Arbeit Macht Frei


11 am: So far today we’ve run…eaten breakfast, raked up pine needles in the woods, wheel-barrowed pine needles to the gigantic compost piles, back and forth. Back and forth. Folded the first 2/3 of our laundry, went to lunch, marched back and forth from the chow hall to the barracks in the rain, and then I sat down to write this. Well, right after standing at POA for 20 minutes for head count. In 35 minutes, we go to CD treatment until 4:30. Then dinner, then Thinking for a Change (henceforth TFAC) from 6:30-8:00. And then we spend the rest of our night polishing our belt buckles and boots. Oh, I have to find time to iron my clothes, which I will do now….

5:20 pm: I still haven’t had a chance to iron.

I never ironed yesterday.

Today I spent my first eight hours doing the laundry for all 180 offenders. Standing on my feet all day is harder than most of the other work they have us do.

Well, except for today. We had to move compost from one spot to another. Two and a half hours going back and forth with wheel barrows full of what smelled like feces.

After that, six of us went to the administration building to clean for another hour. Then we ate.

When we came back from chow, our bunk areas had been torn apart. If they find anything wrong they tear it all apart. I had to remake my bed, fold all of my clothing, re-organize. If it sounds like I’m frustrated today, I am. Breathe.

It’s our 25th day.  Sunday my off day.  We still get up at 5:20 am we still have to get dressed and ready.  Ready to sit in our chairs for two long hours.  It’s the most boring day of the week.

By comparison, yesterday was one of our two work crew days.  I personally kept moving pretty much all day.  Part of boot camp is on Department of Natural Resources land.  In trade, I’m sure for payment of rent, we clear the land of brush, sticks, logs, and garbage.  Yesterday was a wood hauling day.

I wheel-barrowed roughly 75 pounds of tools 3/4 miles to the site where we then gathered dead trees from the woods and cut them down to 16 inch logs.  We loaded up all of the 50 wheel barrows, and began the trip back.  The last 300 years was all sand.  It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.  We were all exhausted.  But there was more work to be done.

We took a break to eat lunch and get our hair cut.  Then suited back up to go chop all the wood we brought back.  Funny thing, the splitting mauls are all dull by design.  Rather than a sharp edge, they are filed down at the very tip so we swing, I’d guess, three times more than should be necessary.  Ugh.

I’ll say this, I’m already in the best shape of my life.  And it goes up from here.  I’m tired, sore, humbled.  And I feel great.


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