chip wiegand

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

Don't Make Assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

-- 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.

My girlfriend and I are getting married

Sept 22, 2016

My landlady/student go me a book of Spanish stories/songs for children to help me learn more Spanish. A couple days ago I was reading one of the stories with my girlfriend Sandra, and I mispronounced one word and she started laughing, a lot. I didn't know why it was so funny. She started to explain it to me but she doesn't speak English so she just pointed to a particular body part on me and said the word I mispronounced and then I realized why it was so funny, in the context of the story (about a cardboard doll). She kept teasing me about it. We laughed so much I had tears in my eyes.

Sandra, and I went to Santa Marta on a recent weekend. Santa Marta is a small coastal town a couple hours drive from Barranquilla. It has some very nice beaches, many tall apartment/condo buildings, and a surprisingly large mall, which is very new. I was surprised by the size of it considering the size of the town. Before we left Barranquilla I expected that Sandra would be more familiar with Santa Marta than I am (I've been there twice, and once to Rodadero, nearby). As it turned out we discovered I am more familiar with the town than she is. When the bus arrived in the city and stopped to let people off I didn't recognize the location, it was under construction, and Sandra also didn't recognize it. So we stayed on the bus. When it arrived at the opposite end of the town the bus guy said we should get off if we were going into Santa Marta. We did, but neither of us recognized the location. I new which direction we had to go to get back to the downtown area and then to the beaches, but it was quite a walk. We got to see an area of the town neither of us had seen before. We eventually made it to the beach, after well over an hour of walking. And of course, being a weekend, and late morning, the beaches were quite full of people. So we walked to the far end of the beaches until we couldn't go any further, still many people. Then we walked up to the street and looked for a restaurant for lunch. That was more work than expected as well. We were wanting a particular type of fish, Roballo, but the restaurants, it turns out, in Santa Marta, don't serve it. After much more walking we eventually settled for a typical lunch - rice, chicken, salad. We explored the new mall and eventually headed back home around dinner time.

Sandra is wonderful. We passed each other in the street a couple times and simply said "buenos dias" and kept walking. Then one day I was walking along the street and passing a clothing boutique and after I past it I heard someone behind me calling out "senior, senior!" so I turned to see who it was and if it was directed at me. The sun was in my eyes so it was difficult to make out who it was, so I walked back to the person. It was a woman, the one I had passed on the street a couple times. She invited me into the boutique and we talked, if you can call it that, and laughed a lot, as my Spanish is still basic, though improving. I think I was there at least a half hour, maybe longer. We became instant friends. And since then we have grown in our love for each other and are getting married. We will be doing a civil union marriage. Here in Colombia a civil union is equal to a church marriage, the only difference is the location of the ceremony. We don't have a date set yet because we are waiting for my papers to be completed so I can get married. She has two adult sons, ages 22 and 21, and she is a widow. I have two adult sons and am a widower. Sandra and I fit together like two pieces in a puzzle, it's been quite surprising to find someone that fits with me so well and so easily. She enjoys exercising with me, watching various types of motor racing, going for walks, and when we can get bikes - bicycling. Her sense of humor complements mine. It must be God's directing us together. She is a christian, as am I, and we pray together every day. I love her very much. In my 3+ years here in Colombia I have dated, at least a couple times, at least half a dozen women, and met and talked to many others. Now I can put all that dating balogny behind me and dedicate my life to the one I have been given to share my life - Sandra Milena Cabrera.

Getting myself legal is not an easy process because of the fact that my visa is expired. And it is complicated by the office manager at the immigrations office - she wants to follow the letter of the law, with no regard to anything else (such as my pending marriage). If she gets her way, she will deport me. The other guys in the office are doing everything possible to prevent that from happening. They are trying to get me legal without me having to leave the country. I, and my landlady/student Yanet, have spent many hours at the immigrations office this past couple weeks, and it appeard all was going well, except for the final piece, the manager, and the words she wrote on one form. So we have to go back and spend more time there trying to iron things out.

So, on that note I need to ask my friends for some help, financial help. In getting legal to get married I have to pay fees and penalties fees (for the expired visa). If anyone can help in any amount we would greatly appreciate it. Just send me a message at the contact link on this page, and I will provide the details for sending money. There is also a Western Union link on this page with the necessary info. To cover all the fees involved I will need about $750. That will cover the various fees for getting legal, getting married, and the penalties for the expired visa.

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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.

Free counters! - RSS Channel - Regions - Americas

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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.


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


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.