My life in Colombia

Welcome to the blog of Chip Wiegand

The Day

Open your windows and doors
And finish the chores
Get up and go outside
It's so big and wide
Enjoy the day for a while
Forget about life's trials
The day is yours, go take it
Open your mind and your spirit
Enjoy the day for a while
It's yours with a smile

Upside Down

Strawberries growing in the seas
Fish swimming in the trees
Stars shining in the ground below
While worms display a nighttime show
Birds fly through the ground that's plowed
Grasshoppers hop from cloud to cloud

The world as we know it is upside down
No longer a smile but rather a frown
One day we will turn it over
With the luck of a four-leafed clover
When that day comes, we will all smile
Let's hope it lasts for more than a while
I hope on that day you are in my arms
So, we can enjoy each other's charms

Then the strawberries will grow below the trees
And the fish will be swimming in the seas
The stars will again display a nighttime show
While the worms live happily in the ground below
Birds will fly from cloud to cloud
As grasshoppers hop through land that's plowed

The world as we want it - not upside down
Now a smile and no longer a frown
One day we turned it over
We found the luck of a four-leaf clover
When that day came we all had a smile
Let's hope it lasts for more than a while
I hope on that day you are in my arms
So, we can enjoy each other's charms

Shores of the Caribe

The sun sits on the blue waves, big and orange
The moon sits upon the clouds, small and round

Cats sit on rocks, in the warmth of the day
Dogs wander in search of something to eat

The breeze blows from beyond the horizon
The still air of July is stifling hot

Flowers bloom all year round in your garden
Coconuts, mangoes, there for the taking

The stars overhead light the sky above
In the mangroves the birds welcome the days

The sun is high and hot in the morning
It is low and hot in the afternoon

Always relaxed and enjoying the day
Stress is washed away in the Caribe

On the shores of the sunny Caribe
Warms your mind and your soul everyday

The Daily Routine

Many people are stuck in the day to day rut, the daily routine.
Up at five, home by six, it's a terrible fix, the daily routine.
We're always on the go, life's straight as an arrow, the daily routine.

I lost the meaning of life, always full of strife, my daily routine.
I crossed the world searching, my life only lurching, my daily routine.
I found only heartbreak, it is time to awake, my daily routine.

Look closely at your present with a good intent, your daily routine.
You can improve it if you will only submit, your daily routine.
Forget about the future, break out of your stupor, your daily routine.

Make a new decision, time for a new vision.
Try a diff'rent current, don't live as a servant.
Break out of your routine, it's time to start clean.

Take a Risk to be Alive

Inspired by this quote from the book "Veronica decides to die"
"…make me climb some dangerous mountains, because I need to run the risk of being alive"
- Paulo Cuelho

Alive. Take a risk to be alive.
Go for a long run, a long drive.
Leave the hive, risk being alive.
Alive. Take a risk to be alive.

Sunrise. Take a look when you arise.
Watch the sun rise, feel alive.
Wake up, open your eyes.
Alive. Take a risk to be alive.

Follow your heart. Give your life a new start.
Look deep inside. You can go far.
I took the risk and I made a new start.
Alive. Take a risk to be alive.

Sunset. Look at your day, and don't forget.
And through the night, to another sunrise.
And open your eyes to what's inside.
Alive. Take a risk, and be alive.

Alive. Another day to watch the butterflies.
To watch the birds above fly.
Feel alive, feel the life, and fly.
Alive. Take a risk, and be alive.

Follow your heart. Take a risk to be alive.
Go ahead and give it a start, follow your heart.
I'm alive, I took the risk and I'm alive.
Follow your heart's desire and feel alive.

I Want You, I Don't Want You

When I see the moon, I see your smile
When I see the flowers along the roadside, I see your sparkling eyes
When I hear the birds singing, I hear you whispering
When I am walking, alone, I am missing you

At night, lying in my bed, alone
I dream of you being here by my side once again, once again
When I feel the sun on my face, I feel your hand
We are hand in hand, walking together

I loved you and you only. Did you love me?
I don't think so, I read your words, and I don't think so
I tried, I wanted it to be us, always, for always
But it appears that was only me, not you

Can I have you here by my side?
Do I want you back again? By my side?
Yes, and no, and yes, it's hard to say
I want you, I don't want you, I don't know what I want

I miss you, yet I don't miss you
I miss your touch, I do miss your touch
I want you, I don't want you, I don't know what I want

What do I want? It's hard to say
It's hard to say, I just don't know, yet
I want you, I don't want you, I don't know what I want

High and Low

Let me wipe away your tears
Let me hold you when you have fears
Let me take away your doubts
Let me show you what my love is about

High and low
I will soar with you in your highs
High and low
I will stand by you in your lows

I want you and you want me
We are two yet one we should be
Open your door, and please don’t run
Accept me, try me, and let's be one

High and low
I will soar with you in your highs
High and low
I will stand by you in your lows

The Thought Of You

The coffee is brewing
The sky is blueing
The clouds are whitening
The thought of you is frightening

To see you again
Is like ants on my skin
If I hear your voice once more
I will fall flat on the floor

My Friend

The waves roll gently onto the beach
On the breeze is the scent of the peach
Geese fly by in the form of a vee
The sight of my friend fills me with glee

The clouds roll gently across a blue sky
As the sun sets I feel a gentle sigh
The moon casts it soft rays on your face
As I hold you in my warm embrace

But Always We

Looking into your eyes,
Did you steal stars from the skies?
The effect of your smile,
Makes my life worthwhile.
The soft touch of your hands,
Leads me into new lands.
With you I will always be,
Not just me, but always we.

Wake Up

Are you looking for your knight in shining armor, my dear Guinevere?
Are you looking for your Don Juan, my dear Doña Ana?
Are you looking for a man to carry you away into the night?

Are you looking for your Prince Charming, my dear Cinderella?
Are you looking for your Romeo, my dear Juliet?
Are you looking for a man to carry you away into the night?

Wake up! Open your eyes! Look at what you have right in front of you.
Have you considered the one you are with, the one who wants you?
Wake up! Open your eyes! Look at what you have right in front of you.

Love is not an Earthquake

Love is not a feeling,
It is something that must be developed.
Love is not a sensation,
In which we are suddenly enveloped.
Love is not an emotion,
In constant flux like our attitude.
Love is not a perception,
which can be so easily skewed.
Love is a decision you must make
It doesn't just start like an earthquake.
Love requires practice, we must take action
Love comes, at last, from our interaction.

The Healing Path

Life is full of negativity, it is full of bad experiences, but what do you do when you confront adverse situations in your life?

I learned in that terrible year after the death of my wife what not to do.

I learned from the many deaths in my family that a person cannot live if he/she closes himself to everyone close to him.

That is what I did in that year that turned into a living hell. I hope you who are reading this will not do what I did if you find yourself in a life-changing situation. I hope you will read on and find out what I did to get on the path to healing.

After such a difficult time in life, we need to be open to other people. We need to talk to other people. We need to get the feelings out of our mind and out in the air.

Only then can we begin to heal ourselves. Only then can we begin to see that life continues, and those who are now gone cannot prevent us from continuing to live a good and productive life, a life with love in it. We cannot let those who are no longer with us stop us from living. I think it doesn't matter if those people, or that person, are still alive or has gone on to a higher place. We must put them in the back of our mind and focus on our live going forward. I will never forget any I have lost, but my life is not ruled by the loss of them. My life is ruled by my love for them and the knowledge that they would want me to continue the best I can, even without them.

I have memories of my wife returning to my mind ever day, maybe only a few seconds, maybe many minutes. I remember my brothers often. Nevertheless, they are gone and that cannot stop me from living a life of happiness and fulfillment.

Sometimes I have negative thoughts in my mind, but when I do, I force those negative thoughts away by thinking of something positive. I do not dwell on the negativity; I do not dwell on the losses.

To live life to its fullest we must maintain a positive attitude. We must push the negative thoughts back into the dark corners where they came from. Once those negative thoughts are back in their corners we must leave them there, let them live there alone and untouched. We must not return to them and pick them and look at them over and over. That will only result in us becoming bitter and angry people. All our family and friends will see that bitterness and anger in our life, in our attitude, in our personality, in our speaking. There's no hiding that from anyone. Push those negative experiences, memories, back into their corner and leave them there where they belong.

Try to begin living in the light of a new attitude, a new presence, a life that will bring happiness and joy into your soul. Find something that makes you smile. Find something that makes you happy. Then do that whatever-it-is you found. Do it because it will bring a smile to your face. Do it because it will help you heal. Do it because it will help you move your life forward.

I have always loved being out in the natural world – the mountains of Washington state, the Mountains and the deserts of Arizona. The beach of Rocky Point, Mexico. I found joy, peace, happiness when I was hiking, 4x4 off-roading, sitting in the sunshine and listening to the sounds of the natural world around me. That is where I found, and still find, peace and joy. Not so much in solitude, which is nice from time to time, but those times when I needed to recharge my soul, my spirit, and clear my mind.

Whether a person in such a situation as I was in back in 2010 and 2011, or is in a completely different situation, such as a broken heart, the outcome is similar. Not the same, but similar – we need to heal, we need to rejuvenate, we need to take the time to learn who we are without that other person in our life. It's not easy. But, it is a choice. You have to choose – do I move forward or stagnate where I am? Do I look for happiness and joy, or do I settle for anger and bitterness? For me the answer was easy – move forward into a life of fulfillment, personal, spiritual, fulfillment. A life of happiness and joy in everything. I chose to change my attitude and change my life and I've had no second thoughts or doubts about what I chose to do. And remember this: there's always hope.

I am, You are

Do you have a dream to find the one you hope for? I am.
Do you need a hope to carry you through? I am.
Do you wish your hope will come soon? I am.
Do you need a reason to continue on? I am.

I have a dream to find the one I hope for, You are.
On my journey I hope to find the one, You are.
On my journey I wish my hope will come soon, You are.
On my journey I have a reason to carry on, You are.

I Choose the other Path

Sometimes you find yourself on a path you didn't intend to take, but that doesn't mean it won't take you to a wonderful place.

Sometimes you find yourself on a path you did intend to take, but that doesn't mean it will take you to a wonderful place.

Sometime you might choose to take a different path, the path less taken, less popular, but that doesn't mean it won't take you someplace wonderful.

Sometime you will have to make a choice – the path to the left? The path to the right? Which should I choose? How do I decide? Do I go down the popular, well-trodden path? Or the path with many uncertainties?

Nobody can make that choice for you, for me. That is a choice we each have to make for ourselves. Search your heart and you will find the answer. Not just 5 minutes, but hours over days, weeks, months if necessary. Search your heart and you will find your answer.

My life suddenly changed paths without me having to make any decisions about it. It was thrown upon in a moment, in an afternoon. For a year or more afterward, I lived the life of a living hell. Everything I did failed. I lost everything, even myself.

Then I realized I needed to search within myself if I were to climb out of the hole I dig myself into.

I spent many hours over many days and weeks and months sitting alone in the desert. Not a metaphorical desert, but a real desert where I could hear only the sounds of the birds and insects. Where I could see only the creatures created before mankind set foot upon the earth. It was in this time of self-healing, meditation if you will, that I started to find myself again. And from that point on I started the long climb out of a deep, deep hole, out of my personal hell.

I eventually reached the top of the hole, climbed over the rim, and started the next part of my recovery – exploring what to do with the rest of my life. Which path should I take? The known path of an 8-5 routine, the doldrums of the same days repeated over and over again? Or should I look for something different? Something outside of my comfort zone? A path that would cause other people to ask "Are you crazy?"

I had a choice to make – the path known, or the path unknown. If I had chosen the path well known my life wouldn't have changed, not really. It would be the same routine, day after day, with the same people saying the same things. On the other hand, I could have chosen the path unknown, a path I had never set foot to before. A path people said was crazy and dangerous. Two choices – continue my life as it was, or start something new.

I chose to latter option – the path unknown. I had written a message a message to friends telling them about this choice and what I was thinking of doing and in the message I wrote that I was starting a new chapter in the book of my life. One friend I hadn't heard from in many years wrote back "Chip, you're not starting a new chapter in the book of your life, you're starting a new book".

I thought about that statement – I'm starting a new book, not a new chapter. Why is that significant? Taking the path well known would be a new chapter. That would be the same story continuing in the same book. No real changes happening there. It would be easy and comfortable, familiar. Is that what I wanted? Is that what I needed? Familiar? Comfortable? Easy? Or did I need something bigger than that? I decided that yes, I needed something bigger which is why I had decided on the path less taken. The unknown path. It would be full of difficult times, hardships, new friendships, missed loved ones, new loves, new experiences, excitement, a new routine. A new book? Would I be writing an entirely new book of my life? Yes, that is exactly what it would be, break out of my old routine, step out of my comfort zone, and start writing a new life story.

What would that new life story be about? I had no idea, I only knew that I had to do it. With my wife, Cheryl, gone from my life, starting a new book was the only real choice. To choose to stay on the path well known, to have maintained the routine, would have been spiritual death, mental death. A slow road to nothing but unhappiness, possibly bitterness and anger because of the way life turned on me. I had to start a new book; I felt I had no choice but to take the path unknown. However, the question remained – what would this new book be about? What would the plot be? How would it unfold? Only time would answer those questions. Was I nervous with these uncertainties? Afraid of what might happen in such an unknown story? Did I feel trepidation? Honestly only the slightest little bit which I pushed back into the corners of my mind. I felt excitement and wonder. I had the self-confidence to know that no matter what, it was going to work out fine. I knew it wouldn't be easy, writing this new book, but I also had the self-assurance and fortitude to go through with it. And I did.

The day came to step out of one life and into another; to step onto a plane that would take me to a country I knew little about and what I did know was based on what I'd seen on TV or read about on the internet. I left with my carry-on bag and two checked bags. That's all I had of my previous life. Everything else had been sold or given to charity. I decided to make a clean break, and I did just that. Leaving my sons, brothers, relatives, and friends behind wasn't easy. Especially when one son was happy for me and the other wasn't. But I couldn't let that effect my new life story. I love my sons with all my heart, there's no doubt about that. I always will. I may not be there with them, but they have their own life stories to write. That day came, I gave them each hugs, shook their hands, and said "See you later", then I was gone to start a new journey.

I came to this country, foreign to me, with no expectations. I was starting from a clean slate. I would accept my new life in all its glory and with all its defects. I knew it would be different from what I am used to, a new culture, a new society, new norms, different attitudes, and different beliefs. I came not expecting to find the same comfortable life that I had before, but I came expecting adventure and new experiences. That is exactly what I have found.

I am now a little more than 6 years into my new life story, my new book of life. It hasn't been easy, but it has been an adventure. It hasn't been fun-n-games, but it has been an experience that has changed me. Every day is different, I like that. No more 9-5 daily routine that never changes. I like that, too. Every day has had some uncertainties, some days more than others, but that is life, that is what makes it exciting. Without those uncertainties, without those small worries, life would be routine and boring. But, I don't let the negative aspects affect me. I push them back into the corners of my mind and I continue moving forward because that is the direction I am looking – ahead. If I had eyes in the back of my head, maybe I would be going backwards, I don't know. But, what I don't do is this: I don't turn my head and look back at what might have been, what could have been. I focus on the road ahead, always and only, on the path that moves me forward into the new pages, the next chapters, of this new book of my life.

Am I glad for the decision I made back in 2013? Yes. Do I have any regrets about making this decision? No. We all have to choose which path we will take. Think about your paths ahead, consider them, pray about them, think about them, but don't over-think them, don't take the rest of your life wondering which to take. Give careful consideration to the paths for a relatively short period of time, then make a decision, choose a path, and step out onto that path. The alternative – the same life as always. If that is what you choose I hope the best for you, if you choose the path less trodden I know you will find yourself in a new adventure, whether it is good or not is your choice, it is what you make of it.

Gemstone

When I was walking along the malecon
I saw the beach but did not feel alone
I imagined that you were by my side
The sea and my thoughts were at high tide

I imagined us walking together, two birds of a feather
hand in hand, two people, two grains of sand
It's a big universe to go through alone
You're more than a grain of sand, you're my gemstone

Does life have different paths?

I decide to take a particular road and am then involved in an accident. Life would be different.
If I had left just 10 seconds later, would I have missed that accident? Life would be different.
If I had taken a different road, would I have missed that accident? Life would be different.

You decide to go out for dessert; you sit at one particular table facing a particular direction, would we have met? Life would be different.
You could have walked a different route than you usually walk, would we have met? Life would be different.

A different path results in a different life, a different future.
If I had taken the route I usually take, you and I possibly would never have met. Life would be different.
If I had left a minute or two later you and I may not have met. Life would be different.
If you had chosen a different route, you and I may not have met. Life would be different.

This is something I struggle with - does life have different paths?
The bible talks about being "predestined" but just what does that mean? And how much of our day-to-day life is "predestined"?

I wonder about this because I have been a Christian all my life, and have been taught about predestination in church sermons over the years. But, how much of our life is predestined? All of it? Every second? Every minute? Or just the overall story of our life - the beginning and the end?

Am I on the only possible path for my life?

Is there possibly another path that I can't possibly know, or be aware of, even if I'm on it?

I am, I can't

I am who I am
I can't be the man of your dreams
I can only be who I am

I can't be your saving prince, but
I can hold you when you are sad
I can support you when you need to cry

I can't be your every hope, wish, or dream, but
I can listen when you need an ear
I can reassure you when you feel lost

I can't be the one you dream about, but
I can love you when you need to be loved
I can accept you for who you are

I can't change you to be who I want you to be, but
I can love you because of who you are
I can live for you because I love you

I can't be perfect and I don't expect you to be, but
I can hold your hand when that is all you need
I can be devoted to you and you alone because of who you are

I am who I am
I hope I am the man of your dreams
I am who I am and I am here for you.

Smile

Smile,
the sun has risen,
the birds are singin',
the flowers are bloomin',
your smile is all consumin'.
Smile.

What is Love?

People don't just "fall in love". They fall into infatuation. You think you have found your "one", the one you will spend the rest of your life with. You fall head-over-heels in love. Then a few months later, Bang! It all blows up. What happened? I was never love, it was infatuation.

Infatuation is passion, love is passion, but infatuation is temporary, love lasts a lifetime.

Infatuation is sudden and quick, love takes time to develop and nurture.

Infatuation is see the relationship from my own point of view; love is compromise and working together to develop a lasting two-way relationship.

Infatuation is putting the other person on a pedestal that I cannot reach, seeing them as perfect and not seeing any imperfections. They are there, but because we haven't taken the time to develop a relationship I don't know what they are.

Infatuation is Yay! I found my life mate! I WIN! That is not love. Love is about sharing and wanting to live for the other person, not for myself only. It's not I WIN but Let's do this together.

Infatuation is saying you know your new partner like the back of your hand, but you really know next to nothing; while love says I want to learn everything about you, tell me your story, your history, and I will tell you mine.

Infatuation feels jealous every time someone even talks to your new partner because you want the whole world to know that person belongs to you and you only. Love is not jealous, it is secure in the knowledge that you both share the same feelings for each other and would do nothing to endanger those feelings and your relationship.

Infatuation says Let's get married now! Love says Let's get to know each other intimately (not sexually) first and develop our relationship. Marriage doesn't have to happen immediately.

Infatuation is being in love with the way the other person looks, walks, talks, thinks, and their feelings. Love is about a personal and deep knowledge of each other that only comes with time spent together.

Infatuation is insecurity – if your new partner doesn't call or text you one day, you cry and wonder what happened? Love is security, knowing that even without those messages or calls your partner loves you every day, more and more as life goes on.

Infatuation is feeling the relationship must always be perfect, never an argument or fight, never a rude word spoken, but always happiness and joy and pleasantries. Love is about settling differences through compromise, hugs and kisses, and understanding that building a lifetime relationship is work, hard work, for both people to take part in. You know things will go wrong from time to time, and you know the two of you can work it out.

Infatuation is drama, a lot of drama in the relationship – overblowing the small things, saying things to hurt the other person because they did something that may have hurt you.

Infatuation is about holding your partner to too-high expectations and then getting upset when those expectations are not met. Love is tender and sweet, it is talking and working through problems, giving support to each other and never talking bad about each other.

Infatuation is stressful, it will drain your energy and you will be tired a lot of the time. You will be consumed by questions such as What is he doing tonight? Where is she at right now? Why hasn't he contacted me? You are constantly worried about your partner, dreaming about him, thinking about her, worried, and you cry for them. Love is none of that. It doesn't drain you, it gives you energy. In a real loving relationship you feel joy and gratitude.

Infatuation is needing to be connected to another person, needing that feeling of companionship. In the tough times, though, where is your partner? Are you on your own? You want and need their attention, are you getting it? Love is a connection that is not broken, even by distance. You and your partner are a team and the two of you work through life as a team. You don't feel alone because you know you have a partner who will always be by your side, not in front of you, not behind. But rather, standing side-by-side with you, with your hand is hers.

We can spend our lives searching for or waiting for the "one, right person" to suddenly appear in front of us. Or, we can choose the person who shows us they are truly interested in us for who we are, not for their own desire of a fleeting, temporary, relationship. Because love is not about me, it's not about you. It's not about my "feelings". It's not about your feelings. It's about two people taking action, the action needed to get to know one another, and develop something called love, that they both share equally.

Real love often occurs in a context in which the feeling of love is lacking, when we act lovingly even though we don't particularly feel loving or even feel like we like the person at the moment.

Real love does not have its roots in a feeling of love.

Real love is about how we act towards the one we want to be with. Love is a decision you make and continue to make in order to create an experience that is described as love.

Love is an action that if you don't use it you lose it. Love is like any communication, if you never send it out, you won't get a return.

Love is an experience related to a strong sense of affection. Affection is a "disposition or state of mind or body" that is often associated with a feeling or type of love. This definition suggests that you do something rather than have something done to you.

How do you feel affection for anything? You would actually decide to show it love, admire it, pay attention to it, treat it right, honor it, praise it, and find the good in it. At which point you will then have affection for it.

Love is something you give to others, not something you feel because something happens to you.

Love is something we develop over time, not a day, a week, a month. Maybe not even a year. It must be worked at, it must be learned through interaction with the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.

Do you have to "fall in love" or "feel love" for another person before you decide to spend the rest of your life with that person?

If you answer is Yes, then you will probably find nothing but failure in your love life.

A Love Apart

I am yet young,
With hopes, wishes, and dreams.
I'm far from done,
With the birds I will sing.

The sun will rise,
And the moon, it still glows.
Stars are the eyes,
And we forget our throes.

I hope life's long,
My wish is for yours, too.
Life is a song
I want to sing with you.

The clouds above,
I watch them, and I dream.
Soft sounds of a dove,
They pull my heart strings.

I think of you,
And the love in your heart,
One of a few,
A love that sets you apart.

Ascension

You are a dear friend, unlike any other,
I will always love you more than any other.
Just as the birds singing every morning,
The stars are all yours, for your adorning.

Your beauty, as natural as nature can be,
As the corals that grow within our great seas.
Your soft voice always draws my attention,
Being with you is my ascension.

Waves

Some are big, some are small,
Some have too much force,
Others none at all.

They’re blue or they’re white,
Here they come again,
They’re frosty, they’re bright.

They never stop, they never end, waves.

Don’t let’em in your mouth,
Awful taste of salt,
You’ll want to go south.

Don’t let’em in your eyes,
They sting like a fright,
They are worse than lies.

They never stop, they never end, waves.

Some hit me on the chin,
And against my head,
Here they come again.

They push me, they pull me,
They make me feel small,
I prob’ly should flee.

They never stop, they never end, waves.

They are strong, they are weak,
Here they come again,
They’re full of mystique.

Are they coming? Are they going?
Some are soft, some not,
Are never slowing.

They never stop, they never end, waves.

They are often gentle,
They can be frightful,
And sometimes mental.

They never stop, they never end,
Rolling in and out,
Think of them, transcend.

They never stop, they never end, waves.

Me on the old Muelle (dock)

Chip Wiegand

Barranquilla, Colombia

Contact me: Chip Wiegand

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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