Blenz – 6am
It is a very busy time of the season. What would happen if families start celebrating Christmas the day after Boxing Day? One thing would be for sure; those families would save a lot of money on presents.
I didn’t sleep too well last night because it was really cold. In fact, I woke up shivering. Connor, the guy from the UGM, gave me two emergency blankets to cover myself with. I thank him for those, but they didn’t seem to do the trick quite as well as they did the other night.
Nevertheless, I left a big part of Kenneth’s conversation out in my last post. I am going to address that here now. As a child, he was raised in a broken family. At the age of ten, problems at home were so severe that Kenneth and his sister were forced to live in a foster home. There, these kids were turned into laborers for the foster family. Kenneth’s duty included making moonshine and maintaining the family’s lumber business, while his sister worked tirelessly cleaning the house. They barely spent time with each other.
These experiences turned Kenneth into an unhappy teenager, which then contributed to a life of anger, resentment, drugs, partying and breaking the law. In his rebellion, he committed armed robbery. This was 24 years ago. If he was given the choice, he would certainly pick a different life for himself; but these were the cards he was dealt with. While he was in custody for armed robbery, he confessed all of his wrongdoings to the police, which helped to clear up previous cases.
Needless to say, Kenneth had to serve time. One of his jail stories is worth mentioning here. Some criminals are marked with a tattoo on their backhand. This tattoo is located between the index finger and thumb. It is usually a small cross with three dots around it; there are slight variations of this tattoo based on which prison one is in. Kenneth refused to get this tattoo, which made his inmates harass him.
Why were inmates marked at all? How discriminatory and static! People do change; Kenneth was a great example of that. In fact, everybody in this world goes through change from birth to death. Surely, you are not the same person you were ten years ago? Some criminals see this mark as a sign of respect for “crossing over to the dark side” and as proof of having experienced the good and the bad sides of life. To these inmates, this is interpreted as being a well-rounded individual who can be trusted not to be a “rat.”
After getting out of his two-year jail sentence, Kenneth started to experiment with crack. He was doing crack for 12 years when one day, while walking through a Vancouver alley, he felt water dumping on him. He looked up, down and around to see if there was actually a cloud up in the sky or whether there were any signs of water. There were no signs of water. Kenneth perceived this as God’s way of communicating to him. This was a wake-up call. Shortly after this experience, he gave up crack. Today, he is disgusted by this drug and would not touch it with a ten-foot pole.