ladies-day: meeting Sherita and Vonetta

“So sorry that didn’t work out. You did let me know you were coming some months ago. Things are quite a bit busier during the months leading up to the Legislative session. I’ve had to cancel several other opportunities too. Our main focus has to be on the legislation we hope to pass. I regret not being able to bring you to the Capitol. I hope we’ll stay in touch, and get to collaborate in the future.”

So no meetings in the Capitol this year which is a pity. It was a great succes last year to present international best practice to legislators, representatives and people responsible for prison reform. But in international exchange people tend to start moving when you are actually almost there. And the timeframe of a visit is very small when you want to get all those busy people together.

So I had the opportunity to meet Sherita at the Whole Food-Market in Montrose. Sherita is a singer from Houston and I met her in the Prison Show three years ago. She is a strong girl who works incredibly hard despite a disease which causes permanent pain. We share our passion in trying to change the world by connecting people and trying to spread positivity. Of course we do it in a different way: Sherita does it with her music and performances. We have a great, healthy lunch and talk about the European tour of Sherita, in June next year. It is clear that I  am not a sort of “impresario” and  I do not have the relevant network for that, but I think I can get three gigs together for her and her boy-friend. Not to big, informal in a coffeeshop, a prison or forensic clinic and a pub or house-theather.

And then there is Vonetta, my co-host in the prison show last Friday. She is  a parole-officer and she wrote a very informative book for offenders and their families about the do’s and don’ts when you have to go to the process of Prison, Parole and Probation. Vonetta is a very strong and independent lady and a real pioneer. But also a very hard worker. She presents well designed plans for a serie of workshops for former incarcerated people and their families and a plan to do a show on the radio in which incarcerated persons and their families can call and ask questions about how things work and how to deal with problems. I think those are great initiatives  and I am inspired by Vonetta ‘s enormous energy and her dedication to fight for changes in a world which she describes as corrupt, destructive, broken and directed to control and repression and only that. Still she is warm and smiling and she takes me to a new coffeeshop she saw on television yesterday. They make coffee like workers in a lab did, a long time ago. The coffee is delicious and I have a great time with this lovely lady. We realy make friends and stay in touch for sure.

And while I am running around in Houston Nel is taking care of our grandson Jonas. Photo’s keep coming in via WhatsApp. Seeing all those poor homeless people, extradited from any form of equality, human dignity and solidarity I count my blessings to have

a home to return to.



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