Jon and Donna Maegaard

theadventuresofjonanddonna

Jon and Donna Maegaard

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Well this may have been the final week, but there was no slacking!! My mornings started with a lovely breakfast of fruit, yogurt, granola and fresh juice courtesy of my hosts each morning, served in the garden with the scent of jasmine around me - not a bad start to the day! Then Maricela would pick me up on her way, and we spent each day at Sam’s place working away. We started out reviewing the new processes and forms for the visitor centre that I had implemented my last week in Islita so they’d have a full understanding of how things should work there. We spent time reviewing and reconciling all the data that had been entered into their new accounting system. We interviewed 3 potential candidates for their year-end accounting and taxes. We also ... read more


Friday morning I headed out early, driving from Puerto Viejo to Moin, near Puerto Limon. Moin also has a seaport and loads up ships with fruit destined for other parts of the world. When I booked my boat tour Thursday evening, the gentleman at the tour centre gave me instructions on how to get to the boat dock, avoiding the main port or he warned I would be going to Europe with the pineapples and bananas! Friday was a sunny day, perfect for being out on the water. We went through a series of canals that run adjacent to the ocean (probably about 75 km), stopping to see any animals we happened upon during the journey. We mostly saw birds - cormorants, anhingas, pelicans, herons, bitterns, egrets, roseate spoonbills (related to the flamingo!), jacanas, but also ... read more
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Wednesday: back on the road, this time for a bit longer journey - the Caribbean Sea or bust! (hopefully not bust!) After successfully navigating my journey without the aid of the GPS on both Sunday and Monday, I decided to give it another shot for this longer leg. I mapped it out online beforehand and committed it to memory, keeping the GPS on just to make sure I was still on the road I thought I was. On this day, not relying on the GPS turned out to be a good thing, as there are new roads up in this area that the GPS did not know about - and they were good roads! So my GPS was showing me driving through the middle of the wilderness for probably an hour - who knows what route ... read more
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My Monday started out with a drive through the countryside - from Holstein dairy cows to fields of pineapples (seeing pineapples never gets old…sorry for the lack of pictures…it was raining) to bananas. It’s not every day you end up behind a dump truck full of pineapples or see the box of a pickup truck filled with bananas! I arrived in LaFortuna early afternoon and spent a bit of time wandering around, checked out another old church, had some very delicious quesadillas for lunch! Then I made my way further south to LaTigra to a hotel that Jon and I discovered on our last trip here - LaTigra Rainforest Lodge. I had been hoping to include it in my travels, and I booked myself 2 nights so that I’d have ample time to enjoy the rainforest ... read more
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After a very typical Costa Rican breakfast of eggs with rice and beans + some fruit and a little extra time on the beach, I headed north east from Tamarindo towards Liberia, one of Costa Rica’s larger centres. I’m happy to report that my trip did not include ANY gravel roads! One of the first places I noticed as I was driving into town was a Wal-Mart, followed by McDonalds, Taco Bell, KFC, Burger King, Subway…I must say I was a bit tempted to go for the familiarity of a chocolate milkshake, but when traveling, we try to avoid anything we could do/eat back home. So instead I opted for a fruit smoothie from a small stand as I walked around the town square and downtown area. I visited a church while there, one of the ... read more
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Sunday evening I ventured out to the pub in Punta Islita and met the owner, Miguel - a very friendly guy who is a genius chef! All the food coming out of his kitchen looks like it belongs in a 5 star restaurant. The previous week I had tried a bite of someone’s (a complete stranger’s!) hot dog and had been thinking about it all week long…so I finally went and got my own: yum. All sorts of sauces and toppings, including a slaw on top. So delicious. Totally made me ready to take on a new week. This week was slower work-wise as Sam and Maricela are back in San Jose, and Maricela is actually off for the week. My to-do list included wrapping up loose ends on site with Tom (site manager) and Chucho ... read more
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Week 2 in Costa Rica complete! Some days have brought more adventures than others :) My mornings start with a yogurt in my outdoor dining room aka picnic table. On Tuesday I met Isabel’s husband (still haven’t quite figured out his name) and they showed me all the art pieces they make out of coconuts. They also offered for me to park my car in their garage / carport, very sweet older couple! Thursday morning I had the unfortunate surprise of a flat tire, and not only that, but my spare tire was flat as well. My host filled up the spare tire and helped me change the flat (which is almost its own story with language barriers and pouring sweat and that one lug nut that just would not give), but given that I had ... read more
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Critters seen crossing the road in a single day: turtle, armadillo (OK, he was dead from crossing the road), crabs, iguana, blue bird After a long week mentally, I was ready for a break! I packed up everything Saturday morning to clear out my cabin and hit the road around 11:00. When I got to a bigger centre, it was my first experience getting gas - I’m not sure if it is easier to try to communicate what I want and arrange payment via basic phrases and hand gestures with full service or just pumping my own gas where I can insert a credit card! But figured it out, so now I know how to work this for the remainder of my trip! Full serve also has the added bonus of getting my tires checked and ... read more
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A few days spent madly working away at data entry! Maricela and I spent 2 full days inputting their data into their new system, and she spent a third while I worked on other parts of the system and made plans for the upcoming week. But we’re making some serious progress. Much of the data is in the system, I’ve already customized several reports for them, and they’re excited about having financial information so easily available. On Wednesday, I joined the rest of the team for dinner - a vegetarian feast that was very yummy! And tonight (Friday), we went down to the bar/restaurant in the village for a few hours, a great local hangout spot and a chance to get to know everyone better. Now I get a 3 day weekend and will be travelling ... read more
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Birds spotted today: caught a glimpse of a squirrel cuckoo, lots of cinnamon hummingbirds! and the troupe of howler monkeys was back again :) After some discussion between the Ara admin and me, we decided to proceed with setting them on the Xero accounting package. We spent the rest of the morning working out what format their account structure and reporting would look like, and then spent the afternoon creating the backbone within Xero. Tomorrow we can start with actually inputting real data and some accounting training for their staff. Looking forward to a team dinner tomorrow with everyone at Ara!... read more




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