Archive for June, 2015

The Prison Experience – The Never-Ending Uncertainties. Β 

Posted in Behind Bars in Panama on June 25, 2015 by doingtimeabroad

Man without freedom and dignity is nothing. Freedom to be occurs when man is free to express himself, openly and completely on the polarities of anger-love and strength-weakness. It is a process of dynamic being in the here-and-now in which realities and goals are constantly changing. Only a person who is tuned to constant change and growth is actualising or is free. Otherwise, he is tied to the rigid patterns of the past or to the inflexible goals of the future.

Life is a vast, uncharted territory through which we must break trail, backing and detouring at times, moving forward purposefully when we find a clear passage.

Hardship, pain and frustration are essential qualities of human life. In our search for personal maturation, pain is the very condition of growth. We must learn to enjoy the discomfort of striving.

We can grow from each valley of worry, inability, fear, hurt, pain, or frustration — provided that we are willing ‘to go through them’. #PrisonExperience #SurvivingPrison #mindsetofaprisoner.

The above excerpts from “Beyond Man, the Manipulator Toward – #FreedomToBe” by Everett Shostrom, Ph.D.

It’s fine to celebrate success but it’s more important to heed the lessons of failure.

Je kunt het verleden niet veranderen, maar je kunt het vandaag wel beter doen. #GevangenisErvaring

It’s been a very long time I publish a blog, since my signal dropped and have to depend on others to use their modems, I’m more into twitter πŸ˜‰

Doesn’t stop me from keeping track of our lives as we journey through time and overcrowded space within the high concrete walls of this building.

The process is a long and cruelly one, each day comes with its own surprises. One must be fully prepared for whatever is thrown at him. The ability to adapt and adopt to the prison life is one quality or criteria for survival.

Monday, Β 22 Jun. 2015

22:12:40

Latest Developments on news of prisoners transfer to the new prison; mega joya! #Panama

Earlier today, Mexicans inmates who had consular visit, were upstairs and had a face to face meeting with the director of La Joya prison on the impending transfer to the new prison.

According to the director, the pavilion will be emptied by august. Thus, the move will affect everyone of us.

When asked if the prison system will be providing the basic toiletries; toiltet papers, bathing and washing soaps, toothpaste, toothbrushes, as we the foreign inmates do not get visit like the locals do and happened to have their families bring them all those things. Β The. Director responded with a capital ‘NO’, such question should be directed to the director of prisons and corrections in Panama, Mr. Pinzon.

When told that, many of the elderly prisoners are diabetics and need special diets and medications, and if the prison will provide them with their diets, the director also responded with another ‘NO’ – according to him, the embassies should take care of their citizens as they “Panama” take care of theirs “Prison logic” from a supposedly director of prison. Where do they pick these men to run prisons?

When the lads asked him about education and work for foreign inmates as the locals also gets the benefits of both for time reduction; our supposedly ‘hardcore’ director replied – the prison has no facilities to rehabilitated foreign prisoners, well, wouldn’t blame him on that, as they can’t even rehabilitate their own citizens and even the cops are yet to be rehabilitated and be true cops πŸ˜‰ ‘something never gonna change’ – if there’s rehabilitation, then no crime and nobody profit, meaning somebody wants this vicious circle to continue. #PrisonBiz #PrisonIndustrialComplex #RepeatedOffenders #MassIncarceration

Moreover, the director added that there would be mix up with the locals, not like we are, separated from the locals. I don’t think, that’s a good idea, but then, that’s when the real #prisonexperience begins, as we (foreigners) will literally be walking, sleeping with knives, it’s a call to arm oneself and #BePrepared for the expected and unexpected #PrisonViolence.

The lousy goon added, there won’t be patio or yard, no gym. Facility (there wasn’t any here, but we improvised and built one ourselves). Β There is no electricity in the cells, just a light bulb that is centrally controlled; not outlet to plug reading lamp, fan, radio or whatsoever. No electric appliances allowed, well, if there’s no outlet to plug them, of what use having them. That got me wondering what’s the purpose of spending so much money to build such a massive city that’s bound to fail; thinking of the massive endemic corruption πŸ˜‰

He also said, books won’t be allowed, and there won’t be school for foreigners, that we are meant to do our time and go home; won’t be surprise about that, as it’s what is done to the locals, do time and go home, then come back to do more time, go home and then back, just like that….it continues till that one is taken out through violence which is also a thriving business in panama.

21:10:03 Tues 23 jun. 2015

It seems the government are working round the clock to make sure La Joya and La Joyita will be empty before August. Two lads with residency in panama and with short time left on their sentences were moved to the new prison on Sunday; both are working, one was the pavilion’s technician and the other works in the kitchen. Both are due to be release within few months from now.

According to the lad who works in the kitchen, he was slammed in a cell with eleven other inmates, no fan, little window with little or no ventilation, it’s like inferno in there; and that’s supposed to be the most outspoken project of the former self-exiled president, Mr. Ricardo Martinelli (a white elephant project)! He and his goons profited from building of the penal city. Now, the new president, JC Varela, wants to make his own bucks by building an island prison; everyone comes with his own solution to the cancerous problems in panama. Instead of a simple solution of maintenance and making good use of the what they already have; end mass incarceration, proper rehabilitation process, reduce remand time in custody, as most accused end up waiting 2-3 years for lousy investigation and before they are arraigned before a judge. If they could work on this, it would make a change.

The two lads who were moved on sunday weren’t allowed to take anything electrical with them, not even their fans, well, even if they took them, how would they get them to work as there aren’t any socket to plug them in. All the cells are plain, unpainted with central lighting system; well, that’s the first thing that will be broken.

The tension doesn’t stop me from doing what I have to do to keep my day busy; my daily workouts, reading and surfing, though signal is poor and weak, seems to be stronger at night, likely, I might stay up tonight to publish this long-due blog.

The heatwave still grilling and baking us, and at the same time, new inmates are hauled in to meet their fate and worst nightmares; loads were dumped here on Friday and few were hauled in today, tired of keeping track of numbers, but just saw three new faces walked by with bin bags in their hands. I wish them luck as they begin the adaptation process; for the ‘Real Newbies’, and the old schools or repeated offenders, pick up from where they stopped and also learn our unwritten laws and adapt to them.

The grocery stores in the pavilion aren’t stocking up as they used to, others businesses aren’t booming as they use, well, joints and coke still selling, so also booze and #Moonshine; despite the fear of uncertainties, many are still feasting when they have to πŸ˜‰

Many inmates would love to sell their televisions, fans or whatever they can, but nobody is willing to buy anything now. My only fear, my books, don’t know what I will do with them as I heard, we won’t be allowed to take anything with us. I hope there will be a way.

Earlier today, our ex presidente was released, lad voluntarily stepped down months ago, thinking he was going home then, only to found out, there were errors in his documents; clumsy human errors, had to do extra months. Glad he’s finally gone after years behind bars πŸ˜‰

The gym was scanty today, it’s either they had too much of visit foods yesterday and couldn’t get up for the day’s workout or the heat is driving them off. Few went outside to walk or jogged, glad the cops are a bit cooperative; leaving the door half opened for us, so anyone can go outside for fresh air, that’s something we won’t be getting at the new prison.

Had a good chest workout, took it to #HIIT #Hardcore ;-), few lads joined me, didn’t allowed them to spoil my program. Rounded up with cardio routines.

Back in, the lads cooked chicken, had to guide my pharmacist-cellmate through the cooking process as the lad doesn’t know how to cook ;-), he’s amongst many who buys cooked food from different kitchens in the pavilion ;-). I rather cook my food, as I know what I’m cooking and what I want to eat; healthier and cleaner πŸ˜‰

From my old Canadian mate, who has been incarcerated almost same years as I, seems good news is coming his way. I have written a lengthy letter/email to the vice minister of government in panama; as a law student in Harvard, she did an extensive study of abuses of human rights during Martinelli’s administration, and now she is government, there hasn’t been any changes from all she wrote about.

In my email/letter, which the Canadian embassy presented to her, I made mention of all her works; glad, I was able to find them online, copied and saved the articles and also copied her the links. I hope she will use her office and start working on finding a solution to our problems. #prisonersdillema

Despite the tension of the impending move, it’s relatively quiet, but something sinister is about to happen if these move happen and thousands of inmates are dumped in cells hot as oven, then Panama should be expecting one massive #PrisonRiot #PrisonViolence. It will be one of a kind; a local pal of mine says, they are planning a massive protest if they are moved there without fans.

I hope signal will be strong enough to get this publish. Staying up tonight!

#FathersDay2015 was wonderful as my kids sent powerful and uplifting Β messages cheering and lifting up my spirit. It was all I needed to keep me going. Schat, has been all and all, staying stronger and doing the right thing for herself and the kids. She taken into fitness, as I’m guiding her through her daily exercises, and she is loving it.

Others in the pavilion, enjoyed themselves in their own ways; all through the #FathersDay weekend was puro fiestas in the pavilions. Loads of #Moonshine, our prison distilled liquor, proper liquor from the streets and enough joints and whites to keep the lads functioning. Everything went on pretty well, more of an organised chaos, without any incident.

And it all ended on Monday, which was family visit; kids are allowed on such visit. Those that went out, were able to spend short, but quality time with their children, and other family members. In my cell, only my pharmacist-cellmate went out, the grocer and the boxer didn’t. Guess, reasons best known to them; one thing I’ve learnt here, don’t ask or want to know what ain’t your friggin business. You live longer if you adhere to that basic rule πŸ˜‰ ‘Mind your own business, and mind your language’ πŸ˜‰

Also, heard that the snake-of-a-compatriot who was repatriated to Nederland is now freed, lad is a pure wanker of the lowest order; we all fought for changes to the treaty, it worked and his application was approved, he kept it to himself, even on the day he was living, he lied through his rotten teeth, that he’s going to clinic; lucky, clould have gotten one of the locals to mark him for a fiver πŸ˜‰ #JustSaying! But was bad of him to have kept us in the dark. Well, such is life and he’s a repeated offender. I’d placed a wager with a mate that, he won’t last long on the street before returning to the joint, it’s friggin in his blood. we always have our news source; the Google of the underworld, someone knows someone πŸ˜‰

Talking of knowing someone ;-), Prison happens to be a place were some men will reinvent themselves; build a new profile for themselves, until someone who knows them or knows someone who knows them walks in and then begins the discomfort as their house of cards would come stumbling down in a thousand pieces πŸ˜‰

An old Canadian inmate (not my intelligent old pal), but one who professes to be ‘Jack of all trades’, well, of all crimes met his karma when a proper Canadian who knew and still knows people that matters in the underworld of Canada was hauled in. In desperation, the old guy planned to have the new lad kicked out, but it failed as nobody is interested in his stories. The lad told it all out about the old geezer, he had truly reinvented himself here; ‘In the kingdom of the blinds, the one-eye man is the king’, in his case, the one-legged man is the king!

After the lad gave him bits of his hidden history, he now keeps himself under control in the gym, he’s friggin humbled ;-), well, he has never stood up to me, as I have kept my distance and always placed him were he belonged. Such is the #PrisonLife, lies after lies to survive πŸ˜‰

We now know why the old lad been fighting against repatriation to Canada; he was under parole, absconded and came to panama to do business and ended up slammed in a kingdom of the blind, where he became the king ;-), but his date and day with fate coming soon.

The simple life is the best life; treat everything, everyone the way you want to be treated. Period!

Old blog:

April, and May came and gone, not so much happening within and amongst us; quite a lot of old faces are gone, some are back to continue where they threw their towels. Some are lucky to get back to their old cells where they once lived. Others made do with floor space in the gym hall.

The reoffending rate is growing like a wildfire; the locals are seeing their peers leave and return before the doors they walked out are closed πŸ˜‰

Seems some preferred the life in prison than the. Brutality of the outside world; in prison, they can sleep all day, free food, if they can bare to eat it, got constant security to watch their backs; either their fellow prison gangs members or the trigger-happy Β cops mounted on towers with rifles ready to shoot at any moving object.

Despite the high security, there’s been series of #PrisonBreak and attempted escape; mostly amongst the locals and the recent one in pavilion eight , a foreign inmate has dressed up like a warden, walked out, went through first and second security, but someone gave him up (snitch, rat, sapo) – his failed #PrisonBreak caused a total #lockdown and searches were carried out, curfew of zero-movement was in place. At the end, those warden uniform wasn’t made inside the prison, the families didn’t bring them in during visits, it was same corrupt cops and wardens who planned it and had it executed. #corruptsystem

Cops don’t worry much when a local escape as they know where they will find them; mum’s house, girlfriend’s or their fellow gang members will give up their hideout ;-), escaped foreign inmates are haunted down with all available materials as they know, those are heading out of the country.

A Colombian who was waiting an extradition to US, escaped from hospital where he was admitted for treatment (part of the game), lad must have paid heavily to have sneaked through tight security. But he made it to Colombia where he called his mates in the pavilion. When there’s corruption, money speaks loudest πŸ˜‰

Meanwhile, the new government is hunting down corrupt officials from the previous administration; but the leader of the pack, ex-president Ricardo Martinelli is still at large, he’s been out of the country since January this year and yet to return. He’s probably on self exile ;-), Β  friggin scare of prison πŸ˜‰

Parts of his crews are slammed up in various prisons, some are singing, so they can get a deal for a minimum prison term. Weaklings!

Development; Colombia which has the most foreign prisoners in panama prisons has embarked on repatriating their citizens home en masse!

The first batch were picked up by a military jet, and the process to get many home is in place now; fingerprints were taken from many of the old inmates here, I guess same was done in other pavilions housing foreign inmates. It’s a step Colombia is taking to help panama decongest their prisons. Panama has about 16,000 inmates in total with more than a thousand foreigners slammed in deplorable and overcrowded concentration-camps-like pavilions.

Sunday, Β 7 Jun. 2015

Our overcrowded conditions has caused the infrastructures to break down; nothing seems to be working. There’s no access to medical, school or work projects, not even the food are enough, almost everyone cooks for themselves. The buildings themselves are collapsing on us, those sleeping up on top of the cells and others hanging on hammocks high up in the pavilion are of higher risk than those of us inside the cell. But, if there’s a fire outbreak, we are all fucked!

There’s been no water for three days now, everyone has fallen back to their reserves, who knows how long we are going without water. Earlier today, we were thrown into darkness, as I’m writing, there’s no electricity -Sun, 7 Jun. 2015, 13:15:53 – no-one knows how long we will remain in this state. It can go on for days, especially witht the water.

Meanwhile, diverse smuggling rings has been disrupted by cops; searches were carried out amongst the locals, where bottles of whiskeys, new knives, guns, drugs and many prohibited items were found, seized and display before the media. I have got some pictures on my twitter timelines; @Doingtimeabroad @PoeticPrisoner

Decided to make contact with the new minister of justice back home in The Netherlands, with request that my case be reviewed as his predecessor turned down my request for transfer to a dutch prison, which will bring me closer to my family and also give me the chance to round up my studies. Hope my email and letter gets to his office.

Friday, 1 May, 2015

It’s been a very hectic and a hell-of-a-week; sometimes it’s so quiet and tranquil, but then, our little peace is shattered by foolishness of some prisoners.

Well, today went fine for me as I had a good workout, more or less alone; I’m beginning to learn to train alone without thinking of any partners, though there are some nice lads that still want to stick with me as they all look up on me for guidance and help.

Being the only one here who will buy fitness and men’s health magazines, many always come for advices or ask for new routines as they get bored doing same thing over and over again πŸ˜‰

Decided to hit shoulders today as I haven’t been putting emphasis on them; well, tend to work it in many upper body routines and during Olympic lifts which has become part of me training routines.

Went through my routines with my American partner joining after he finished with another group earlier on, didn’t last long as he left. Others came late but got around doing their own thing.

A mate came out to use the pulley system as he was training back today; but the lad was so stupid as he sat down waiting for the groups using the pulley system to round up before he starts.

I advised him to get started with other back routines; using dumbbells, Olympic bar and even get going with pull-ups (which I prefer to pull-down ), he wouldn’t budge, and he waited for an hour plus before he began, well we have got so much time here, nothing to do and nowhere to go to πŸ˜‰

While in the gym, electricity went off and lasted till around 2pm; ate cold cereal as my postworkout meal and also my lunch.

No water all day; went on through the night, but thank God it rained after my workout, so we had our blue tank filled and the second one half full. They will be enough to take us through the day.

If there won’t be water tomorrow, then we are all falling back on our reserves, which will be very hard on us.

Now to the week!

The gym in prison like gyms outside has become a joint for socialising with people. Majority of my fellow inmates spend more time chatting about irrelevant things than working out. I’ve tried to refrain from such behaviour; nothing important, we talk after my workout. And glad I have an earphone which shuts me away from their lousy talks.

#PrisonViolence

My cellmate who was involved in a fight with another lad, finally retaliated by hitting the lad with a metal bar. He hit the lad so hard on his back, the lad was rushed to the hospital; he took the lad unaware. I was speechless as to what he did; he’s a grown up man of 53, but probably with the mind of a kid. He had insisted he will hit the lad, but he forgot that, in hitting the lad, it will bring about chains of reactions which might be very bloody and bitter.

As of today; my cellmate literally locks himself up in his little shack built on top of our cell. He kind of barricades himself in every night, now closes the windows, lock and tie them together, does same to the door and keeps a urine bottle under his bed where he takes a leak at night as he’s scare of venturing outside during the wee hours.

Well, when you decide to live violently, then you should expect something violent and unpleasant in return.

He told me that they are having meetings to throw him out of the pavilion, well, if such meeting is called for, many will vote for him to be thrown out; as this is not his first fight. And all stems up from flimsy arguments over sports; something I’ve tried to refrain from. I watch and read all I want for me and myself, not ready to discuss anything with inmates who can’t and won’t want to understand that arguments shouldn’t end in physical brawl. Thus, I stick to myself.

The only friend I have, left on Thursday after his lawyer or liar had played him around for a very long time. But finally got to work on his case after the lad asked for refund. I’m happy that he left, as he spent so much. His leaving has literally made me closed myself to everyone and everything around as I don’t have any dealings or businesses with anyone here.

There’s tension in the pavilion, as so much has been going on; the government are planning moving inmates to the new prison; which we heard is more of an inferno than where we are now. There’s no electric outlet or sockets for fan or television; meaning we’ll be grilled in the heat and no means to charge phones if at all we can get them to work as the signal jammers are more stronger there.

#PrisonBreak

Just around 8pm, our alarm system went off as inmates catcalled and whistles; we thought, we are been stormed upon. But it was cops moving around in search of an escaped local inmate from one the locals pavilions; got me wondering why they bother to search when they know the lad hasn’t got too many a option after escaping from prison. He will likely be at his mum’s or girlfriend’s or hang out with one of his gang bangers πŸ˜‰

Within days, he will be caught and hauled back to continue with his time πŸ˜‰

The panic really got us shaken as we didn’t know what was coming; if it’s the dreaded transfer, meaning we are definitely losing our phones and a lot of things. First thing first, we were at our stash points, then we heard why the cops were around; I guess from local inmates who have contacts here, that it’s a #PrisonBreak case. Got us relaxed, well for the moment.

When the commotion went on, many thought it was the big fight which we all know will come; the fight that my cellmate has started. And it will be Dominicans vs. Colombians (the majorities here).

The fight has also caused my friend to stay away from the gym, even if he goes to the gym now, he won’t be able to concentrate on his workout; he was and had never concentrated on his workout. If he had in the past, he wouldn’t have gotten into fights. Moreover, he forgot that he is diabetic, one who spent almost a month in the hospital for treatment.

The only peaceful way the Colombians want to resolve this case, is by having him thrown out of the pavilion and from all indications, they are bent on doing just that. He has talked to his fellow compatriots and others who cares to listen; that the lad hit him with a dumbbell, that’s why he retaliated. But many are saying the lad is a quiet guy and my mate must have provoked him first.

For now, we wait and see what comes next!!!

While we wait, we remain watchful and alert and with our backs to the wall!

Few are blaming me; saying I knew about it and didn’t do anything to stop it as I did during the first fight. Well, my mate took me unaware and since he refused listening to me, then he acted on his own and as an adult, thus, he should be man enough to face whatever consequences comes from his childishness πŸ˜‰

I doubt if many of his compatriots will join him as the core ones are waiting for their freedom; they won’t be stupid to get into fights that will jeopardise their walk to freedom. Thus, he’s definitely on his own!

Month of May:

Literally hot as it hasn’t rain for days, we had hoped that rain will begin this month, but it seems we were wrong as it has rained since the last drops on the first week of the month. Since then, it’s been heatwaves after heatwaves, grilling us as we waddled through the sweat of one another. The pavilion like others in the system is overcrowded, we barely have breathing space to move around. Once I’m done with my workout, I’m confined to my cell, even in my cell, sitting up on my bunk is the only way I can avoid humany bodily contact. That is the only way I can escape the furnace.

But, one has to do other things, I can’t lock myself away all day, have to move around and do little chores. Most importantly, I have to buy ice, which is the only source of comfort here; at least I can afford to drink chilled or iced water πŸ˜‰

Sometimes, it’s hard to understand how some inmates can go on drinking spree for days under such heat. The heat alone can drive a sane person insanely stupid as one tends to lose composition and sense of reality.

Despite our deplorable conditions which Panama’s media are now taking serious, the government is not ready to do anything to change it. Instead, more and more inmates are hauled in on daily basis.

Wo 8 Apr. 2015

The holy week came with everything sealed up for the holidays. Every holiday brings its ordeals on us; shortage of water, no groceries, no ice πŸ˜‰ and even the gym is closed, which annoys me most.

Luckily, this week we had a very good cop, who will be going home with more than his salary in freewill money gifts from inmates from being a good cop; that’s if there’s any good cop!

He opened the door and allowed us outside to workout, which I helped myself to couple of days during the holy week; did mostly cardio and used my new 40lbs toy #kettlebell πŸ˜‰

I have been reading a lot about kettlebell, after training with it, found out, it’s a very pragmatic and functional equipment; getting every part of the body into work πŸ˜‰ loving it ❀

Had always believed that the holy week should be a moment for reflection and getting aright with one’s creator, at. Least understand the relevance and true meaning of Easter; well, to many of us, it’s moment to get pissed on the benders πŸ˜‰

The catholic faithfuls had their priest come around and performed easter service, while the evangelicals has theirs; apparently, they have updated their sound systems, better drum sets, keyboard, but they won’t beat the warring local inmates in pavilion five. Those lads are probably operating the best church in the centre alongside herd of gangs; I believe they are always armed while in church, as the church seems to be operating round the clock. Actually saw that firsthand in Renacer; right from church into the fields, knives drawn and blood spilled. I believe Jesus blood was enough to wash us clean, but these lads just love shedding more blood, wondering what more they want to cleanse πŸ˜‰

Well, as for me and other fitness enthusiasts, we didn’t allow the easter break to stop us from doing what we love doing; having a cop who seem to know quite a handful of the lads here back then (tells, the kind of cop he is), he allowed us outside but very cautious as he wouldn’t want the captain to know we are outside.

Took off on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, but did what I have to do all throughout the holidays; helps with my day and also my mind. Taking my #Yoga seriously and also doing more stretches (dynamic) and isometric routines, ain’t gonna be all lifting, pushing and pulling πŸ˜‰ . During my consul last visit she was able to bring in my XL #YogaMat and even brought in my 40lbs #Kettlebell, and friggin cops won’t let in vital vitamins and supplements and not even my weightlifting belt; friggin wankers.

I pray she is able to bring them in on the next visit, which will be in June 😦

The week after easter:

Panama was thrown into another #Lockdown after easter as it’s hosting the #SummitOfTheAmericas #CumbrePanama and having the three heads of the countries making headlines now in the America continent; #USA #Cuba #Venezuela. All eyes and ears will be on the #US and #Cuba as both are on pathways to normalised broken relationship after years of isolation has left the latter battered. #Maduro of Venezuela, doesn’t look happy as he won’t be getting anything nice from uncle sam ;-), lad has been a badass naughty boy!

As for us #Lockup and left to rot away; security seemed to have heightened in the wake of this meeting. Wondering, if they feel someone will break out to do some dirty job on one of the heads of states ;-), the lads are definitely busy think of where their next roll of joint or line of cokes will come from and busy arranging for credit for our potent liquor to help them through boring weekend πŸ˜‰

Well, from all I have been reading and what I have heard from all the leaders; it’s time the #USA #US stop meddling with other countries domestic affairs, friggin let and leave them to kill themselves, concentrate on guarding your borders and stop evil coming in. Leave every man to his fate, if they want to ruin their countries, leave them alone, when their citizens are tired of their leaders oppressions they will revolt and fight πŸ˜‰

The summit is not helping us at all, as all our loopholes are sealed, nothing is coming in, exception of few bottles of whiskey and the usuals; coke, weed and knives ;-), proper food aren’t allowed or smuggled in, well, few chickens been nicked and sold her by the locals collaborating with their buddies in here. And those amongst us working in the kitchen are nicking and pilfering the kitchen stock to sell to their buddies. Have tried to break into their ring, but it’s a tight syndicate; only inmates from same country are members πŸ˜‰ will keep trying as I can get vegetables (something I need badly).

My workout this week has been very intensive, doing more of all-body routines, perfecting my Olympic lifts. My group is growing with each day, and what I hate most, some comes and then disappeared for days, and then reappear; friggin playing Houdini with my mind πŸ™‚

I have found a way to work #HIIT in a group of 6/7 members; get about with other activities while waiting to take my turn in the normal routine, but for them, they will rather sit out and cold ;-). I incorporate bodyweight routines while waiting for my regular routines; abs, lunges, planks, burpees and anything that would keep me pumping and not idling around πŸ˜‰

Our shemale looking robust; seems Turkish doing her well, but from what I tend to see every night, she is dating two lads in the same cell. Either she is with Turkish or a Dominican lad whose eyes always green when he sees her playing around with others; love at first lockup πŸ˜‰

Za 11 Apr. 2015

It’s weekend; made it to the gym today, which is usually my free day. Decided to hit legs and took it seriously, we had high volumes of squats, lunges and rounded up with abs and cable routines. Enjoyed today’s workout; probably one of my best this week. Had started with 30mins of #yoga poses and stretches #HinduPushups, warmed up with body-weight squats and lunges and then went to the day’s business; #Squat and seriously heavy πŸ˜‰

Felt very good after the workout Endorphins and Dopamine surging and keeping me smiling; even the few who braced it were thankful for the push I gave them and bringing them out as not many fancied leg days ;-). My American training mate was totalled after the workout, he will feel it tomorrow, as he won’t be able to get down from his top bunk bed πŸ˜‰

No proper food today; helped myself to mixed cereals with nuts and after workout and later for lunch/dinner had full plate of mixed salads with chunk of beef-like meat from the dinner cart. Will do another bowl of cereal later in the evening. Need my protein, hope to get someone to pick them up from my embassy.

Tuesday 21 April 2015

We strives to avoid certain things, inevitably they seems to be right before us and about to take us unaware; that was what happened today at the gym!

My day has began as it does with any other day, well except when we are awoken by an early morning search. Went through mmy morning rituals and out to the gym for the day’s routine; taking a break from Olympic lifting and Crossfit routines. Decided for conventional body parts routines; back and shoulders. Bit rowdy in the gym, but got my way through, gathered enough weights for my workout; none of my training mates showed up, not bad as I’m not working what I would be in need of a spotter.

Had a good workout before others joined me, my diabetic cellmate also came; bit late, he’s not specific with his routines, does whatever he sees other doing. Lad spends most of his gym time talking than working; guess, it what’s keep him going.

Today’s talk actually went eerie as they launched into football, with a Colombian (apparently, a quiet lad) jokingly telling my cellmate that his country, Dominican Republic is not a football nation. My cellmate, who is hot tampered didn’t take it lightly with the lad; launched into serious brawl with the lad. The lad havind two 20lbs dumbbells in his hands, ‘must have’ hit him with the dumbbells and that took everything to a different level as another Dominican young lad came to the rescue of his compatriot (my cellmate), I had to jumped in to save the day; while most inmates around wanted the fight, which would have been very bloody or deadly as metals laying around would have been used.

I literally held my cellmate in a wrestling lock for more than 30mins, trying to restrain him as he wanted to go back to the lad. Others stood idly waiting for more action, some were calling out to me to let go of him. And I didn’t let go of him until peace was restored, we had to round up with our workout for the day; asked the lads to put the weights in, glad my kettlebell wasn’t there as it would been the weapon of choice.

It’s a pity gone are the days men will go on one another with bare hands, most prisoners are busy each day fashioning weapons of warfare as there’s not strength or no mojo as men for physical brawl. After all said and done; second fight that my cellmate is involved so far since he came back for a second stint in the slammer. I guess, he’s partly resented and angry but just don’t know how to channel those angst into something positive; anny little upset easily set him off, like a sleeping volcano waiting to erupt. But his eruption is always at the wrong time and against the wrong people as the two people he’s been in brawls with are also latinos and fully armed if the needs arises.

Well, as always, the talk of the day is focused on him; with nothing of importance to discuss, the pavilion is divided into to two camps. A faction heard his side of the story and others heard the other’s, and the conclusion I tend to get from everyone; that my cellmate should let it slide. But he’s been very defiant; insisting he will attack the lad with dumbbells as the lad did, but looking at everything, the lad didn’t mean to hit him as there’s no physical injuries, and from what I heard, he threw the first punch. Thus, he should accept it as bygone and let life go on!

I hope that will be the case; bygone be bygone and life goes on!

Do 23 Apr. 2015

Rain has finally come, but then, it’s messing with our electricity, and it does it mostly at night; which sends mosquitoes everywhere. Our in-house technicians are working round the clock to keep us alight πŸ˜‰

As I didn’t train yesterday; went to school! Woke up early with plans to hit outside for a quick cardio session. The new cop who took over yesterday wouldn’t allow anyone outside, so, decided to do my thing in the gym hall; which was a bit full.

After good stretches and bodyweight routines, went on for a good full arm blast; #Biceps #Triceps and rounded up with sessions of Olympic lifts and abs. Tried to use my time,n refraining from chitchat πŸ™‚

While in the gym, Dr. Porter was called out; well dressed as he left with his medical appliances. Upon asking him, if he’s leaving, he answered; that he’s on his way to the hospital for scan and check up. Lately, he’s been very ill, barely talk and as words are going around; they say the cancer is spreading through his body. Whatever the outcome of his hospital visit will be, I pray it goes easy with him as he beat the odds of surviving cancer when he was hauled in here. He was given just six months to live, despite the inhumane and deplorable condition here; he made it through two years. I believe it’s the will and inner strength to survive which many off us possess that kept him through the harsh conditions here.

Several talks in the gym about him as he walked out, it actually killed my mood; had to round up my workout and called it a day 😦

Doc, has been of great help here; few lads would have kicked the bucket, but his swift response and assistance saved their lives.

Prison being a sort of crossroads brings all sorts of people together, irrespective of their class, race, wealth or position in the society. And it’s in prison that men become equal, though some still craves for and create the hierarchical world they had known (#PrisonGangs)! Others, through their wealth buy position and place themselves higher than others who are willing to seek favours #Patrons #Boss #KingPin. But at the end, we are hauled in and lockup together and probably forgotten as the case is in panama. Thus, it’s in prison that all men are truly equal in the eyes of the law; we are all friggin scumbags of the society. Period!

One thing I pray, I hope it goes well with Doc; cancer as we’ve come to understand comes with so many tricks and can be very evasive. How long he has to live, we don’t know, but some lads saying, he hasn’t gotten much time left! Will be following whatever I can get online from different media in Canada as they tend to be very obsessed with his news.

Such is life in prison; one moment, you think someone cares about you, and the next second, you become one of the forgotten. It doesn’t take rocket science to figure it out that everyman is on his own when it comes to survival. And that struggle to survive is more seen within the high concrete walls of prisons where men are left in the wild to fight and survive whatever comes their way.

Repetition and predictability, they say are the roots of boredom and prisoners locked up for years, who go through the same monotonous tasks every day-to-day are at the mercy of total breakdown; mentally and physically!

I have learned to break out of the vicious circle of monotony, by waking up to each day with a different mindset; made my workout unpredictable, unlike most lads doing same thing every day. Also make sure my diet isn’t build around what the prison offers, but on healthy stuffs I can put together. Keep myself busy with books, music and internet. It’s survival mode always.

The prison experience is one that comes with changes on the inside and outside of all who survives it. The change process can be bitter, but at the end it has its benefits if one is willing to learn through the process.

Don’t fear change. You may lose something good, but you may also gain something great.