chip wiegand

Welcome to my blog and website, I hope you find your visit interesting.

When a man does what needs to be done,
he does not know the meaning of time.

-- Chief Dan George

Me I teach english as a foreign language in Barranquilla, Colombia. In my previous life, as I call it, I was an IT guy, systems administrator, computer tech, as well as a shipping/receiving guy and also worked as a merchandising guy for a year for a camping/RV accessories store.

Chip Wiegand

I teach english as a foreign language in Barranquilla, Colombia. In my previous life, as I call it, I was an IT guy, systems administrator, computer tech, as well as a shipping/receiving guy and also worked as a merchandising guy for a year for a camping/RV accessories store.

Added pics to my photo album, Puerto Colombia, Usiacuri

Thursday, Oct 5, 2017

I have uploaded many pictures to the photo album - look in the Colombia folder for the new folders called Puerto Colombia and also Usiacuri, and also a folder called Misc Pics. Puerto Colombia is a small town just outside of Barranquilla. It has the remains of a very old pier, which was the longest pier on the Caribe coast, at something like 1 kilometer. Then a couple years ago during some very high winds part of the pier was destroyed. You can see me on the pier, or what's left of it, and in the distance you can see the end of the pier. There is a move to get funding to restore the pier. Usiacuri is a very small town (village) about 38 kilometers outside of Barranquilla. It's a very nice little town, and it is very small. In the pics you will see a view of the main street, it's about 2 blocks long. They have a fairly large park with a statue at the top of the hill in the park, there is a pic of me standing at that statue. There is a historic church, and I uploaded pics of it.

Visiting Usiacuri is only a half-day trip, but it is worth while. Usiacuri is the home to most important indigenous reservation in this part of Colombia. Usiacuri was discovered in 1533 by Conquistador Francisco César. Usiacuri well known for its medicinal healing waters. In Usiacuri you should visit the "Julio Flórez" House Museum, there are many local handicrafts made from Iraca palm: purses, baskets, picture-frames, and mats. Their commercialization provides local artisans with a steady income, as well as tourism. Be sure to check out the photos of the colonial-style church "Santo Domingo" in my photo album. There is also a nature reserve known for its mineral cold springs. Once inside the tropical dry forest you will see native flora and fauna and, if you want, you can swim in the springs.

Teaching is going well. My schedule is just about full with private students, and many more people contacting me for lessons. There's just not enough evenings in the week to take them as students. One of my students owns his own company and is going to hire me as an employee, thereby sponsoring me for a work visa. And a company I worked for a few years ago has asked me to come back and continue teaching with them.

Recently in the USA there was another mass shooting. What is that society coming to? When are they going to figure it out - you have to have some kind of gun control. Allowing any kind of gun a person could want is not going to solve anything. And there are plenty of examples of countries that have made strict gun control laws and have seen the numbers of mass shootings, and murders, and gun-inflicted injuries fall massively. One big difference between Colombia compared to life in the US is that here we do not have, in the back of our minds, the thought that maybe some crazy guy is going to pull out guns and start shooting everybody in sight. Here life is less regulated by the government. But guns are strictly regulated. Here people have more freedom to live the life they want to live, the way they want to live it. Some of my students ask me why I am here, why I would rather be in this country than in the US, and those are some of the reasons I give them. I tell them that the US has a motto - "The land of the free", but they are not really free. Here in Colombia we are freer than people in the US. Sure there may be trade-offs, but what is the cost of freedom? A life regulated by the government. A life which is lived the way the government allows, within the many constraints of rules and regulations and laws. That is the cost of living in the "land of the free". I don't call that living - living with my hands tied behind my back, living with one eye out for possible shooters, the thoughts in the back of my mind wondering if I will be safe at the park or movie theater. That's not my kind of living, that's not my kind of freedom.

Please consider helping me help people here in Colombia. I am not a foundation or organization that will allow you to use tax-deductions for your donations, I am just a guy who is helping people improve their lives and the lives of their families. It's not easy to do alone, and there are needs that I simply cannot afford. So, if you feel inclined to help me in this journey, there are links in the right column for doing just that. I know many people won't send money, but you can still help, do you have any books that would be good for a new English learner? Beginner, elementary, and intermediate level books are something I need. Contact me for info about shipping books here to Colombia. Thank you.


Tour de France 2017, other updates

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Tour de France came to its conclusion today, and it was a very good tour, with many photo finishes. This years edition covered 3,540km (2,200-mile) and included starting in Germany, then the riders visited Belgium and Luxembourg before heading into France. The race started with 198 riders, and finished with 31 riders retiring before the final stage. The retirements including such big name favorites as Alejandro Valverde, Peter Sagan, Mark Cavendish, Thomas Geraint, Richie Port, Mark Renshaw, and Marcel Kittel. My short review here is centered on the Colombian riders partaking in this years Tour.

This Tour was the first Tour de France my wife has ever watched. And with the Colombian riders doing well she had plenty to get excited about. And she did get excited, jumping, yelling at the other cyclists on TV, it was very entertaining just watching her watch her first Tour.

In other aspects of my life, in teaching English, I have new students and a full schedule. I have a husband-wife couple as students, and they are beginners, another business owner looking to expand her business into the USA, and a woman running the local office of a foundation (Stand By Me headquartered in England) that has a school for underprivileged children in a village in the mountains.

Tour de France 2017

Saturday, July 16, 2017

This year's edition sees the 198 riders tackle a grueling 23-day, 21-stage, 3,540-kilometer route that takes in 23 mountain climbs and affords competitors just two rest days.

Here is a quote from the BBC website, "Nairo Quintana is one of the few who can ride away from Froome in the mountains and the paucity of time trialling this year race will also help the 27-year-old Colombian's cause - but he needs to be more aggressive.
It will be interesting to see if the Movistar rider, who has twice finished runner-up to Froome (2013 and 2015) is helped or hindered by competing in Italy's equivalent race, the Giro d'Italia, where he finished second in May."


Chip Wiegand

I teach english as a foreign language in Barranquilla, Colombia. In my previous life, as I call it, I was an IT guy, systems administrator, computer tech, as well as a shipping/receiving guy and also worked as a merchandising guy for a year for a camping/RV accessories store.

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Expat in Colombia - Where Expats Blog


To make a transfer via Western Union (do not use Moneygram) send it to my wife -

Name: Sandra Milena Cabrera Vargas

City: Barranquilla

State: Atlantico (may not be necessary)

Country: Colombia

Then be sure to send me an email with the MTCN number.

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