My life in Colombia

Welcome to the blog of Chip Wiegand

New web site design, Malecon, Spectre

Nov 16, 2015
The malecon in Barranquilla.

Hi! and welcome to the new look of my web site, I hope you like it.

I have changed the site to a style that I think looks better, and is much easier for me to maintain. I have simplified the .php and .html code used to build the site. The site blog pages are stored in a database. The old website design was such that each blog page had it's own separate .php file that was loaded, and while loading that page grabbed the text from the database.

So I had to write a .php file and a text file with the blog. With this new design I have one .php file, a template, that has some code that loads the text from the database. Whatever text is needed, depending on which link you clicked on. So all I have to do now is write the blog, upload it into the database, and the code does all the rest. Much simpler.

The photo album is a bit of a mess, but I am working on it. Integrating a photoalbum system into an existing website is not quite so simple. I can't simply add it to my existing template because of the special coding used by the photo album. So instead, I have to adapt my template to wrap around the photo album's template system. Ugh! Anyway, it's a lot of work to get it right.

I have add new pics to the Barranquilla photo album, check 'em out. If the photo album is actually working when you try, anyway.

A couple nights ago my friend Vicky and I went to see the movie Spectre, the new James Bond movie. I was expecting it to be dubbed in spanish, with me reading english subtitles. But nope, it was in english and Vicky had to read spanish subtitles. We did enjoy the movie.

Yesterday, sunday, I went for a walk at the Malecon. That is a new area alongside the river. There are pics in the Barranquilla photo album. The city plans to do much development in that area. They have plans for hotels and shopping. But right now all that is completed is the Malecon walkway along the river. It's a nice walk though. Hopefully it won't be too many years before more development is completed. The city desperately needs this area to increase tourism.

That's about it for now. Please consider helping me if you can, click on the Western Union logo for information, or donate via the CrowdRise link. If you already have, thank you, again. Much appreciated! I would like to be able to provide books to my students as most cannot afford to buy them, they are expensive. So some students make photocopies of my books, but that is, obviously, against copyright laws, but is normal and acceptable here in Colombia. To photocopy an entire book is only around 20mil pesos (about $10 US), but to buy the same book new is around 90mil pesos (90,000). Right now of all my students only 1 (one) has actually purchased their own copy from the book store. All the others make photocopies of mine, or use no book at all. And my own books are quite worn, with a few pages coming out of them.

That's about all for now, till next time, take care!


Dia del la Raza/Columbus Day in Colombia

Oct 12, 2015
The statue of Cristobal Colon, or as we call him in English, Christopher Co

Hi, I hope everyone is doing well. I am.

Today is Dia de la Raza (known as Columbus Day in the USA). Dia de la Raza is literally translated as 'day of the races'; that doesn't mean auto-racing or anything like that, it means people, ethnicities. It is a day to celebrate the heritage, colonization and cultural diversity of Latin America. But to the indigenous people of Colombia it is much different. They see it as a day to remember the painful and brutal conquest of their land by the Spaniards in the 15th and 16th centuries. So, now for a little history lesson:

Cristóbal Colón, the Spanish name of the man we call Christopher Columbus, never set foot in North America, and in South America he only visited Venezuela, Panama, Honduras and Costa Rica. He never even visited Colombia, which is named for the man. He sailed four times from Spain to the 'new world' visiting several of the Caribbean islands - Cuba, Hispaniola, the Bahamas, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. The name Colombia was originally applied to all of the 'new world'. It was in the early 1800's that the geographical area known as Colombia was reduced to these Spanish territories - modern-day Colombia, Panama, Venezuela, Ecuador, and northwest Brazil, and which at one time was named the United States of Colombia

Colombia won it's independence from Spain in 1819 and adopted their first constitution in 1821. Colombia was the first constitutional government in South America. At that time the land area included Venezuela, but that country split off in 1929, and then the country of Equador split off from Colombia in 1830. In 1906 the USA bought Panama from Colombia as a future location for the canal. In Colombia there was a civil war that lasted for 2 years, started in 1863, and from that was the creation of the United States of Colombia. In 1886 that name was changed to the Republic of Colombia, as it is today.

So because today is a holiday most of my students have the day off from work and from english lessons.

Happy and safe Columbus Day/Dia de la Raza to you all.

That's about all for now, till next time, take care!


Me on the old Muelle (dock)

Chip Wiegand

Contact me: Chip Wiegand

I teach english as a foreign language in Colombia. I'm from Kennewick, Washington, USA. 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.

Expat in Colombia - Where Expats Blog

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(Atlántico, Colombia)

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© Chip Wiegand -> I hope you enjoyed your visit!