chip wiegand


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

When we respect everybody around us, we are in peace with everybody around us.

-- Don Miguel Ruiz

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.
Me

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.

A mixed bag of thoughts and musings.

July 17, 2016

A mixed bag of thoughts and musings today.

To start with a short story. One typically beautiful day when I was walking to a students home for their lesson... I am walking along and up ahead of me, maybe half a block, are two women also walking, in the same direction. I didn't really notice anything special or particular about them as I could only see them from behind and a half-block back. But I see one of them stop under a tree alongside the road, between the sidewalk and the road. I thought maybe they were just stopping tO rest in the shade, it was a hot day as is normal here. But then one of the women starts jumping, so right away I knew she wasn't resting, and it was too hot to start exercising, even in the shade. But she was jumping and reading up as much as she could. I though maybe she was trying to reach a mango. Mango trees are everywhere in this city, along the streets; they are just shade trees. Often they are too close together for most of the fruit to ripen. So I am walking up there and I read the place where the women are, and the jumping women stops jumping, looks at me with a big smile which meant "please help me reach the fruit". I walked over to where she was and locked up, and there it was, not the red-orange-yellow colors of a delicious ripe mango, but a round, brown ball of a fruit. A fruit I have never seen before. At least I was guessing it was a fruit, because of the fact that the woman was jumping for it so exuberantly. I reached up and picked the fruit off the branch (no jumping required). I handed her the precious brown fruit, and she immediately held it tight and said "Gracias amor". I smiled and said "de nada. Que es esta?" The women replied "Nispero". I know nispero only as a raspado, and those raspados are delicious. I had never seen an actual, read nispero fruit before. And I must say, it didn't look like anything to get excited about. I was about the size of a peach. Round, not oval or oblong, but round, with a brown skin. Since then I have seen at least 4 more nispero trees along the streets that I normally walk along, and in all those trees all the fruit that is within reach is picked, so the upper half of the trees are loaded with nisperos that are difficult too reach without a ladder. This time of the year the fruit are ripe or ripening. The mangos, the nisperos, are ready to pick and eat now. The guanabana will be soon. And the few ackee trees that are in the city are close, maybe another month or so. The mangos and nisperos are common along the streets, the others not so much. But now is the time that fresh fruit are available everywhere, and these fruits are unbelievably delicious.

I love what I do here in Colombia - teaching English and seeing the lives of people and families improve because of it. But it isn't easy. I teach private students only. And the reason for this is because no school or business will hire me until I get legal. But getting legal is proving to be more difficult than expected. Even some of my students are surprised by this. But it is not difficult due to paperwork or other governmental issues, it is difficult due to a lack of money. Teaching private students is wonderful, but I cannot live on this alone. If it weren't for my landlord I wouldn't be here doing this at all. So I live from week to week on the little I earn, as it is enough for food, but nothing else. And I don't mind. Because, as I wrote above, I love doing this work. My students are very appreciative of my helping them improve their English. And improving their English helps them improve their jobs. If a persons job situation improves, then their entire family benefits, and this will last the rest of their lives. I may not make enough money to live on, but I am living, and I love what I do. I would trade it for any other job back in the States.

I have added more pictures to the Barranquilla photo albums.

Last week my cell phone fell into some water, and got completely soaked, and died. Even after drying for a few days, it will not turn on at all. I put the simcard in my ancient Blackberry, which has problems of its own, but now I have a phone again, even if it is very, very old. At least I don't have to worry about anyone trying to steal it from me. hehehe

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. Thank you.

If you want to send a message to David send me a message and I will tell you how. I know he would love to hear from anyone who will write to him. He is in a minimum security prison, and he is allowed to go outside the prison to work. Obviously life is not fun for him, not for another year or so. I know he would love to hear from his friends. That would really brighten his day - recieving a message from one of his friends.


Politics, coffee, and an update from David

June 18, 2016

Here are my thoughts about the current state of affairs in the US and an update from David (at the end of the blog).

What on earth is happening up there in the US?

Trump is a man out of his mind. Clueless about anything that has to do with politics and running a country, has no idea what foreign policy is, and has many unrealistic ideas of what he will do as the President, none of which are actually possible. Just look at his "policies" on his web site (I have), they're ridiculous. You people who support Trump, still support him after all the crap that has come out of his mouth? You still support that guy? How? I find it mind-boggling that anybody can support him. He is not going to "make America great again". He will sink it, like a ship hit by a torpedo.


New web server

May 08, 2016

Hello to everyone!

I have moved my web site to a different web server. The server I have been using the last couple years, called FastWebHost.com, has proven to be less than stellar in reliability. The last couple months I have seen many "500 server" errors. This type of error is not a result of the web site, but is the result of a configuration problem on the server itself. The techs at FastWebHost raised certain settings, the problem continued.

Me

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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City: Barranquilla

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CNN.com - RSS Channel - Regions - Americas

08/22/2016
Jesus Alfredo Guzman, the 29-year-old son of jailed Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, has been freed after he was kidnapped a week ago in Puerto Vallarta, three sources confirmed to CNN.
08/23/2016
Russia will not compete at next month's Paralympic Games in Rio.
08/22/2016
So Rio pulled it off, successfully delivering perhaps the most doubted Olympic Games of the modern era.
08/22/2016
After the Olympic flame goes out, what happens to the athletes we've come to know and love over the past two weeks?
08/22/2016
US swimmer Ryan Lochte told NBC's Matt Lauer it was his fault that a fabricated story about a robbery caused an international Olympics scandal.
08/20/2016
The 2016 Paralympics in Rio is facing unparalleled challenges, budget cuts and the unexpected closure of venues but will go ahead as planned, the International Paralympic Committee said Friday.
08/22/2016
08/21/2016
The US swept aside Serbia 96-66 Sunday to claim its third straight Olympic men's basketball crown, and the final gold medal of Rio 2016.
08/17/2016
The search for the kidnapped son of the world's most notorious drug lord has been narrowed to four states in Mexico, a senior Mexican law enforcement official tells CNN.
08/17/2016
09 I know my brother had not an ounce of anger. Giving, generous. He'd give away his last couple bucks to anybody. He just wanted to be around family. Cousins loved him. Church loved him. All the girls back in the day loved one. Attractive one. brother


Barranquilla Life

08/21/2016
08/20/2016

If you’re new to Barranquilla, the locals will probably get you to try all kinds of sweets, fruit juices, a wide variety of fried stuff, (there are some incredible options in the fast food area), maybe some greasy looking soups, and lots and lots of beer, rum, and aguardiente (for partying!). Meanwhile, if you invite

The post Fitness culture is a growing trend in Barranquilla appeared first on Barranquilla Life.

08/19/2016

Some of the oldest and most significant buildings in Barranquilla are located at Plaza Aduana which is the site of the original customs building and also Barranquilla’s old train station. A beautifully designed and maintained structure, ‘La Aduana’ is spread across four separate buildings on a very well-kept campus. There’s even an old locomotive upon

The post Check out Barranquilla’s historical customs house, “La Aduana” appeared first on Barranquilla Life.

08/18/2016
08/18/2016

False Friend: a word in one language that looks or sounds the same as a word in another language – but has a totally different meaning. Properly referred to as false cognates, but more colloquially known as false friends, these words can get you into a barrel of trouble. You’d be well advised to learn these,

The post LEARN: False Friends – Avoid making these common errors in English appeared first on Barranquilla Life.

08/17/2016
08/17/2016
08/17/2016
08/17/2016
08/13/2016

Everyone enjoys beautiful things. To most people, beauty is a condition, an aspect, something on the exterior. To an artisan, beauty is about passion. For the artisan, beauty is design and function, style and shape, color and saturation, and minute attention to detail. It’s this last element which perhaps most aptly sets the bar. Precise

The post Luxury and Heritage: The Leather Satchel Co. appeared first on Barranquilla Life.