chip wiegand

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

...I shall never forget his disappointment when once he caught me gaffing for fish 'just for the fun of it'.
'My Son' he said, 'The Great Spirit gave you those fish to be your brothers, to feed you when you are hungry. You must respect them. You must not kill them just for the fun of it.

-- Chief Dan George

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.

Visited Usiacuri, a new kitten, expatriots

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Finally, I'm updating my website. So what has been happening?

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. There's a park with a soccer field, and at the side of it a steep hillside to climb, and at the top of the hillclimb is a statue and a view of the historic church across the small valley. There are a few small tiendas (neighborhood grocery stores, but they are very small, usually one or two rooms in a persons house that have been converted into the tienda), one or two similar sized hardware stores, a couple similar sized restaurants, and a community arts center. Oh, and a similar sized shoe store. I didn't see any gasoline stations in the town. And the very old church that sits on top of a small hill overlooking the entire town. The town is known for the arts center, where many residents are involved in making baskets and other things from Iraca palm. The area has been populated since the early 1500's.

Hmm, what else has been happening in the last few months? 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. And I'm still working on the English learning website. Now finally about halfway finished. All of the lessons/quizzes/tests are finished for the A1 level, and I'm through the fitst 7 units for the A2 level. The one problem I will face is in recording the audio - I can't do it all myself, I'm going to need one or two more people for doing conversations. I haven't found another native English speaker here, yet, to help me with that. There are a few, not many, I just have to find them.

We have a cat now. One evening Sandra and I were walking to a supermarket, and we came across a kitten crying and wandering on the sidewalk, alone. We stopped and petted it, Sandra picked it up, talked to it, and then put it down and we started to walk away. The kitten followed us. We stopped again, picked it up and put it into a nearby garden, expecting it to stay there in the safety of the garden. 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. When we got home he had drank all the milk. The next day we bought it some food and he made himself at home with us. I got an empty box, cut it down a bit, and put in some dirt (actually sand, as there is virtually no dirt here, just sand). And the kitten took to it immediately. He has never gone potty on the floor. We believe he was born outdoors, a feral cat, and so never needed to be house trained. That was maybe 3 months ago. Now he climbs all over everything, even the security bars on the window, and climbs up to the awning, then onto the roof. He doesn't like going out front, it's too noisy and too many cars/trucks/busses. He doesn't like that. And that's a good thing. His name is Tom, he's black with white from his nose, chest, and stomach, and his feet. He's a wonderful little guy to have with us.

I've read that there are around 9 million U.S. citizens living overseas. These citizens are supposed to, are required (by law), to pay the US Government income taxes (actually, all taxes as if they are living in the US). Yet the US Government does not provide services to these millions of citizens, services that other US resident may receive such as roads, hospitals, unemployment insurance, etc. Nor do US citizens living overseas receive US government protection of local property (legal, courts, police, etc). Such services and protections are provided by the country in which these people are resident in and pay a fair share of taxes to. In other words, he US Government, in exchange for its taxation of these US citizens, as if they are residents of the US, does not provide any local services or local protection of property.

I believe, as do most, if not all, of the expatriates from the US, that the US claim of tax jurisdiction over residents of other countries is not justified.

An unofficial survey was done on Twitter about what term might be used to describe this double-taxation by the US government, and the term "Kafkaesque" won out over Orwellian, Catch-22, and Dystopian.

But I think another term, and a better name, for it all is "Tributary Slavery". Samuel Adams coined the term in relation to taxation without representation. Certainly today Tributary Slavery is a more applicable term to American citizens living overseas than it was to the Colonists in 1764. Today there are no services or protection of property in exchange for the taxation, unlike the situation 253 years ago. While US citizens overseas may vote, there is no representation in the true sense of the word as the votes get divided among the 50 states, and there is no representative only representing US citizens overseas. Therefore, the US Government to which we pay taxes does not represent me or the millions of other expatriot citizens. Evidence of this has been an enduring situation that Kafka might appreciate, and which Samuel Adams and the other Founding Fathers would find deplorable.

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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.

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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.