Oregon To Ecuador

On New Year’s Day I was browsing through my Flickr collection of photos (16,000 since 2004) and I came across some Oregon shots I wanted to print. 2 hours later I created a short Youtube video on some of my favorite Oregon and Ecuador photos.  Enjoy!

Six Years In Ecuador

I have spent 1/12 of my life in Ecuador. It really does seem like yesterday that Sharon and I left our home in Oregon to begin this incredible adventure. Recently, I started thinking in Spanish.

Cuenca is a walking city and I average 2 miles a day. That would make a grand total of almost 4,400 miles of walking. That is about the distance from Cuenca, to Portland, Oregon.

I eat better now. I have Red Meat about once a month. My diet consists of mainly fish, chicken and the wonderful variety of fruits in Ecuador. Cherimoya, Pitahaya, Papaya, Maracuya are now in my diet every week.

The expat community which by my best guess numbers around 6000 is for the most part an interesting helpful conglomeration  of  people from all around the world. There is every kind of group you can think of in Cuenca. There are 4 different writing groups, all different kinds of craft groups. There are 3 major daily electronic periodicals and two different weekly/monthly traditionally published newspapers for the expat community. You can find a poker game on any day of the week. Six years ago Cuenca was a culinary wasteland. Today you can find excellent cuisine from all different parts of the world.

Are there shortcomings living in a foreign place? Yes, but they are becoming fewer as I become more conversational in Spanish and more accustomed to a life in a Latin Culture. Gracias Ecuador por seis años maravillosos.

Below are some random shots of Cuenca. Enjoy.

 

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.

 

7.8 Ecuador Earthquake

On April 17th a massive 7.8 Earthquake hit 12 miles off the Ecuador Coast The very large thrust earthquake was centered approximately 27 km (17 mi) from the towns of Muisne and Pedernales in a sparsely populated part of the country and 170 km (110 mi) from the capital Quito,[1] where it was felt strongly.

At least 413 people were killed and at least 2,527 others were injured in the earthquake.[4][6] It was the worst natural disaster to hit Ecuador since the 1949 Ambato earthquake.[15] At least 41 fatalities occurred in Manta, Portoviejo, and Guayaquil, all of which are located hundreds of kilometers from the epicenter.[14]President Rafael Correa stated that the reconstruction would cost “billions of dollars.

This very short post is mainly for my friends and family living outside of Ecuador. I’ve already received calls and email to see how you might help.  The following is a good link

For my friends in Ecuador that are over 65 you might consider suspending your IVA refunds for a year. I will be doing this making my contribution just over $700 for the year. It’s money that I don’t need to live on and for sure the Ecuadorian government will need for Earthquake relief.

The picture below is of a dog that would not leave his destroyed owners house.

Ecuador_Expats

A Minute With Len

An ex-student of mine from the Brentwood Public Schools was perusing my Flickr collection of photos and she emailed me why she couldn’t find more pictures of me when I was teaching. I looked at my Flickr Photo Stream (9,161) photos and only found 47 pictures of me. Yikers, less than 1%.  So here’s a youtube 1 minute video and I need to be more vigilant taking photos of me.

lenny wall art

3 Years In Ecuador

On May 12, 2011 Sharon, my wife, our 16 year old cat and I left Portland, Oregon for the greatest adventure of our lives.

Cuenca, Ecuador has been our home for the past 3 years. We love our new life in this wonderful country.Thank you Ecuador for permitting us to live in your beautiful country.

I will be returning to Oregon to visit friends and family and to purchase a Nexus 5 and iPad Mini with Retina Screen. When I return in approximately a month I will do an extensive review on Smart Phones.  Enjoy the video below.

 

What Software Should You Have In Ecuador (Part One)

In a previous post I advocated what Electronics one should have when moving to Ecuador. Solid Software always makes great Hardware. I make no secret that I’m an Apple Fan. Life would be difficult in Cuenca without my computer, iPad and iPhone. I’m going to restrict my recommendations to web resources and apps that run on the Mac/PC/IOS/Android platforms. Please feel free to comment and add your own “must have resources”.

1.Skype – I don’ think this is surprise. Skype allows me to communicate via video and audio to anyone in the world with a Skype account. It’s free and easy to use. You can also purchase Skype minutes to communicate with people who don’t have Skype accounts but have land lines or cell phones. Facetime is similar to Skype but is only for Mac/IOS users.

skype_-_Google_Search

2. Multiple Email accounts. Email is the most used resource of the Internet and I’m surprised that people I talk to don’t have at least two accounts. I have three (Gmail, Yahoo, Icloud). I use Gmail as my main and Yahoo as my challenge account. I use icloud as my account for email lists and subscription that I don’t need to access on a daily basis. The added advantage to Google is that it comes with 15 gb of storage.

gmail_-_Google_Search

3. Multiple Web Browsers. My primary browser is Google Chrome. I use Chrome because it provides instant translation for the many Spanish sites that I visit. I also use Firfox and Safari. All three of these are solid browsers but I think Chrome is faster and uses less memory.

firefox_-_Google_Search

4. Zite. You can skip this recommendation if you don’t have a smartphone or a tablet. Zite is available in the Itunes, Google Play and Amazon appstore. Simple stated you can create your own magazine and daily stories will be appear on your device. I get stories from the L.A. Times, Canon, Ecuador, Colombia and a heads up on apps that have gone free.  Run, don’t walk to this free app.

zite_-_Google_Search

5. Search Engines– Surprise, I am not going to recommend Google. Not that there is anything wrong with Google other than everyone of your searches are tracked. My recommendation DuckDuckGo.com.  Funny name but a great search engine. I reviewed Duckduckgo here

duckduckgo_logo_-_Google_Search

I’ll add 5 more resources in few days. I look forward to your recommendations and comments.