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

The same way that you are the main character of your story, you are only a secondary character in everybody else's story.

Don Miguel Ruiz

BarranquiJazz and my job at Kal Tire

18 Sept 2014

Hi everybody! I hope all are doing well. I am.

Things have changed quite a lot in my work situation - Kal Tire, my employer, is not my employer any more. I was laid off from my job, as well as 4 or 5 other people, here in Barranquilla, and many, many more at other Kal Tire locations worldwide. The worst part about this is not the loss of income but the loss of the work visa. They had the process of getting me the work visa all the way through to the end, we recieved the acceptance letter from the Cancellaria just the week prior to the lay-offs. I am contacting the Candellaria in regards to whether or not they can simply ignore the acceptance letter or not. Afterall, they have paid quite a lot of money to get to this point. And yes, I understand the reasons for the people being laid off from work, but if they are obligated by the acceptance letter to honor the work visa, I need to find out, and they need to go through with it.

Last week there was a big jazz festival here in town, it included such big names as Chick Correa and many bands from South and Central American countries plus Cuba, Puerto Rico, the USA, Spain and France. Vivi and I went to the sunday show, it was free as the city paid all the fees. We got seats just 8 or 10 rows back from the stage, in the center, it was quite nice. The weather was nice in the afternoon, then the sky started clouding up, getting quite dark grey clouds. Soon the rain started. It wasn't particularly heavy, but steady, for a little while. The ushers came around with plastic garbage bags, selling them, but we didn't bother, after all, we're going to get wet anyway. So we watched the concert in the rain, but soon it slowed and stopped. The last band came on the stage and started playing, and they were so good, all the bands were very good, but the last band was noticably better, more professional in every way. If I remember correctly that band was called Grupo Invitado. Anyway, here is a link to the web site - BarranquiJazz During the last bands performance the rain returned, this time the clouds let loose and poured the wet stuff out like opening the flood gates. Although the stage was covered, the wind was blowing the rain into the stage, and was getting some of the performers wet. A couple stage hands came up with a sheet of plastic to hold over the keyboardest, but it wasn't large enough, so they found a bigger piece of plastice, but it was too late - the keyboards were too wet by then and they died. At that point Vivi and I decided it was best to get going and get a bus before the entire crowd left, which would make getting on a bus much more difficult. Apparently the band decided it was best to stop playing at that time also, as we never heard any more music from the concert stage while waiting for the bus nearby. But it was fun, it was a very good concert.

Barranquilla is a city with very little to offer in the way of 'cultural' events. There is one museum, the Museo del Caribe, one concert hall that doesn't seem to get much use, and little more. This particular jazz event was help outside in the Plaza de la Paz. It a very nice plaza, all brick floor, trees all around it, the Catedral across the street on one side and the Central Comercial Portal del Prado (a mall) on another side. It gets used for many concerts. But for cultural events, that's all there is, nothing else. So the city government paid the fees for the Sunday concerts so the public could come and enjoy the event for free. But even with that the crowd was slow to fill the park, and it never was completely full. The people here are not used to jazz, they prefer the local music of the Colombian coastal region - Ballanato (or Vallanato, seems there is no consensus on the correct spelling, since the B and V are pronounced the same in spanish).

So, by the time Vivi and I left the concert to get on the bus we were soaked all the way through. Then getting on the bus - well, the A/C was turned on of course, and we were freezing because of it. We got off the bus one stop early and went to a Chinese restaurant for dinner, that was very good. So overall, sunday was wet, but very fun.

Right now I am using a computer that I am borrowing from Kal Tire because my old laptop died, again. I have had it in the shop 2 or 3 times because the fan keeps dieing in it. So this past friday, or saturday, whatver day it was, I took it to a different shop, and they found the reason why - there is a chip on the motherboard that was fried and causing the fan to stop working. Why the other shop never found this I don't know, they would simply replace the fan and not check anything else. So I should be getting my computer this afternoon, which will be nice as this borrowed computer has Vista on it and I don't like Vista at all, plus it doesn't recognize one of my two external hard drives. Of course that's the hard drive that I need to access the most of the two.

I have now 4 private students and maybe a few more to start soon, and just this morning got a message from another person interested in lessons. So if you are the praying type keep this in your prayers - I now have much more time available for private students, so hopefully many more people will become my students.

That's all I can think of right at the moment. Take care everybody!


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