Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Geckos and More?

Are you a fan of reptiles and creepy crawly things?  If so, I am sure you would enjoy a visit to the tropical island nation of American Samoa.  Much to my chagrin though, crawling creatures abound in this paradise. 

Being one who is not fond of lizards, snakes, spiders and such, I really had to look hard at the paradise I was surrounded by to get past my aversion to these creatures.  Eventually I was able to see the beauty of the crawly things visiting my room in the Retreat House at the Cathedral of the Holy Family in Pago Pago.

Brilliantly colored geckos, not-so-brilliantly colored lizards, some pretty darn big spiders, and a few slithering creatures made my stay at this lovely retreat center a challenge. 

For years, I have slept with at least a sheet pulled up to my chin so the "snakes could easily glide over me".  Well, in that cinder block retreat house room with the bath down the open-air corridor along a mossy walkway, I had the opportunity to see geckos up close and personal.  Watching these brightly colored guys make their way up, first on the outside of my window, was well--alright.  But, the first time I woke to one of these creatures clinging to the wall across from my bed, was well--startling!

By week's end though, I had learned to appreciate their handsome features and changing colors--from afar anyway.  The other crawly creatures who appeared in my room--mainly spiders did not receive such a wary welcome.  Those were chased out or worse time and again.  Fortunately, the slithering creatures were never seen inside my room but only in the gardens. 

Needless to say, the sheets were tightly drawn up to my chin on a nightly basis in one very very hot and humid room.  More memories of unforgettable creatures!

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