E te whānau, e ōku hoa, kia ora anō koutou katoa.
Sorry my update is a few weeks late and it is now nearly the middle of November. October seems to have passed in a blur which, given where I am, is not necessarily a bad thing. I never thought I would ever have to ponder the question of preference over cockroaches or mosquitoes! However, given the arrival of summer here, the mosquitoes have returned with a vengeance. I have decided that as much as I loathe the cockroaches, which are with us all year round, the mossies do my body more harm!! At least I can keep the roaches away from my food by keeping it in containers both inside and outside our fridge. Yes, they even invade our fridge, and our stove, and every other place in between. I have been told it is not only in prison they like to live but the whole of Buenos Aires. They are very good at hiding as well because, despite my weekly clean out of everything in my room during which I never see one, but should I put the light on in the middle of the night, I am always greeted by a couple of them scurrying across my shelves. I even keep the door to my room closed at all times to prevent them travelling from one room to another, but to no avail. They are tricky little pests.
Last week saw temperatures reach as high as 36 degrees which was a shock to the system as we had forgotten how hot it can get here. We now remember with fondness, our cooler days.
Bilingual (English and Spanish) signs are finally up throughout the prison although, after 18 months here, there isn’t a Spanish sign I don’t understand. However, for new English speaking girls it will help to orientate them faster. While I still struggle with the language I can now make myself understood with many of the staff here regarding basic requests and conversations. There has even been a few times when I have been asked to translate for some of the other woman in my pavilion or at work, and as long as the recipient of my attempt is patient and able to fill in the odd gaps, we have understanding.
One of the women in my pavilion who is in her mid 60’s slipped over in some water last week that was leaking from our fridge. We got her off to see the doctor and when I returned from work she was in her room with her foot in plaster due to a broken bone. She is unable to walk as her other leg is not strong. We waited 24 hours (not long here, in hindsight) before they finally gave her a wheelchair. I am happy to say she is now able to manoeuvre herself around the pavilion including both the bathroom and kitchen. Daunting though, as she has been told the cast will stay on for 3 months – a warning for us all to be aware of where the water gathers from our leaking fridge and also the various leaks in the roof. Luckily our rainy days should be behind us now for awhile.
My conviction is still under appeal, and as I have said many times, the one sure thing here is that nothing happens fast.
Christmas is just around the corner and, while it will be my 2nd in here, there is huge comfort in also knowing it will be my last.
Well, my dear whānau and friends I will write again before Christmas. Take care of yourselves and each other, and as always, many thanks for your ongoing support and aroha.