Are these 5 Apps On Your Smartphone?

I am addicted to my Smartphone. I’m probably on it too much but it’s one tool I really can’t live without. Here are 5 apps I think you should have on your phone. Have any to suggest to the Cuenca Tech Life audience? All the apps below are free.

  • What’s App – Call anywhere in the world without charge . Group messaging and an easy to use interface make this Facebook owned app a must have.
  • Merlin – receive unusual but factual information daily that can improve your knowledge and intellect.
  • Hopper – receive weekly notices of travel bargains. Hopper will tell you whether the fares are going to fluctuate
  • NPR ONE – Live news from my favorite radio station.  I’m tuned in to OPB my local NPR station
  • Walt Disney Crossy – All work and no play make … Modern day Frogger with Mickey Mouse as the Frog.



Favorite Cuenca Street Photos

Part of the joy living in a 460 year old colonial city is the buildings and the time of the day the sun illuminates those buildings. I always have my Nexus 6 Smartphone with me. Below are the same church shot.  The first one is unedited and the second I used Snapseed, a photo editing app available for both Android and IOS to remove the power lines.

I then added some more shots to Google Photos to create a short movie. Enjoy.

power line photo church

without power line church

5 Years In Cuenca – Muchisimas Gracias Ecuador

It was a very exciting day 5 years ago at Portland International Airport starting our adventure of a lifetime. 8 pieces of luggage, a 16 year old cat in a carrier and a few butterflies in our collective stomachs about what lies ahead.

Fast forward 5 years and many things have changed. Feisty, our cat has gone on to better times. Butch and Curry, our two rescue cats now share our lives We have assimilated into the Cuenca community have made wonderful local as well as expat friends. Our Spanish has become functional and hopefully one day will be conversational. Most of all we have a relatively stress free healthy life style and look forward to more years in our adopted country.

Below are some observations from our 5 years in Ecuador

  • An official guess is that there are 6000 expats living in Cuenca – up from about 800 5 years ago
  • Because of the skewed population (over 65 ) more of my friends are dying
  • I see younger expats moving to Cuenca and I like it
  • It is still very affordable to live in Cuenca. Inflation is below 4% a year
  • We have reliable affordable fiber optic internet to the house
  • The new Tranvia (light rail) has been delayed and won’t be operating till 2017. A big disappointment and aggravation to both Cuencanos and Expats
  • A great choice of restaurants in Cuenca including a new Persian and Thai restaurant.
  • More Poker and Bridge Games  🙂
  • Affordable government and private health insurance
  • Lastly, a vibrant and supportive Expat community

Below are two of my favorite videos that I shot in Cuenca. The first is a vignette of some street vendors. The second is a a Sunday afternoon in Parque Calderon.




Ecuador – The Royal Tour

This post is mainly for my subscribers who do not live in Ecuador. Peter Greenberg  comes to Ecuador and is given The Royal Tour by El Presidente Raphael Correa. There is a very positive chemistry between the President and Greenberg.  Thhe viewers get to see (what Ecuadorians already know), a beautiful country full of bio diversity. Don’t miss this one.