Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Day 219-221 4/29-5/1 The Bus Ride to CIW, the next chapter begins

Day 219 4/29/14
Happy Birthday to my sister and friend! I love and miss you. Thank you for always being there for me!

I could hardly sleep last night, the anticipation of finally leaving left me restless and excited. I got my wake up call at 3:30 am, I got ready and was at R&R (receiving and release) by 4 am. There was 33 of us heading to CIW (CA Institute for Women). It was a long process in R&R, we had to get cleared, fed breakfast (peanut butter and jelly sandwich lunch), changed into muumuus, chained (wrist and ankle restraints), and then seated on the bus. It was 7 am by the time all 33 of us were on the bus, and it was almost 7:30 am by the time we actually left the prison and got on the road. They assigned us our seats so there was no choosing where you got to sit or who you sat with. I was toward the back of the bus, no window seat, and I sat with Top Model. Top Model was a runner up on the show America's Next Top Model, just shows you shit can happen to anyone. Top Model was nice. I knew her from A-yard and we got along. We are both tall so the ride was very uncomfortable for both of us.

The rules were simple, no talking when the bus was in motion. It was a very long, hot and quiet ride. We had to stop at McFarland to pick-up two more women, that stop only added to the length of the trip.We were given peanut butter and jelly lunches, we had nothing to drink so I was very dehydrated. I tried my best to sleep, but the bus was really uncomfortable so it was difficult. We finally arrived at CIW around 3 pm. Just when I thought it was almost over, the long drawn out receiving process was just getting started.

It was very hot (high 90's), I was tired, I was hungry, and I was getting a headache. We were not done in time for dinner so it was peanut butter and jelly again. We had to watch an orientation video, get our property, we had to see the doctor, we had to meet with the Sargent for housing assignments, it was just a painful slow process. As usual a lot of waiting around, the prison motto "hurry up and wait."

I was exhausted, my stomach hurt, my head hurt, I just wanted to get finished. It was 6:30 by the time we headed to our housing assignments. The campers (women endorsed to fire camp) are housed in CIW's old receiving facility, as the campers are kept separate from the general population for training. The receiving facility is old, dirty, and beat-up. The housing unit has two day rooms, 4 hallways each containing 30 (2) man cells with the cop shop (the office/bubble where the officers work/sit around) in the middle, we have are own chow hall and kitchen in the building along with a yard in the front and the Cal-Fire offices and classroom across the way. I was assigned to hall 2, room 139, as I come down the hall I am greeted by Adrian, it was so good to see her. She is only three doors down from me. Adrian helped me clean my room, gave me some clothes, found me a pair of workout shoes, and gave me the rundown of how things worked at CIW. At CIW  you no longer have to share a room with 7 women, only 1, but the best part is the windows that open so you can actually have fresh air come through your cell.

My roommate is Boxer she came on the bus with me, she is 21 and from LA. We unpacked, made our beds, showered, and off to bed. We were exhausted I was out in seconds of my head hitting the pillow. It feels good to finally be here and getting this journey started, the sooner its started the sooner its over with.

Day 220 4/30/15
Day one at CIW, I was up at 6:30 am for breakfast, orientation at 7 and out the door by 8 to pick up my state issued clothes. I didn't waste anytime, I was off to the track, went to aerobics class, and checked out some books from the library. It felt incredible to be out all day and feel productive. It also feels good to just be closer to home its still a 90 minute drive but its better than 6 hours. I got a phone call into my family, enjoyed the rec yard after dinner and am looking forward to a visit this weekend, its been 3 1/2 months since I have seen my husband and kids I can't wait. I have not felt this good in a long time.

We are out of our cells most of the day, they open the doors at 6 am for breakfast and they stay open all day. We lock down at 3:30 for count, then we have dinner and the unit is open until 8:30 pm.

Day 221 5/1/15
Today is annual TB testing in all the women's facilities so we are in lock down until everyone has been tested. I finally get here and we are in lock down, but of all the places to be locked down I'd rather it be here. They finished by 11 am and they release us from lock down, so Chris and I are the only crazy ones that go to the track and go running its 90+ out, its hot and there is no air conditioning, but I don't care just to be out feels amazing.I'm looking forward to my visit with my family this weekend.

1 comment:

  1. You have given a wonderful description of your bus trip. It seems that I have been traveling with you throughout. Do share more of your trip experiences with all of us.