It all started during a very serious team discussion we were having in Maya and I’s room about the goals and direction of the project when a wild gecko appeared. I was instantly out of my seat and halfway out the door. Geckos are one of my worst fears. No matter how many times I am reassured that they are harmless, even the thought of them sends shivers down my spine.
It was a great surprise and a huge blessing that the rooms we are staying in have air conditioning, but lucky for Maya and I, the AC also happens to be the home of our gecko roommates. There is no way of getting them out once they retreat back into their den. A few days after this first encounter, I was in my room minding my own business when the gecko reappears, perching itself right above the door, preventing me from fleeing. If I place myself at a certain angle on my bed, I can avoid eye contact and so I thought calmly to myself that I would just wait for Maya to return from her phone call and rescue me. A few minutes turned into an hour, digging into dinner time, and my stomach began to rumble. I could still hear Maya on the phone and I didn’t want to interrupt. But then out of nowhere another gecko, smaller than the first, but nevertheless still a gecko, started climbing down from the AC towards the beds! Yelps escaped from my throat and Maya came rushing in to see what was happening. As soon as she opened the door I bolted out the room only to find myself almost stepping on an enormous gecko waddling across the hall. I raced down stairs and my heart rate was at a pounding 160, limbs weak and mind feeling faint.
The situation was beginning to get out of hand, there were now two geckos in the room and one wandering the halls. But the next day, just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, there were two small geckos perched on the ceiling. Now we were at three. Thank goodness we had Kevin across the hall. He kindly offered to remove the geckos for us. This was not easy feat. They are lightning fast! After an hour or so of trying to trap them in a cup without chopping off their tails, Kevin successfully released the two small geckos outside. Feeling relieved Maya and I opened our books and were having a more relaxed night. But of course that isn’t the end of the story. The large gecko was back. And if possible, it got even bigger. This is really no normal size gecko like the ones you see on those phone commercials. We decided to call Kevin back, but when Maya went to open the door, a second enormous gecko jumped from the top of the door into our room! I am not sure how I didn’t wake the entire hotel that night. But unfortunately for us, Kevin was already asleep and my scream was not enough to wake him. We were told previously that geckos are attracted to light because that is where most flies will be. Out of desperation, Maya and I turned off all our room lights, took our flashlights into the hallway to try and lure out the geckos. This was futile, and it only let mosquitos into our room. There were now two large geckos in our room. If I had to describe the size, I would say it is ‘face size’. The two of them put together would be the size of my face. That night, I slept bundled up in a hoodie zipped up all the way and the hood pulled on tight. It was a restless night.
Just yesterday, the super-sized gecko showed itself again late at night. Maya was already asleep but Kevin came and attempted to catch it in silence. The pursuit brought the gecko too close to Maya’s bed that she woke and moved to my bed. This night we discovered that geckos can jump too! It jumped out of the bucket Kevin caught it in. In the end, we had to sacrifice a focus group questionnaire package to cover the bucket opening. There is no doubt that the AC still houses more geckos, but I beg them to please go into hibernation or to find a new home.
P.S. I would like to personally apologize to the geckos: I’m so sorry if we had stolen away your two babies and broken up your family, but I would really appreciate it if you looked for them outside because that is where we released them. Also, I’d like to give a shout out to Kevin for catching the numerous geckos, and to Maya for putting up with my shrieks every time I see something move on the wall.