Dollars to Bolivares or “B”‘s as they are known here.  Here is a great economic story for the kids.  The Venezuelan inflation was so bad, the previous exchange rate was 5000 bolivars to the American dollar.  That was a bit unhandy in the money changing department.  Cruisers have great stories about getting work done in Venezuela and having to pay in suitcase full of “B”s.  So the government here decided, “We don’t need those extra 0′s” and loped off the last three.  5000 Bolivars became 5 Bolivares Fuerte.  Didn’t change the exchange rate, just made it handier.  Unfortunately, there is still some of the old currency floating around out there so you need to be careful. 

The best exchange rate is on the black market, where discretion is important.  Salt and Light and us took a taxi into town to a very nice clothing store where we did our dollars to Bolivares.  The rate, at that moment, was 4.5 to 1.  Not bad.  A few weeks ago it was 7 to 1, until American dollars began flooding the market and the rate dropped.  A perfect lesson for our kids as we have been discussing supply and demand in our homeschool economics class. 

Fortified with our new money, we some shopping at an outdoor market, selling mostly clothes, at great prices.  We were looking for Halloween costume ideas.  Tristan and Liam decided to go as CIA and FBI agents, so all we needed to buy were hats.  Tessa couldn’t decide between a rock star and a genie and kept going back and forth so much my head was hurting.  After shopping we met Independence (Jennie, Otis, Sam and Ben) at McDonalds for lunch and playtime.  Ordering at McDonalds here is different as you order in one line then move to another. We didn’t get it, and even though it was PACKED, everyone was very nice to us and helped us get into the proper lines.  I forgot to mention how we get around.  In Grenada, we all have fond and some not so fond memories of the public bus costing 2.50EC per person 1.25 per child.  We would pay equivalent in American dollars about $3.00 altogether.  Here it is $10 Bollivares, in a car to ourselves, with airconditioning.  Exchange rate?  About $2.00 US Dollars.  Cost?  Priceless!!!!!!!