July 2013


Hōngongoi 2013

E te whānau, e ōku hoa, e rere tonu ana ngā mihi ki a koutou katoa.

A very good friend of mine gave me a definition for patience that she heard on the radio … “patience is not just about waiting, it’s about waiting with a positive attitude”.  So with that in mind as I pass 2 years 3 months in here and 3 months passed when I should have returned home, I am still waiting and remaining positive that the day will soon come.

Despite the Appeal Court turning down the Prosecutor’s appeal against my four year sentence he has submitted a further appeal to the Supreme Court.  As I have learnt in my time here the justice system moves at its own slow pace so I am truly learning the art of ‘patience’!

Some of the woman that have been here for a similar amount of time as I have, are now preparing to leave and they, too, are having to practice patience as their release dates arrive and pass.  Some face difficulties with airlines refusing to take them or Judges who have yet to sign their expulsion papers.  Though while very frustrating and upsetting, we all know that eventually, we will return to our respective countries.

Winter is upon us here with some days being very cold, 1 or 2 degrees reaching 10–11 degrees in the afternoon. This has caused problems with working as the room I work in has a faulty heater that they don’t seem able to fix.  So, after two years of turning up for work every day I have, along with others, have refused to go when the temperature has been very cold.

This week has seen the arrival of three new girls into the prison, two from Italy and the other from Estonia.  The Italian girls are in my pavilion so we are now full with 11 women.  About two months ago a new Russian woman arrived and I was saddened to learn she also had been a victim of an internet drug scam.  Once again, her story is similar to mine, so despite some awareness raising, I am conscious that the message to be aware of internet scams remains very important.

I hope this update finds you all well and happy and, as always, my eternal thanks to all my supporters who continue to phone, send letters and messages via email or facebook.  You are all in my thoughts often and please know that your support is what keeps me strong and positive as I continue to practice patience.

Arohanui

Sharon

 

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