Stephanie Palumbo, Apoyo Lagoon, Nicaragua, May 2014

After spending 4 days living with our homestay families in Masaya and working 2 more clinics days, we were given another day off! This time we spent our day at the very beautiful Apoyo Lagoon. This amazing place was by far one of my favorite experiences during the trip. The lagoon was within a crater that was created from the volcano erupting and filling with water. I have never seen water so clean, you could see right through it. The sides of the lagoon were covered with beautiful green vegetation and flowers.

Nicaragua2014_Lagoon1When we arrived at the monkey hut, we were each given a card with a different location/person/object on it as our identification card while ordering food all day. While we were pre-ordering our lunches everyone took advantage of the elevated deck to take pictures of the gorgeous lagoon. In order to walk down to the water, there was a very steep ramp and steps. We grabbed inner tubes and chairs on the way down. I was expecting the lagoon to be more crowded than it was. Pablo told us that the lagoon was more of tourist destination than a place the locals hang out. It was very peaceful to be able to spend time with our group and not have to worry about there not being enough chairs, inner tubes, etc. Pablo warned us to apply a lot of sunscreen, but since I was one of the lucky ones who did not get burned at the beach I didn’t take as much precaution as I should I have…big mistake. Even after spending a lot of time in the shade I managed to get sunburned pretty badly. Aloe definitely became my friend the next few days.

Nicaragua2014_Lagoon.2Clinic days are an amazing opportunity and learning experience, but they can be extremely tiring in the humid heat! I spent most of day sun tanning on the floating platform 50 feet from the shore, floating for hours in an inner tube or reading a book on the beach. You can’t have a relaxing day at the lagoon without stopping by the monkey hut for refreshments! Pina coladas, strawberry daiquiris and fruit smoothies were by far the most popular drinks of the day. Every fruit drink made in Nicaragua is made with fresh fruit cut right in front of you. So delicious! Lunch was ready by 1pm and was once again amazing. I decided to have chicken tenders, rice, palatines and a side salad to have a more American type meal. I liked every meal I had in Nicaragua, even the palatines that seemed to have an unlimited number of different ways to be prepared! In the afternoon, I spent most of the time in the shade talking to the rest of group, reading my book and occasionally napping.

Nicaragua2014_Lagoon.3The Apoyo lagoon was the perfect place to spend our recreation day relaxing and building more memories and stories to share with everyone back home. We left the lagoon around 4pm and traveled to our next destination for clinics in Diriamba!