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The Winds of December

December 3rd, 2006

How can you tell it’s December in Central Costa Rica? Well besides the obvious, the bamboo wind chimes on our patio do not stop chiming until Christmas and often much later.

December is the transition month from Winter to Summer. Kids are on vacation. Traffic truly sucks and just getting anywhere is a hassle. Holiday decorations went up weeks ago. The Festival of Lights is acomin’. And there is the wind.

Me? I love it! Nights are low to mid 60’s… breezy… blanket time… great sleeping weather! The days are high 70’s with a wind chill that makes it feel like maybe 72-73. Skies are mostly blue. Little or no rain now, even in the afternoons, though this can vary.

It is my favorite month. Christmas thoughts. Family thoughts. Comfy.

I wish you all the happiest of holidays. May you and your family be blessed. May your dreams come true.

Mine have.

Just a Little Bit About Myself

November 24th, 2006

If I may take a moment of your time, I’d like to properly introduce myself. My name is Susan Carmichael.  Tim said he erased the last introduction I did, but oh well, there’s always time for a second chance.

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Costa Rica Cell Phone Update

November 22nd, 2006

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) – our friendly local state-run telecommunications monopoly has decided to purchase an entirely new GSM cell phone network rather than expand the current network.

Why is this a big deal? Because with this announcement, we know that it will be at least another year… more likely two-three years before cell phone (telephone) numbers can again be purchased. Believe it or not, this is probably good news.

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You’ll Probably Find Me at the Mall

November 21st, 2006

I’ve lived in Costa Rica for eight years, and know exactly what I need from the U.S. when I travel back for visits. Tap shoes were high on my list one year. As I first time parent, I figured this is what we do: enroll our daughters in tap classes. I’d bought a pair at a used clothes store in the U.S. for $1 in anticipation that my daughter would want to take tap class. The shoes were too big.

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Central Bank Changes and the Effect on Currency Exchanges and Interest

October 29th, 2006

A couple of weeks ago, the Central Bank of Costa Rica decided to stop the ages-old policy of setting a daily buy/sell rate (exchange rate) for converting dollars to colones and vice versa. This daily exchange rate was known as the tipo de cambio, and was generally a very small spread, maybe 2.5-4 colones. It changed every day, increasing a fraction of a colone and thus devaluing the currency against the dollar… daily.

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How Many US Citizen Expats are Living in Costa Rica?

July 6th, 2006

pp.jpgI must have been asked this question about 4,000 times since I moved here. Odd as it may be, nobody seemed to know… until now. Finally, immigration has announced the figure. Of the 289,237 legal residents (foreigners) living in Costa Rica, only 8,400 are US Citizens. Continue reading »

Extra Charge Coming for Cellular Internet Service

January 15th, 2006

Up until now, if you really didn’t care too much about using a GSM phone here in Costa Rica, you could at least feel good that when you phone DID have service, you also had free Internet access so you could check emails and do some browsing. That will soon begin to costa (sorry… I had to!) money.
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