Week Eleven

Protests, Music & The Future

One more week is over. One more week closer to coming home.  One more week closer to being with my children, family, friends and dogs.  One more week closer to relieving my parents of the burdens they have taken on because of and for me.  I can never thank them enough for what they have done for me, and my only hope is that one day, I will be able to make them proud of me again.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned the pay rate for inmates.  Apparently there was a nationwide protest (including outside our complex) over the wages and slave labor of inmates.  I was told that there were strikes among inmates at 40 different prisons last week too (I didn’t know we had the option of striking). I have only been able to get bits and pieces of all of the news, most of what I am getting is through our internal grapevine, which we refer to inmate.com.  There has been a lot in the news about prison reform lately, and it sounds like people are really listening.

I went for my walk this morning and was listening to the local Christian music station.  The first song on was one of my favorites “The Revelation Song”.  I can’t remember who sings it, but the entire time it was playing, in my head, I could hear Camille from our Praise Band back home singing her part in the background.  I don’t know if Bethany can insert a link to the song on Youtube into my blog (I can’t wait to get home and see what this even looks like), but if she can’t, please look it up and listen to it.  I had about 10 songs downloaded that always brought me up, when I was feeling down, and this, as well as “10,000 Reasons” I mentioned a few weeks ago, were on the list.  I miss being able to listen to them whenever I want.

I have been thinking a lot about the future, and what I will do when I leave here.  I hope and pray that my job is still there for me, but if it is not, I know there is something out there for me.  I have thought about speaking about my experiences, growth, etc (anyone who knows me, knows this is a major change, because I have always avoided speaking publicly). I feel that maybe my experiences can help someone.  I have learned so much while I have been here in the last 11 weeks.  I have learned how to live with the bare minimums, how everything can be reused (Pringles cans make good teabag containers, plastic Lays containers make good sugar cube holders, oatmeal boxes work well for organizing your socks, underwear, etc), and how to appreciate every little minute I can get with the people I love.  One thing I will never take for granted again is the time I get with my children and family, it means more to me than anything else.  I have also learned that starting and ending day with reading the Bible, seems to make the day go a little bit smoother.

Bunkie leaves a few weeks after me, so we have found several different things to count down….

21 more chicken days
10 more visit weekends
5 more blanket exchanges

Have a great week!

Julie

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