I am glad I have been able to keep in touch with Viki through the Corrlinks system for inmates (a type of surveilled email) these last couple of years as well as sent her and others my book. I usually let others read what I wrote before publishing anything about them. It the ethical way of working as a copywriter.
Here is Viki in the news and here is her story as shared in my book "The Call for Divine Fathering":
She speaks Pidgin English in a way I could never imitate and at times she swears a lot too. Yet, her vulnerability shines through as her pain surfaces, when we talked story. I'll call her "Wings" because she loves animals and birds in particular. She wants to start a volunteer bird rescue when she becomes released in a few years. Even if it is five more years until then, I still encourage her to have something positive to look forward to, to continue being someone who can greet others with good Aloha-spirit that she is so good at. In fact, it is because of her friendship I came up with the first name of this book: "Under the Wings of Freedom". She asked me if I could help her come up with a name to her bird rescue organization and make sure her mission statement and vision were professionally formulated to a friend on the outside who had started looking for a place to house it. I thought "Wings of Freedom" would be a great name and she loved it, so we decided to share the name because I love animals too. Her mission statement and vision-paragraphs were absolutely finely written as they were, she just needed someone to express and believe in her ability. I do.
Viki was born and raised on Big Island and have some family on Oahu. She is in her mid-40's, a single Mom of two kids of her own; one son deployed and another in prison. Then she also takes care of two teenagers from her former boyfriend. One day, she found him in his office, with a gun in his hand and his brain splattered on the wall, with a letter to her on his desk.
- Can you imagine? He just gave up and what I am supposed to do, but to take care of his kids too. Still it isn't fair. I have always taken care of everyone but now when I am detained, they have all turn their back on me. They are ashamed but they still use the money.
- What did you do?
- Yeah, I sold some pills that I ordered online. But I am just a Mum who is trying to make a dollar out of a dime. God knows we have enough Pakalolo on these islands.
When I was hoping to bond out, she was the only one in the pod of almost 90 inmates, who supported me without envy or angry looks. She gave me some personal contact information to bond-agencies who normally don't handle immigration bonds on Hawai'i, but they tried to make an exception for me. Unfortunately, I was stopped from doing that too and the bond-agencies required more collateral than just my passport.
Viki remained my friend throughout my whole stay. She worked for R&D downstairs, which is the Receive and Dismissal department of prison, so she alerted her friends the night before whenever they were on the list to go to court or become picked up by ICE since she could see that on their papers and incoming faxes laying at the desk that she cleaned very thoroughly every day. It is a tremendous relief to be prepared the night before that you are going somewhere, instead of yanked up at six o'clock in the morning and pushed into a holding cell without knowing where you are being taken and why. She also gave me chocolate when I was craving and always offered to help me get whatever I needed such as a couple of new, unworn panties. What a treat! Never did she ever ask for anything in return except my friendship and a little cinnamon from the kitchen; friends from another country or even from the mainland, where she had never been, was all she wanted.
To what expense are drug-users and sellers held for decades in American prisons?
For more about the immigrants and inmates I met and my own story, please contact me for an interview and buy my books!