimes split, each man to himself. 

On this day, for once we united and fought together like band of brothers, guess, the cops were surprised as they weren’t expecting that from old, weak and fragile men. Well, they seemed to have forgotten that, this men are giving everything within and inside of them to survive the odds of going home alive from incarceration. It was a good and well fought fight, something the younger lads had been waiting for to vent out their anger at the injustice that comes with doing time and doing it the real hard way. 

We spent the night recounting the day’s event, other continued with drinking they started outside when the mutiny was on; the lads were busy drinking, as a mate had his birthday on that same day. Quite a handful of us are August people, mine is coming up soon. Will be my fifth birthday on the inside, quite a time, wasted years and hard to recovered. Glad time went pretty fast and have always kept myself busy, that I need extra hours each day to stay up. 

My friend lost his phone during the rumbles, guess nicked by another inmate whose phone fell from the stash they all had their phone. Have always use the stash, but seeing the sheer amount of inmates using it, decided to search for another stash. Who knows, one nitwit who is looking for favour from the cops will one day snitch about the stash and if it’s busted, many will be the cries of those stashing phones there. Thinking of something new and ingenious 😉 

Later in the evening, we picked up from where we stopped; all our routers and modem were blinking with green, blue and red leds as the machines fired up in search of signals. Everything were back to their spots, the skyline of the pavilion was like galaxy with spaceships 😉 and the lads were back to surfing, downloading and chatting. Those luddites who still stick to calling were up at the back of the cells, searching for signal to place calls, as instant messages and social media are still light years away and ahead of them. 

My old cellmate whose smartphone is an innovation to keep up and on with his many eLadies came to me with his phone. The phone was very slow, apps and programmes takes ages to open, not even folders will open. But then, he left something open; his media! Saw that he has been busy wanking and taking pictures of his mojo and his cum and sent them to his several eLadies. At his age, he should be a bit useful to himself. But then, with nothing else to do, we always keep ourselves busy; wanking, watching porn, reading, throwing dices or shuffling deck of cards, arguing over women menstrual cycle (some lads did make out time to debate one that). Something just gotta keep us busy. Helped him delete all the stuffs that he took with him after visiting porn sites, sent him AVG antivirus and a memory cleaner that I use. Also warmed him about the dangers of visiting porn websites to download stuffs, found that he uses torrents also, but got the whole thing messed up, the files he was downloading will take forever with the internet speed we have now to download. Told him to stick to tubidy.com 😉 Damn! He was downloading full HD resolution porn movies, some as large as 2GB, not even our fifteen days data gives us such amount fo data, for $8.99 we buy fifteen days data are given 1GB! So how the fcuk is he going to download all his porns? Wished good luck, but he should think of his high blood pressure and cholesterol as porn could be leading to something negative 😉 

Made oatmeal for the lads as we still needed to eat something. Food were not allowed in today! Guess many starved, but we definitely found a way around it; as it was visit week, there should be remnants of monday’s cereals, milk, chocolate, cookies and bread. 

Water actually came today; surprised, the cops probably forgot to turn off the pumps 😉 

Sat, 9 Aug 2014 
Woke early to removed my stuffs from the floor as it’s general cleaning in the cell. The lad cleaning, didn’t do it last Saturday as there was no water. Thus, with water from yesterday, he will be washing and cleaning the cell. 

Rushed through my morning rituals, made a hot cup of green tea and climbed upstairs to top of our cell, where I sat and enjoyed the signal. A drunk inmate who left the party down the passage was been led to his cells and bunk which is built on top of a cell, when he got to my cell, he stopped and started climbing, then I called his minders, and told them, he’s climbing the wrong ladder, he was taken down and guided to his cell and to his ladder, until he climbed and was safe in his own bunk. His next drinking session is probably not far from today as he and his group are always busy drinking. 

El gringo was all about, as he told me to send email to his embassy; The America embassy, about his deplorable conditions, guess all embassies know the truth of being lock up in the jungle. Left to rot and die slowly.  

But we will survive the odds, if only we’ll start working together and fight together again like we did on Friday. 

Stayed up till they were done, then went to my mate whose phone was nicked, lad was still sleeping, guess 

By 7:30am when they gym is supposed to be opened, I didn’t hear clanking sound of metals, wondered why! When I later asked, was told the lads in the gym hall refused taking out their cartons and whatever they have on the floor as mats. Didn’t worry as I wasn’t planning to train; had my last workout yesterday during the fracas and when it calmed. I used the open window of opportunity to hit my body.  

Back in the cell, the lad did wash, but barely touch the walls of the bathroom, my pharmacist-cellmate pointed it out to me, being the oldest staying inmate in the cell, he wanted me to say something. Told him to approach the lad and tell him, he didn’t, bloody coward. Later told the lad to always do his work properly, and it was our gayly dope-snorting mate. We were all worn out from yesterday’s war. 

Showered and had a breakfast of oatmeal, which I made for everyone. Then hit my bed again and took a long nap, which was disturbed twice by catcalls, as we expect the cops to return with a vengeance. But we are ready and prepared, even in our sleep. The only bad thing with the search, is what that sudden alarm and catcalls can do to very old and fragile at heart here; the shock can lead to cardiac arrest. Hope it doesn’t come to that. 

Life was picking up as our groceries men went upstairs to pick up orders and those reselling had new stocks for the hungry inmates, who are always buying, selling and eating. Our lives seems to be revolving around food and sleep. 

My new read; #TheDoorToDecember by #DeanKoontz is really keeping me busy, once I pick it up, hard to drop it, always eager for the next chains of actions; creepy, but love it! Kept me busy all night till nature called. 

Brief chat with schat who is preparing to take the kids for a week long holiday to Disneyland Paris. Pray they enjoy their holidays there. 

Sun, 10 Aug 2014 
Officially our rest day, and for me, a must to get a proper rest. Had to wake up as I was starving and also my day to clean. Went through my chores with a cup of tea, while others were still snoozing, showered and couldn’t get back to sleep, but climbed up for better signal; took a sit right in front of my router for a better signal reception. 

Chat with schat, but she was in a rush getting ready for church, spent the early morning chatting with my lil girl, much better. 

As the rest of the pavilion were getting up, I decided to hit my bunk for few hours of late morning nap, won’t be the same as nightly sleep, but the body need it, so also my mind. I don’t want to break down from the stress of doing time. 

Nothing special going on around the pavilion, life is picking up again; inmates drinking with music blasting from makeshift speakers and boom-boxes. The fiestas went all the way to the evening. 

But they rounded up around 11pm or mellowed down with their noise-making. That’s the bit of respect we all need here. 

Gotta try and get this online!  

Love to round this with some quotes on ‘Obstacles’, I see my #PrisonExperience as an obstacle in my life; something I need to overcome, and come out triumphantly and stronger than I was before my incarceration.  

“History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.” – B C Forbes

If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere. – Frank A Clark

Stand up to your obstacles & do something about them. You will find that they haven’t half the strength you think they have. – Norman Vincent Peale

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