Written by: Rika
WARNING: IF YOU CAN’T HANDLE PHOTOS OF SNAKES OR SPIDERS, PRESS “BACK” ON YOUR BROWSER NOW!
There – you’ve been warned.
And here is a harmless lizard for you before the scary photos commence:
I live on a beautiful island in the Western Caribbean called Roatan. In the beginning, I thought the most dangerous thing that nature dished out here was a coconut falling on your head, or a juicy mango on the ground causing you to slip. I’ve since found out the hard way that this isn’t necessarily true. I’m currently housesitting, and this house is literally in the Roatan jungle. That’s okay with me. But what I didn’t really realize was how many creepy crawlies live in the jungle too (city girl, much?) until I moved here.
The Good News: I’m not scared of snakes, spiders or scorpions.
The Bad News: The above only applies if they are outside in their own home. Not inside mine.
New behaviors have become a routine of mine here that I never even realized I was doing until I recently had a visitor call me out on it: Quickly shutting outside doors to prevent anything from scampering in. Checking the bed for scorpions before getting in for the night. Shaking out clothes, towels and couch cushions prior to getting them anywhere near my body. Always having a machete and snake poking stick near the front door and back balcony. Watching the tarantulas obsessively night after night to figure out their hunting pattern so that I may steer clear of their areas. Keeping the toilet lid closed lest something decides to come in that way.
And then I started finding large snake skins around my house:
That was fun.
Or how about the time I heard a splash and found a frog coming up out of my toilet?
Or the time we found a boa curled up in our dive shop?
Ummm…did I also tell you about the three tarantulas who live in a tree right beside my front step and come out every night to their little “spot” and hunt? Sad confession – one night I got drunk and decided to hack one up with my machete because it jumped at me and these things are poisonous as shit. Though on the bright side, it did bring on rainy season. So there’s that.
This is jungle life, welcome. Stopping to let a snake cross the road on my way to work is no longer a novelty, it’s a routine. Last night I caught a ride home with a friend and as he pulled up, his headlight shone on my scooter, which was crawling with 3 boa constrictors. Um, kinda glad I didn’t go try to start that up in the dark. Lesson learned the easy way that time, thankfully.
In the last three days, two guests at the resort I work at have been stung by scorpions in their beds, and one of the other dive instructors went to change back into his dry clothes after a dive and there was a scorpion in there too. They swear it’s not as bad as a bee sting so I guess I could handle it since I survived my very first bee sting a few months ago here, but I really have no interest in running into one. So far, so good. Keep your fingers crossed for me…