Thursday, August 25, 2005

Arroyos peligrosos

So, people are scared of rain here in Barranquilla. Yesterday in my evening class it started to rain and the students immediately began to whine, "teacher, let us go home now, so we can still catch a boat," and, "teacher, I have to cross three rivers (flooded streets) to get home, so I need to leave now." I already knew that people don't leave their houses when it's raining here, but I still hadn't seen what they were talking about. There've been one or two days where the guy downstairs put out his portable bridge to be able to cross to the other side of the street, and I've seen people crossing the flooded parts in donkeys, but it wasn't that bad. Last night, I woke up around midnight to a storm. It was raining hard enough that the water was coming through my window (there's a large exterior window, then my window, which is actually inside the apartment. I got up to close the outside window, and when I looked out, there were rapids where the stree used to be! I can easily see how you could get washed away in a "river" like that. The street was completely empty, except for the couch cushions and various things I saw being swept past my house. Amazing. What's even more amusing is that they haven't figured out a way to put a drainage system in the city to get rid of the problem! Barranquilla's not much more than 100 years old in most places, so I find it hard to deal with the fact that they didn't plan any better than this. I'll post my pictures tomorrow of my "river" if they come out okay!

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