chip wiegand


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

A man's character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation.
- -- 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.
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12/18/2017
Habla español? Visit CNN en Español for all the latest news and updates in Spanish.
12/18/2017
Chile's former President, the conservative billionaire Sebastian Pinera, has been elected to serve another term as the country's leader.
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Peruvian lawmakers decided to move forward with proceedings to impeach President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski amid allegations of bribery in connection to one of the largest corruption scandals in Latin America.
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Toronto billionaire and philanthropist Barry Sherman and his wife were found dead in their mansion Friday afternoon, CNN affiliate CTV reports.
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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday that some of the main opposition parties will not be allowed to run in next year's presidential election.
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A man found a human foot on a British Columbia beach this week. It is the 13th dismembered foot found along the Canadian province's shore in the past decade, and the coroner is now trying to figure out the identity of the owner.
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The Argentine military believes an explosion caused last month's disappearance of a naval submarine and that its 44 crew members perished in the South Atlantic, Defense Minister Oscar Aguad said.
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Honduras' electoral commission announced a recount of some votes cast in last week's unresolved election, which prompted days of unrest that has claimed lives, and forced the government to impose a nightly curfew in an attempt to control protests.
12/18/2017
There is "no chance of survival" for the 44 crew members aboard the missing Argentine submarine, a navy official said Friday, one day after his agency called off its rescue operation and shifted focus to recovering the wayward vessel.
12/18/2017
Two former executives for Venezuelan national oil company PDVSA have been detained in an anti-corruption crackdown, Venezuelan Attorney General Tarek William Saab said Thursday.
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Over 400 professors and staff have left one of Venezuela's top universities as hundreds of thousands of citizens flee the South American nation, seeking refuge from country's humanitarian crisis.
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The Argentine military Tuesday released its most detailed timeline yet in this month's disappearance of a naval submarine, saying that the vessel first reported a battery short-circuit roughly 10 hours before an explosion-like sound was detected near the sub's last known location.
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Read Cuba Fast Facts from CNN and learn more about this communist country located in the Caribbean Sea, approximately 90 miles south of Florida.
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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.
12/18/2017
A noise detected near the last known location of a missing Argentine submarine was consistent with an explosion, the Argentine Navy said Thursday.
12/18/2017
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."
12/18/2017
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Sounds that were detected during the search for a missing Argentine navy submarine did not come from the vessel, the navy said late Monday.
12/18/2017
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.
12/18/2017
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.
12/18/2017
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.
12/18/2017
The former mayor of Caracas -- who is a staunch opponent of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro -- was welcomed Saturday in Madrid after escaping house arrest.
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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.
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An 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Costa Rica on Sunday night, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.
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Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's name conjurs up one phrase for an investigator who spent his career trying to catch him: "Evil genius."