The night finally came, so I would be able to rest at last. I was so tired– if I could only lie down and close my eyes maybe all this would disappear! I needed to rest after this turbulent day ,they were finally taking me to a prison ( located on the outskirts of Maracaibo–) Dear God I don’t like this, this place doesn’t look so good! It is horrible!
So far I had not seen or heard from Tad,who’s probably scared to death and worried about me. Well, I can understand that, but I would sure like to see him, even for a minute or two. Its a very lonely feeling, to be abandoned after all the incredible journey we had! I did not understand it- it seemed cruel, to say the least.
We pulled in through this big wooden gate, then we went into a parking delivery area where they let me out of the van to walk to another gate with iron bars. There were officers and rooms around this square space, then it led into a pasillo with another enclosed square space where the jail began. There I could just
see the crowd of women prisoners.
Now they gave me back my belongings: the book by Kahlil Gibran I was reading on the daily path of our incredible trip, inside of which I had a collection of dried flowers from every city and countryside we had been to, and my little black book of telephone numbers. That was all: no clothes and no blankets (not that I would need them in this 100 degree heat!). This horrible nightmare of a place, with ugly and scary murderous faces staring at me, worse than that pirate captain crew on the boat from Panama!
So we walked to the jailer’s little corner with a big desk, almost as small as the first room they took me in the airport, just one chair and keys hanging on the whole wall, next to the entrance to the horrible dirty jail where she is taken me on.l.
Inside the jail I could see some activity. There was one big common area, the whole space of the square where all activities took place out in open air and against the walls there were what looked like beds? for sleeping and above this wall was one little piece of roof where I could see men walking by with guns- they could see everything, even where the women would bathe. Thank God,! inside there were only women, luckily; IT this point, I didn’t not see any man’s cells. So that meant that you wash yourself and bath there, out in the open, outdoors and on that little roof at was were the guards were patrolling the inside and the out of the whole place, walking in top this tiny roof, and of course that way they can see everything inside (most been a reason, some of this woman were not good women some where real murderers, . The bathroom was a closet, I could see all this from outside , not in their yet?) into this whole, you could say that, with almost no construction, unless you call the cardboard boxes a wall.? The latrine was full of excrement, and the smell was horrendous, even from here where we stood on the other side behind the big iron door.
My jailer was looking for her key’s, to open this gate to let mi in, in their? I ask saking and let me in their just like that no not number for a bead our my place? or? or? any instructions/ nada? just go through me in the mouth of the wolfs, with all these women screaming, “Hey whitey!” hay “Americana!” whistling and laughing, with their heads sticking between the iron bars of the entrance gate.
It was a nightmare, for sure! walking with her Name Maria, “Come in,” she said, “I need to get the key in my room on my desk.
So almost in a panic and mumbling a prayer, I walked behind her like a child, holding her arm very gently. She had a pleasant, almost a happy face, different from the other officers. The women inside the gate were sticking their faces through the iron bars and putting their hands out, and screaming “La Americana! Ven aqui, linda!” (Come here, american, pretty one!)
But we kept walking the few steps to her office, another hole in the wall. I grabbed her sleeves and knelt and said, “By your mother and daughter, for the love of God have pity on this silly woman! I am not guilty! Please let me stay here tonight until my consul arrives in the morning? with you, under your desk, so no one can see me- please?” Tears were running down from my eyes as I pleaded with her “I will be quiet! I will die if you put me out there with all those women, I beg you, just for tonight.” I was panicking!
I looked out thru her open door the cockroaches were flying around, so that meant they would be crawling all over us all night and probably all day! I thought I saw a rat running across the dirt floor! God please help me! Then I noticed the rats were everywhere: they owned the place! My God, I whispered to myself. “Wait here,” she said, and went get herself a coffee, back in, with her cup, she set at her desk looking for her key, which she found under some papers on this rotten wood desk of hers. I only wanted a little water: “Por favor, un poquito de agua?” I humbly asked her. She said, “there’s a cup and there is a faucet, help yourself.” I almost didn’t want it, then, thinking, who knows where this water comes from? But I thought it over: “You’re going to be here all night, and no water? So drink while you still can, God bless this water.” I was very thirsty after a whole long day of purgatory, and now I am about to enter hell!