chip wiegand

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

Always Do Your Best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

--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.

Bogota Trip

October 24, 2016

We got home sunday in the afternoon, after a long bus ride. It must have been the milk run route - the driver stopped in just about every little town along the way. It was about 20 hours, if not more, for the trip home. We have many photos which I have posted in the photo album, just look for the Bogota album. And some videos as well.

While we were in Bogota my landlady contacted me to tell me she found my neighbors cat in our apartment. She said it appeared to have not done anything bad inside, but may have been there for 3 days, just crying to get out. The only possible way for the cat to get in is from the patio. Which means the cat had to be on the roof, then jump down to a steel-bar grate over the top of the patio, then jumped down through the grate to the laundry sink, then to the floor. I had left the patio door open just so the room would have some fresh air while we were away. But, when we got home, we found thingw were a bit dirtier than we'd hoped or expected. And after that very long bus ride we were mopping, 3 times, the apartment. Then I found that the toilet tank wasn't refilling with water after a flush. So, the next task was to dive into the tank and find out what was wrong there, and I did - the valve inside the tank was plugged. Not a great way to start our evening back home.

Friday night we received an email from the Ministry of Exterior Relations (they handle the visas and passports), They denied the visa. :( Which means we have to re-apply - in 6 months. So the money that was sent to us will be set aside and saved for that time, unless you want it back, just contact me and say the word, and I'll send it back to you, no problem. As for why it was denied, there is no explanation given. Our guess is that it is because of the short amount of time we have been married before applying for the visa - they probably assume the marriage is only for the purpose of my getting legal. That is of course an incorrect assumption on their part, but there is no arguing with them about it, no negotiating. It's done, for now. We'll just do it again in 6 months.

It is nice to be back in Barranquilla where the weather is warm, very warm. No coats, jackets, sweaters, needed here. In Bogota people are bundled up in coats and scarves in the evenings, and light jackets in the day.

There is a road in Bogota, Calle 7, which is closed to all motor vehicles, for many kilometers. There are many office buildings/shopping centers/museums/restaurants/etc in this part of town and people are happy to walk on with the intrusion of motor vehicles. The President's Home is at one end of this former busy city street. I got a couple pictures of it, but from a distance, because the police around the place don't allow anyone close enough to get good pics.

On Saturday morning we walked through a small part of the area again, and went by the front of the Museum of Gold. We saw the price and decided we could afford that one museum; it was only 3000 pesos (about 1 dollar US). And at the ticket counter we got an even better surprise - I was free because of my age (I'm not old, yet, just old enough to get into this one museum for free). The Museum of Gold is a fascinating place to visit. We have many pics, I'll post on my website photo album after I get through sorting through them all.

Some of the other pics you will see there will be pics of the very first church build in Bogota, back in the 1540's (If I remember correctly, but it was in the 1500's). It is still used for services. We were allowed to go inside and take some pictures. The pics don't give you the impression you get when you are inside the place, of course, but they are well worth looking at. There are pics of several other very old churches. There is another church that dates back a couple hundred years, but they don't allow any camera usage inside, so no pics of that one. And it has some very beautiful sculptures and carvings inside.

So we didn't get the visa, and we have to wait 6 months before we can re-apply, we still have all the money people sent us for this, and it will be used for this when the time comes. We did have a nice time visiting the capitol of Colombia, but I like Barranquilla better - fewer people, warmer weather, friendlier people. But, Bogota is a better city to visit if you are a "culture vulture" type of person; and it is quieter (almost no horn honking, which is nonstop in Barranquilla), the climate is cooler (bring a sweater/jacket and umbrella). I like the food of Barranquilla better as well, though because of our tight budget we didn't eat a wide variety of foods.

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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

Human remains found in the western Mexican state of Michoacán have been identified as journalist Salvador Adame, who was missing for more than a month, a state prosecutor said Monday.
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President Trump said designs for his proposed US-Mexico border wall are already in the works, telling an Iowa crowd the wall may be a solar panel energy saving wall.
Secretary General António Guterres' announcement that he would pull the $400 million plan designed to help Haiti's cholera outbreak, which the UN played a role in bringing to the island, is a huge betrayal, writes Stephen Lewis.
President Donald Trump rankled Mexico again, this time calling it the second deadliest country in the world. Mexico quickly countered, saying Trump's claim is wrong. So who's right?
Bruised, battered and facing financial ruin after the 2013 America's Cup defeat, the Kiwis have transformed themselves into the team to beat four years on.
Behind a bookshelf and through a hidden door in a Buenos Aires, Argentina, suburb, police have discovered a dusty, secret room holding a massive trove of Nazi-era artifacts.

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.


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.


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.