Matariki hunga nui.
E te whānau, e ōku hoa, tēnā tātou katoa i te tau hou Māori nei.
As I write this update my thoughts turn to Matariki, a time of new beginnings and a time of planning for the next year ahead. I have always found this to also be a time of reflection – a time to look back at the past year. As I have said in previous updates, I have learnt many things about myself since over 14 months ago. My strength to endure this situation is drawn from everyone who has sent messages of love and support. Your belief in me helps me to remain strong in both spirit and thought.
I am at a stage now where, if it were in my power to do so, I would like to implement change in the processes (or lack of) within this prison. I struggle with, and am often frustrated by, the lack of communication here between the various departments. One day we are told one thing, and the next we are told something different. As even my sister and daughter experienced from one day’s visit to the next, the rules change. I’m not sure if it is a reflection of the whole of Argentina and the lack of good infrastructure, but it often seems that no-one has a grasp of a big picture.
However, my frustration tells me that I have been here too long, and I am missing the opportunity to be instrumental in implementing change. I miss being a part of decision making, politics and stimulating work. Having said that, I know this time here will test me in every way, and with that I am learning patience and acceptance of those things I am powerless to change.
I continue to attend work each day, and while the tasks are mundane, I have managed to discuss with our Maestra’s (bosses) the merit in setting daily targets for us to improve production. While it may only be a small step, it has been an achievement all the same and as a result, Friday before last we had completed all of our current orders. Unfortunately though, this meant that we were not called to work last week as we were waiting for new stock to arrive! On the upside, it afforded me the opportunity to catch up with some letter writing.
There has been an influx, over the past month, of new girls arriving into the International section where I am. The recent ones are from Thailand, South Africa, England, Italy and Austria. So despite a number of girls coming to the end of their sentences and leaving, there will always be others to replace them.
The weather is still a challenge – either it is very cold, with minimums as low as -2.3 degrees (yes, minus 2), or humid with lots of mosquitoes, which I’m sure we didn’t have at this time last year.
So, e hoa mā, in the spirit of Matariki, and until next month’s update, I wish you all a very happy and prosperous Māori New Year.