Monday, June 19, 2006
this weekend…well, it was kinda rough, but through all that, good, in a way. a good friend of mine, Galo, was arrested…there was a “batida” on Friday night in Bastion, which means the cops come round in a big bus, SUV’s and pick-up trucks and terrorize the neighbourhood. They bully all the guys around, and if you are male, 18 (or look 18) and don’t have any ID on you, or look suspicious, or give them a little lip, they pile you into the bus along with all the other miscreants and take you off to jail. Galo is in jail. Jail is a horrible place. We didn’t know where he was for the first day, we knew nothing, but his nephew Pedro found the holding cell they have him in, and today William and Alex Pilataxi went to visit him, and take him food (because they don’t give you food in jail here) (on your way in, they take all your clothes and money away, they never give it back, everything you have on you, they take, and then once you are in, you have to pay for food)… ...let me tell you, i am worried sick for Galo, I don’t even want to imagine it in there, they say it is horrible, you can’t sleep, you cant let your guard down…it smells, its crowded, its dangerous, really dangerous. Galo! If I could, I SO would go visit him, but folks say it would be a bad idea because i’m white and if they knew Galo had gringo friends then it would become more expensive to bail him out…i don’t know. i still feel useless and like a bad friend for not doing anything. My dad is going to lend the family money for bail, and Galo will have to work of his debt to my dad somehow…that is good. If the “justice” process goes smoothly, bail should get posted this afternoon and he might even get out today, tomorrow at the latest. If it doesn’t go smoothly…I don’t even want to think about it. i haven’t been sleeping very well, because i feel guilty sleeping in a bed when i knew he is on a cement floor that smells of piss, laying awake with an empty stomach. “Ecuadorian justice” is such an oxymoron. and what about this made it a good weekend? well, i feel so powerless, i’m tempted to pray and “leave it in God’s hands” as the lingo goes…but my motivation would probably be to feel better about my innability to act or my cowardice, so that isn’t a good enough excuse to start praying again. though i really do want to do something. i have felt very powerless this weekend...and in a way, it drew me away from myself, my selfishness. God is all i have to offer some guys, who are searching for something unknown so desperately... i think of my friend Junior, trying to get off drugs, my friend Pedro (Galo's cousin) and all the temptations that come, he is barely strong enough to stand up under, he's 15 for goodness sakes... oh i dont know. i keep learning. i keep living. i've learnt that doing selfish things doesn't make you feel better about who you are, it just makes you feel selfish.