During our time in Managua we stayed in a modest building; dormitories of ten with a couple of bathrooms and toilet paper to be deposited in the open bin next to the loo (not ideal in the heat). However, the downfalls of the Nicaraguan drainage system are fully compensated by the environment which contains it. Flowing off the main building, a covered patio runs the length of the building with one side adorned entirely by hammocks. Stretching out in them in the early morning, the sun just peaking out through the trees, was the closest thing to paradise I had yet to experience. I know now that my time in paradise is just beginning. The hammocks themselves appeared to be handmade; great swathes of string woven into patterns, bright yellows, reds and greens contrasting with full whites and deep reds.

One night as I lay there, after the sun set, something magical caught my eye. A small light flitted beneath me, seeming to turn on and off as it headed towards the trees. Its glow was as full and real as any torch, yet vivid yellow and so wonderfully natural. The firefly flickered, a flash of light against the inky night. Upon leaving the hammock, I encountered more; tiny sparks in the sky outlining the trees already silhouetted against the lights of our building. The fireflies, however, did more than that; they guided us to the sky, itself a portrait of the flickering firefly family in front of us. Perhaps they were warning us of the lightning; they were majestic enough to be doing so.

Every minute I spend in this country, throughout every day that passes, Nicaragua’s beauty continues to amaze me. From the prehistoric iguanas to the luscious green trees, I do not think I will ever stop being impressed. 

Written by ICS volunteer Ella Boswell