chip wiegand

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

Be Impeccable With Your Word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

-- 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.

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.

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 the end, it was Chris Froome winning his fourth Tour, that was expected, but what wasn't expected was the lackluster performance of Colombian Nairo Quintana, who was expected to finish on one of the podiums top two steps; he ended his tour in twelfth place. What wasn't expected was the rise of Colombian Rigoberto Urán, on the Cannondale Drapac team. He finished 54 seconds behind Froome, taking second place overall. We also saw Colombian Carlos Betancur finish 18th position, Segio Henao finish 28th, John Atapuma finish in 41st, Jarlanson Pantano finish 46th, Johan Chaves finish 62nd. Seven Colombians started the 3540 kilometer race, and all seven finished the race, with the lowest finisher being Chaves in 62nd place. Overall it was a very good Tour for Colombianos.

The position Nairo Quintano had on the Movistar team (a team from Spain) was that of team leader, #1. Everyone here in Colombia were rooting for Nairo for the win. It would have been possible if not for one mistake he made at the beginning of the season, or more likely, before the season began - setting his goal to win both the Tour de France and the Giro de Italia, where he finished 2nd this year. By doing that he made himself too weak to be competitive in the Tour de France. The Tour de France winner has to plan his entire season, and his year up to the Tour, for just that one win - the Tour de France.

The Canondale Drapac team is from the USA, but has on 3 riders from the USA. Rigoberto Urán is number 188. The teams number 1 rider did virtually nothing in the tour this year, finishing 54th, more than 2 hours behind. Nathan Brown (USA) finished 43rd, the highest finisher after Rigoberto, for the team. On the team Rigoberto's job was of "domestique" to help the teams #1 rider. But in stage 9, on Sunday the 9th, Rigoberto came alive. The stage that day was in the Alps, and included 7 categorized climbs. Two of the retired riders I mentioned above crashed out of the Tour in this stage. But Rigoberto took the lead and out-sprinted (though he is not a sprinter) such top contenders as Froome and Romain Bardet. The photo finish was so close! Rigoberto beat Marcel Kittel by no more than a couple centimeters, literally the depth of the tires. Then on Saturday the 22nd we saw the second of two individual time trials in this years contest. And who should surprise everyone with another above-expectations result? Rigoberto. At the beginning of the stage he was in 3rd place overall. At the end, had had moved himself comfortably into 2nd.

On stage 18 Darwin Atapuma struck out on his own in search of a stage win. He didn't get the win, but rather, he got second because Warren Barguil came sprinting up behind him and in the last 200 or so meters took the lead from Darwin. A disappointment, but a second place finish is still impressive, and better than Chris Froome (finished 4th, 20 seconds behind) and many others on that day.

As for the other Colombia riders, they all did their jobs as expected and ended the Tour with very good showings, and giving all Colombianos world-wide a reason to cheer for their country, a reason to feel pride for their country.

As for the riders who come from the USA, Nathan Brown finished in 43rd, I mentioned him above, he's the #1 rider for the Canondale team; Andrew Talansky finished 49th, also of the Canondale team; Taylor Phinney finished 159th. That's the representation the USA had in this years Tour de France. Taylor and Andrew are domestiques, they are there to help the #1 rider, so no surprise by their finishes, but Nathan Brown is definitely a disappointment.

Well, now the Tour is completed, it's back to watching auto racing, and this is also a new sport for Sandra, and she has found the World Rally Championship and the World Rally Cross Championship to be very exciting and fun to watch. She watches the other races with me as well - V8 Supercars, BTCC, WTCC, and F1. I'm surprised she has taken such an interest, and certainly very pleased she has.

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.

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

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."

Visited Usiacuri, a new kitten, expatriots

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

One weekend we took a day trip out to a very small town, here referred to as a village, called Usiacuri. It's about 25 miles south of Barranquilla. It's a nice little town with no large businesses of any kind... I've been working a lot - I spend a lot of time walking to and from students. Though now my monthly walking distance has dropped (my students are closer to my home now) from 175 kilometers per month to only 100 kilometers per month...We walked on, and the kitten followed us again. This time Sandra picked it up and asked me if she could keep it. She put it into her pocket, he seemed to be quite happy. We talked about it for a couple minutes and I said Okay. So we turned around and took the kitten home, put it in the patio with a bowl of milk, closed the door and left again for the supermarket.


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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Habla español? Visit CNN en Español for all the latest news and updates in Spanish.
Canadian authorities are scrambling to manage the exponential surge of asylum seekers flooding into Quebec province border. So many people have been fleeing in the past few months that Canadian police have set up tents for processing and background checks.
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Canadian officials stress that the influx can be handled and at no time has the security of the country been compromised.
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Venezuela remained a powder keg on Sunday as authorities said they had quelled an anti-government paramilitary attack at a military base that led to the deaths of two people, and the country's attorney general defied her ouster by the newly elected National Constituent Assembly.

Barranquilla Life


R/C On Road Barranquilla, a local organization of RC racers, brings officially remote control car racing to the city by hosting the very first national tournament of the discipline this weekend. The event which has 22 confirmed drivers from Medellin, Bogota, and Miami, will kick off this Thursday and Friday with the free and timed

The post National RC Cars competition starts Friday in Barranquilla appeared first on Barranquilla Life.


Six thousand million pesos (close to $2 million USD) were granted to thirty-nine sports leagues of the district, to be invested in preparatory events in local and national competitions. The resources and equipment were given to the 35 associations of various disciplines that make up the Association of Atlantic Sports Leagues, ALDA in Spanish, and

The post Mayor Char Increases Local Sports Leagues Budget appeared first on Barranquilla Life.


Winners of FICICA 2017 were announced this week. On Saturday, April 13th, the Cine de la Calle’s FICICA (International Short Film Fest) gave its last showcase of shorts in the acoustic conch of the Sagrado Corazón Park. During the six days, they had workshops, conferences, and of course short film presentations. This event brought together

The post Winners of FICICA 2017 Short Film International Festival appeared first on Barranquilla Life.


To come up with a cool, innovative present for my mom each year is not an easy task for me. I mean, there is her birthday in February, Christmas in December and Mother’s Day in May… plus any old day, I-was-thinking-of-you present, but those are easy because they don’t require planning for a specific day.

The post GUIDE: Bowling for Mother’s Day at The Fun Zone appeared first on Barranquilla Life.


It’s been a long year since I enjoyed a December-night of dancing to North and Latin American retro music with friends, who are now spread out across the globe. It was at the Oro Puro bar. I remember the lights around us; the menu full of cocktails and food; retro movie and series posters with

The post When was the last time you enjoyed dancing to Disco and 80’s retro music? appeared first on Barranquilla Life.


On Sunday, April 30th Children’s Day was celebrated on the streets Barrio Abajo with a series of ludic activities. Fabila Acosta and Faleimy Delgado from Fundación Casa de Hierro got together teachers who volunteered to give back some of their know-how to the children. The kids from the neighborhood had fun painting murals with artist

The post Photos: Children’s Day in Barrio Abajo appeared first on Barranquilla Life.


A cyclist controversy occurred last month. While the two biggest Colombian representatives of the sport that have given more glories to our country (Nairo Quintana and Mariana Pajon) heated the debate on the administration of the Colombian Cycling Federation, Sofia Arrieta and Gabriela Bolle stand out winning races at the United States Cycling Elite National

The post In the middle of the national cyclist controversy, two local riders excel in international events. appeared first on Barranquilla Life.


Outdated stereotypes and age-old mottos, unions and left-wing student movements amassed on the streets; a now established repertoire for international workers’ day demonstrators who are ironically there precisely to march against the establishment. Walking in complete calm and civility under the scorching sun and punished by the relentless heat, Barranquilla’s demonstrators completed the traditional march

The post May Day: International Worker’s Day March in Barranquilla appeared first on Barranquilla Life.


DJs Mr. Bignayo and Hoyo Negro brought down the house at the presentation night of the 17th edition of FICICA, the City’s Short Film Festival. The event that took place last Friday night at the Alianza Francesa started with a press conference at the AF Library, lead by the director of FICICA, Harold Ospina, and

The post FICICA, Barranquilla´s Street Film Festival opens on high note with an opening party and press conference at Alianza Francesa. appeared first on Barranquilla Life.