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Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.

-- Mark Twain

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.

My address and homes, houses or apartments? And a bird

Thursday, Jan 15, 2015

I discovered this last week that the address I thought was mine, isn't. :) It is my neighbors (landlady's) address, and her home faces a different street (her home is on a corner). I am "behind" her on a street called Carrera 7A, she is on Calle 40. So, my address is actually this:

Kra 7a #40-16 Piso 1
Barranquilla, Atlantico
Colombia

(the address works like this: Kra is an abbreviation for Carrera, can also be Cra. #40 is the cross street, 16 means my front door is 16 meters from that cross street, Piso 1 means 1st floor, Atlantico is the Departamento (= state or province) and no zip/postal code. They do exist but are not implemented, as there is no national mail service, it was ended some years ago when it went bust, not unlike the USPS may do in the not-too-distant future.)

I discovered this error because the bill for the gas was delivered to me by mistake. Now hopefully the letter that David sent me will actually get to me, but it has been at least 3 weeks, so it's not looking too good for that.

Sometimes it's difficult to tell the difference between an 'home' and an 'apartment' here, because of the way most are built. In the states there is a, usually, fairly wide open space, side yard, between houses. Not here. The space between houses is typically 3 or 4 feet. And at the front they are closed in, so it appears all the homes are connected. If you look at the Barranquilla photo album you will see what I mean. But there is no gap between me and my neighbors on both sides. My landlady's home on one side and another home on the other side, and there is an upstairs apartment/home, whence my address specifies "Piso 1" (1st floor).

So in my case, I am quite sure my home is an apartment because it has no gap between it and the two neighbors. I will have to verify this with my friends here. Because the upstairs "apartment" has no neighbors, so that makes me wonder if it it considered a house or an apartment. Hmmm.

Of course there are apartment buildings similar to the ones in the states. But one fundamental difference is this: they are condos, technically. There are no buildings built by development companies that then rent out all the apartments. Here all the apartments in the buildings are sold like condos. Then the owners can rent them if they want to. So, if a person here want a place of their own to live in they have to buy it or they find one that is being rented by a private owner. There are a few real estate offices in town of course, but it appears they cater mostly to rich people or foreigners looking to invest in properties or vacation homes.

So I'm sitting here watching a movie, and in my peripheral vision I see some movement. I look up in that direction and there, in my apartment, is a bird. A small bird, walking around on the floor. I was looking at it and it flew away. So I just went back to watching the movie, and after a few minutes more, same thing, that little bird was there in the other room walking on the floor. My front door is open, but there is also a security door. It has no screens or glass, just the decorative metal of the door, so the bird flew in through that door and into my apartment. Kind of cool, actually.

My student today sent me a message as I was walking to the bus - sorry, I have to cancel today. :( And she was going to pay me for the rest of the month today. Which would have been the money I needed to pay the remainder of my rent from back on the 1st. Now my landlady will just have to wait a couple more days, again. I sure hope my student on saturday doesn't cancel, he is supposed to pay for the rest of the month as well.

This week I have had 3 inquiries about english lessons. None have committed, yet. But I have had 4 email exchanges with one person who has stated he/she is interested in starting on Feb 18. If you are the praying type of person, please mention a prayer for me, that at least one of these people will start lessons with me.

I just got home from a walk. First, I have been writing this all day, literally. So, it's around 7pm now and I just got home from a walk around the neighborhood, and I met a couple men selling some small pastries, I don't know the name of the pastries, tasty little things though. Anyway, turns out one of them know very basic english, so with that and my very basic spanish, we talked for a while, and he might become a student, and his friend who was there was also interested. So, for the praying people, please pray for more students for me. That the Lord will lead these people who show an interest to actually start lessons with me. :)

I think that will be all for tonday. I'm going to settle back and watch a movie on my laptop, I sold the TV in November. It's not the best way to watch a movie but it's better than nothing.

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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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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