chip wiegand


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

When we respect everybody around us, we are in peace with everybody around us.

-- 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.
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.

Apartment issues, school progress

Thursday, 20 June 2013

I should try to do a better job of remembering some of the things that happen day to day. One evening I was out with George and his family, we walked a few blocks away to eat dinner at a small roadside food stand. Very good papas and empanadas. While we were just ordering our food I something drop out of the tree above us. Just caught a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye. It rolled under the cart so I didn't know what it was. George told me is was a mango. Seems mango trees are everywhere here, just shade trees. Just gotta be ready to be knocked on the head by a falling mango. Oh papas, most of you probably don't know what that is - it's potato that is mostly mashed and formed into a ball, but is also hollowed out and filled. they can have different fillings. The one I had had chicken filling. Not just chicken by itself but a bit of other stuff as well. At any rate, they are very good.

We've made several trips downtown to talk to the immigrations people about getting our visa's changed from tourist to work visas. Our options are to leave the country and come back in as employees of a company, or pay a fee and they immigrations guy can get it done for us without leaving the country. It's cheaper to pay him to do it for us. I will soon have not only a work visa but resident papers as well. As a business partner wtih George that means I will have access to bank credit, and everything that a legit business gets. It's all coming along fine.

We have made business cards and flyers for the school, we'll get those from the printer in a day or two. There are many, many people interested in being students in our school. In the last 3 days we've confirmed more than 20, not including one family of 6, all of whom will be signed up. There is a variety store just a couple doors up from me on the corner, a very busy little shop, the owners name is Edgar. He has become a very friend for George and I. Edgar is handing out flyers for the school to his customers (he averages 200 regular customers every day), and telling them about it, where it will be. He is as excited about as we are. He will be one of my private students, and all of his family will be school students. The owner of the gym George and I go to, a very small gym with not much weight lifting equipment, is also very excited about the school and is also handing out flyers to his customers.

Issues have arisen in regards to my apartment. First, when George and I talked to a woman named Elsa about renting it, we understood her as saying that I could make her an offer on any of the furniture that was here in one of the bedrooms. After I got moved in, which was easy as all I had was my two small suitcases of clothes, I found that the one bedroom with the furniture stored in it was locked. A day or two later the Elsa's niece came over and I asked her to unlock the room so I could look at the furniture to decide if I wanted any to make an offer on. First she said she didn't have the key to the door, I said Look at all those keys you have, surely one will fit the door. So she relented and the first key she tried tried opened the room. I found a dinette set and a queen size bed, a stove and refrigerator. Apartments here do not incluce appliances, the renter has to bring in their own. I moved those out and was going to make an offer on them. The next day Elsa changed her mind, said she never said I could make an offer on the furniture, and was mad that the room was opened. She came over here to the apartment and moved the furniture, all but the refrigerator, back into the room and locked it again. It turned out the stove didn't work, so I paid 70 mil pesos (mil is thousand in spanish) to get it working, and she moved it back in also. Of course I wasn't happy about this so I told her I needed the room emptied so I could use it for classes. She said she rented me only two rooms, not three. She said it was in the contract. I said "What contract? I haven't seen any contract yet". She just argued, and the next day George and I decided it would be best if I just moved out. I told Elsa that I was moving out that same day. A couple hours later she called and begged me to stay AND I could use the furniture. That was yesterday. Today, she calls George and tells him she wants me moved out that day. She said she would give me back my money (550 mil pesos). George called his attorney who told him to contact the police mediator. There just happens to be such an office just a 10 minute walk away. We went there this morning and talked to the mediator, who said the same thing the attorney said - she can't kick me out legally, she has to let me stay, and up to 3 months. I don't understand all of the legal stuff that is happening with the situation, but apparently the police are going to bring her in for questioning, somehow all this is related to extortion, I don't know how. At any rate, we should have an answer on whats going on in the next day or so. I will post an update when I get more info.

When I was grocery shopping the other day I found a few family items - Special K and Life cereals (which I bought), Oreo cookies, Aunt Jamima Syrup, Old El Paso Salsa, Smuckers Strawberry Preserve (which I bought), and a few other items, but I couldn't find any relish to mix in with the tuna. I haven't figured out the milk yet. It's not sold in jugs or cartons. It's sold in plastic bags, and it's not refrigerated, apparently it doesn't require refrigeration. But I haven't figured out which is non-fat, 1%, 2% (if they even have those). So I just bought milk. It tastes like milk, works the same in cereal and with chocolate milk mix, as I would expect.

Yesterday when we were downtown we walked by a music store, so I had to stop in and look around. Most of the guitars are of the "classical" or spanish style, ie nylon strings. There are regular electric guitars and basses of course. I found a tenor and an alto sax, would be great to be able to buy at least one of those, but that will have to wait till I start making a regular income from teaching. I do miss my horns and guitars.

Chao!

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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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