Flow is one of many English words that has been imported into Dominican Spanish and that has been given a new meaning by the adoptive parent language. Flow is a manner of style, asses shaking back-pocket bling embroidered on tight blue jeans, baseball caps with brims flattened, tigures mouthing meren-rap tiguraje words like flow. To the unaccustomed ear, the rapid-fire slang is muffled beneath meringue and bachata keeping the night moving at the local carwash, maintaining the appearance of a car wash by day, but functioning as an open-air dance club by night. If you got flow, then you got game. Entonces, yo no tengo flow.
Determining flow from the source, ideally a spring but more likely a stream, will be among my first orders of business when I finally reach my work site at the beginning of November. Since flow may vary over time, I’ll need to rely on the accounts of elders in the community to assess the long-term character of the source, to determine if the flow will meet the projected consumption needs of the community. Though that day is still some time away, I already have reason to be reasonably sure that I’ll be placed in the northwest province of Puerto Plata, somewhere inland, though not far from the coast and somewhat close to the Haitian border.
Recent flows have been too much for cañadas to handle. Low-lying areas adjacent to these waterways have sustained significant flooding with the persistent heavy rains from Fay, Gustav, Hanna, and some tropical depressions over the last 3 weeks. Exacerbating the situation is the fact that the country had undergone a period of drought prior to these rains. A house collapsed in a landslide during Gustav, killing 8, a storm that also killed some 50-60 people in neighboring Haiti. Hurricane Ike is supposed to pass north of Hispañola tonight and tomorrow morning, so the rains won’t be letting up any time soon. It should pass far enough north that we shouldn’t experience any more than that, though.
Until next time, I’ll keep the litros of Presidente flowing, though I´ll try to not let them flow too fast.