Heredia life

Trip Start Jan 25, 2009
Trip End Jun 2009

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Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Heredia,
Tuesday, February 17, 2009

So, first week of classes are over.  Overall, I have a good feeling about the classes.  They're certainly going to be tough.  But all of my professors have had American exchange students before.  Which makes sense since I'm taking a lot of international relations classes.  American students are fairly common here.  It's not like I see them everywhere, but there are enough that all the students sophomore and up are used to us.  Here are my classes that I'm taking (translated into English of course):

-Culture and globalization
-Advanced Spanish
-Social construction of masculinity
-Social construction of daily life  (mainly about gender)
-Social movements and Development in Costa Rica

Each class is once a week, lasting around 3 hours.  Since textbooks are too expensive for most students, professors turn in lectures to local photo copy places and students buy copies of lectures and readings.  There are photocopier places EVERYWHERE.  Just small little shops with a few copy machines.  There's at least like 10 different ones with one square block of the University.

For the night life, overall it's very cheap.  One night I went out, I paid for a 2 taxi rides, 2 drinks, and an entrance fee into a club.  It all ended up costing around $16, which is like the cost of on taxi ride in DC.

Btw, lowest denomination of paper bills is 1,000 colones.  When I first exchanged money at the airport, i got several paper bills, they were 1,000 bill, 2,000 bill, and 5,000 bill.   Then the change is 500 coin, 100 coin, 50 coin, 25 coin, 20 coin, and 5 coin.

Right now, using, I see that $1.00 = 575 colones (approx).  Meaning that 1000 colones = $1.86 (approx).

It's just very inexpensive here.  I feel that I'm using too big a bill when I pay with a 5000 colon bill (around $9).  After getting money out of an ATM, it gave me all 10,000 colon bills (10,000 = $18).  I didn't know how I was going to use that.  I used it the other day at a Taco Bell and the worker looked at it in a way that I could tell she was making sure that it was real.

Reminder for all of my eastern standard friends and family.  Costa Rica is on central time.  Meaning we're an hour behind here. 

Also, from talking to some of you I realize that you think I'm still in the rainforest, but I'm not.  I was in the rainforest when I was in Monteverde.  But Heredia is much more metropolitan.  No rainforest to be found here.  I've posted some pictures this time, not too many.
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