chip wiegand

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

There are many who look, but only some who see.

Chief Dan George

Castillo Salgar, update from David

April 22, 2016

Hello to everyone!

I discovered a great coffee a couple weeks ago. I was walking through a store I don't normally shop in, it's too expensive for most items, and I was looking at the coffee section, thinking "There are a lot of Colombian coffees here, I should try one of these". So I picked one called Al Amir. It's a 100% Colombian coffee with Cardomom. And it is fantastic! The name is Arabic because of the Cardomom, apparently adding Cardomom makes it an Arabic blend. I don't know, I'm no connoisseur, I just like the taste. It's a mild coffee with the slightly minty flavor of the Cardomom. A perfect late afternoon coffee, as is vanilla coffee, also a very good coffee for later in the day. In the mornings I prefer a cinnamon coffee. So far I have found a vanilla coffee and a cinnamon coffee made by Sello Rojo. The cinnamon coffee is harder to find so sometimes I buy the regular unflavored black coffee and buy some cinnamon sticks and crush them into the coffee grounds. If you haven't tried it, you should. As for finding these coffees in North America or other countries, Sello Rojo should be available, but Al Amir is probably not in North America (according to their web site they are only exporting to China). There are quite a few other coffees I haven't yet tried, but will as time goes on.

A couple weeks ago I went to Castillo Salgar. It is a historical building on the cliffs above the Caribbean. The castle San Antonio de Salgar was built by the Spanish in 1848 over the ruins of an older fort. The original use of the fort was to inspect and control smuggling of goods through the port. Over the years it has had numerous uses including a defense fort, a jail, a school for disabled people, and a branch of the University of Atlantico Fine Arts department. Now it is a restaurant/events facility. There are pictures in the photo album. Details seem to be a bit sketchy, but there is a Spanish language wikipedia page about it, and very little information on any other websites. I went to the castle with two friends, one of whom is my landlady. The other was her neighbor.

I am rebuilding my Chip's English Help website. I had been using a backend system called Moodle, which is a fantasticly complex system used by colleges, universities, schools and businesses all over the world, but it also much more than I need for my site. So, I found another educational system to build my site on and it is much easier to work with. My site isn't complicated and doesn't require such a system as Moodle. Building the site is a slow and painstaking process when working on it alone. So progess is slow. But it is progressing. Some day I will finish it, when I don't know.

I have finally finished one of my grammar books. I have written two. This particular one is for my intermediate/advanced students. I haven't gotten it printed yet because I probably need to make some small changes to the formatting. Turns out that MS Word was never intended for book writing, and it does a terrible job at formatting a book. Adobe InDesign is a book writing/formatting application, but has a very steep learning curve. There's gotta be something in between those two, but I haven't found it yet. The other book I am writing is a grammar book for my beginner/elementary students. I have to proof read that one still, then deal with the formatting of it as well. Now I know that using MS Word was a mistake, that won't happen again.

On the teaching front, nothing new to report. I have a full morning schedule, and a full evening schedule. I sometimes have students in the afternoons, when they are in town. One of them does inspections onboard ships (cargo/container ships), another two are pilots, and another just seems to be out of town more often that average. Oh well, that's all okay, as it gives me time to work on the books and the website.

What else can I write about? Oh, the weather is nice, as always - 92/93 degrees F. every day, all year round, and 80'ish F every night, all year round, with a few puffy white clouds floating overhead, occasionally, no, rarely, are they grey. This week we had a few minutes of light rain, I think it was our first rain of the year. Yeah, I'm pretty sure it was.

Oh, I certainly can't leave without bringing you up to date with David. He sent me a message a couple days ago, here is what he wrote -

i still work as much as they let me. the work schedule is 40 hours a week, 4 ten hour days, my boss works tues thru fri. other bosses work mon thru thru. i used to be able to go out on my day off, mon, with a different boss, which was nice becuz i like to stay busy it makes my time go by faster. but now some one up above here in the chain of command changed that, so now since im assigned to a crew i cant go work for a another one. which pisses me off cuz now i have to be stuck inside the fence one more day of every week. i cant really complain to much though, it is prison. i feel lucky enough to be able to go outside the fence and not be in a cell for my time. right.
other than that i still lift weights 6 days a week. last week i dead lifted 405lb for 5 sets of 4. i just got done with a light weight high rep cycle which i was deadlifting 225 for 5 sets of 15 reps. my bench press i was doing 190 for 5 sets of 15. last year when i got back from the chelan fire i was benching 225 for 8 sets of 8 reps. but that was with actual real meat and food still in me from the fire kitchen. the meals they serve here are pathetic, and no protein. they wont feed us prisoners enough protein/ food becuz they dont want us getting bigger than the staff. so its hard to get any major muscle growth. but i still work out has hard as i can and i have gain size. i still got a year left also so i should be leaving here alright

If you want to contact him send me a message and I will tell you how. I know he would love to hear from anyone who will write to him.

Well, that's about all for now. I do keep my website updated at least once a month, and have been posting pictures of Barranquilla in the photo album.

Till next time - Chao!

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.

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