chip wiegand


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

When in doubt tell the truth.
- -- Mark Twain

Added pics to my photo album, Puerto Colombia, Usiacuri

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.

Tour de France 2017, other updates

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

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."

Me
Chip Wiegand
Chip's English Help
English Teacher, TEFL Certified
Born: Nov. 20
Barranquilla, Colombia
chip@wiegand.org
I teach english as a foreign language in Barranquilla, Colombia. I'm from Kennewick, Washington, USA. 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.
FacebookLogo.png   LinkedInLogo   rss icon    Expat in Colombia   ExpatsBlog.com - Where Expats Blog
Free counters!

CNN.com - RSS Channel - Regions - Americas

11/24/2017
Habla español? Visit CNN en Español for all the latest news and updates in Spanish.
11/24/2017
The Argentine navy says it's not ready to give up a search for a vanished submarine, after the military revealed a sound consistent with an explosion was detected near the vessel's last known location last week off the country's South Atlantic coast.
11/24/2017
A noise detected near the last known location of a missing Argentine submarine was consistent with an explosion, the Argentine Navy said Thursday.
11/24/2017
The bad news: A missing Argentine submarine could be running low on air Wednesday. The good news: The weather is optimal for the multinational search, and if the sub is anywhere near its last known location, it likely hasn't sunk to its "crush depth."
11/24/2017
The ongoing search for a missing Argentine navy submarine sheds light on the difficulty of finding a vessel that's designed not to be found -- especially one that might have lost its ability to communicate.
11/24/2017
Efforts to locate an Argentine submarine that has been missing since last week have been ramped up dramatically by a multinational search team of boats and planes, the country's navy says.
11/24/2017
An Argentine navy submarine that's been missing for nearly a week may soon run out of oxygen if it hasn't surfaced, Argentina's navy says.
11/24/2017
Waiting a flight usually isn't exciting. But it was fun Monday for a group of passengers headed to St. John's, Canada, who used the delay to hold a party at their gate.
11/24/2017
Sounds that were detected during the search for a missing Argentine navy submarine did not come from the vessel, the navy said late Monday.
11/24/2017
An Argentine navy submarine with 44 crew members has been missing for three days after the navy lost contact with it off the country's Atlantic coast, the military service says.
11/24/2017
An Argentine navy submarine with 44 crew members has been missing for three days after the navy lost contact with it off the country's Atlantic coast, the military service says.
11/24/2017
An Argentine navy submarine with 44 crew members has been missing for three days after the navy lost contact with it off the country's Atlantic coast, the military service says.
11/24/2017
The former mayor of Caracas -- who is a staunch opponent of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro -- was welcomed Saturday in Madrid after escaping house arrest.
11/24/2017
A fire destroyed much of the Ventarrón archaeological complex in northern Peru including a mural believed to be the oldest every discovered in the Americas, site officials announced.
11/24/2017
An 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Costa Rica on Sunday night, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.
11/24/2017
Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's name conjurs up one phrase for an investigator who spent his career trying to catch him: "Evil genius."
11/24/2017
It was a little before midnight on March 2, 2016, when at least two men kicked in the back door of the home of award-winning environmentalist and activist Berta Cáceres in La Esperanza, western Honduras. Moments later, 44-year-old Cáceres was shot dead.
11/24/2017
A Mexican politician is being criticized for her tone-deaf approach to tackling sexual assault after she suggested handing out chicken wire to indigenous women as a way to keep out rapists.
11/24/2017
Read CNN's Fast Facts on Haiti and learn more about the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
11/24/2017
Read CNN's Fast Facts on Venezuela and learn more about one of the top oil-producing countries in the world.
11/24/2017
Read CNN's Fast Facts on the life of Brazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
11/24/2017
Read CNN's Fast Facts about Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.
11/24/2017
He's homeless, but that didn't stop a Puerto Rican teenager from spending his birthday helping fellow victims of Hurricane Maria.
11/24/2017
Suicide attackers in Afghanistan killed nearly 60 people at two mosques Friday -- one in the Afghan capital of Kabul and the other in the central province of Ghor.
11/24/2017
A tall chain link fence, shrouded in vines, surrounds an aging water well tucked away in this small town just west of San Juan. A metal sign carries a warning in Spanish to anyone who approaches: "Danger. Do Not Enter."
11/24/2017
Quebec's lawmakers passed a bill Wednesday that would require public workers and citizens seeking government services to have their faces uncovered.
11/24/2017
Venezuela's political opposition denounced the results of Sunday's regional elections, after President Nicolas Máduro claimed victory.
11/24/2017
The waves from the Caribbean Sea crash on the shore right beneath the back window of Irma Torres' concrete-walled home in southeast Puerto Rico. Hurricane Maria ripped part of the roof away when it slammed into Yabucoa, Puerto Rico last month.
11/24/2017
At least four children have been killed, and several others injured, after a man torched a day care center in southeastern Brazil on Thursday.
11/24/2017
Parts of an engine that were lost by an Air France flight en route from Paris to Los Angeles last month have been spotted in Greenland, investigators say.