Dropped off - in the deep end,

Our escort gone clean round the bend.

I turn and face this brand new place,

Edging forward at the slowest pace.

For they’re at the door and huddled together,

Wanting to see the brand new face

Of the newest addition to their family.

I introduce….. they smile,

Dictionary translations take a while.


I was far out, beyond the reef. 

Without any of my technology,

And the iPhone must stay on flight mode,

So I’ll talk to these people in their humble abode

And get to know their way of life

As they try to wed me with a Nicaraguan wife.


Throughout week 1 we walked around

And start to find our feet on their ground.

Witnessing the Bramadero sounds,

Converting Cordobas into Pounds.


Walking down the main road or track.

Give those Park Boys a friendly wave back,

Who have time to burn after school’s expulsion,

One misspelt his name in white emulsion 

On the park mural, where they spend their time,

Sat up all night drinking home brew moon shine.


One of these boys is quite the equestrian,

Cat calling out to all female pedestrians,

But those ‘cats’ wouldn’t spend their 9th life with him,

Not even because he’s too chubby or thin,

Because he’s a park boy and they doss there all day,

Deadly silent and still - as if cast from clay, 

That even the vultures surround, with anticipation and cheer,

Until they jump up and crack another beer.

Across the road, the only way out,

The US school buses, we can hear them shout.

I climb aboard and praise the lord,

That he’ll deliver me safe on his own accord.

Battling through the hordes and hordes,

All for a seat, of which is torn.

And it’s all a bit of a lucky dip,

Whether its boob, arse or armpit 

Pressed against my face.

And there’s more to get on

But no personal space,

Like being a cob within a sack of maize.

Enroute for the weekly wifi quest,

The 0.01 mega byte puts patience to the test.


Grafting away in the heat of midday.

Shovelling cement till your arms are spent.

The community ‘charlas’, putting condoms on bruised bananas.

The chaos of our English classes,

Niños arriving in their masses.

Then three horny dogs let loose 

Getting it on next to duck duck goose,

Giving our young kids a chase

Whilst they are trying to win the race. 

My whites are brown but it’s not the end,

There’s no danger of a DAZ doorstep challenge.

The accidental exfoliating scrub,

Created some days ago,

Dropped my soap in the mud.

The shock horror feeling,

Of the grumble, the mumble, the old stomach rumble,

The 10 second warning,

Running to the latrine

After breakfast most mornings.

Sat on that long drop, way above

There’s no splash back out here, just a ‘thud’.


These experiences, are bittersweet I feel,

Like the combo of sweet and salt in our meals,

And though no days are spent on our asses,

I’ll be looking back through rose tinted glasses

At the nights in hammocks, clear skies, the stars. 

Walking everywhere, the lack of cars.

The mountains tall, feeling small, don’t even try to write it all.

The spats, the laughs, the lack of baths,

These trivial ‘first world’ necessities,

This attitude I want to take home with me.


Written by ICS volunteer Charlie Shaw