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

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.

-- Mark Twain

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

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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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Name: Sandra Milena Cabrera Vargas

City: Barranquilla

State: Atlantico (may not be necessary)

Country: Colombia

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Barranquilla Life

05/18/2017

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.

05/17/2017

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.

05/05/2017

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.

05/03/2017

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.

05/03/2017

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.

05/02/2017

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.

04/30/2017

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.

04/19/2017

Santo Tomás, a town on the bank of the Magdalena river, neighboring Barranquilla keeps alive one of Holy Week’s most controversial and remarkable traditions.  Photos by: Pacho Manrique “The discipline” soars, drawing a semicircle through the air, before cracking as its’ beads find their fleshy mark. An aching body, swollen from physical punishment, is about

The post Culture: Peculiar Penance in Santo Tomás appeared first on Barranquilla Life.

04/14/2017

Holy Sweet Season During Lent and the Easter season, Barranquilleros enjoy the most delicious sweets. These candies and treats are home-made, and have become a popular tradition in the city during this special time of year. Enjoy the combination of the sweets and the breeze while taking a walk around the city this Holy season.

The post A sweet tradition during Easter Holy Week (Semana Santa) appeared first on Barranquilla Life.

04/03/2017

Clandestino Metal Rock Club hosted a tribute event to The Misfits and The Ramones this past Saturday, April 1st. If you’re not familiar with the place, neither was I, only until a few months ago when I saw a Facebook friend tagged to their post. And as you’re driving down Murillo, you can’t miss the club

The post Culture: Slam dancing at Clandestino Metal Rock Club (Video) appeared first on Barranquilla Life.