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Last updated on July 31st, 2020

There were two houses at the Jatun Sacha Reserve in San Cristobal, Galapagos, where I volunteered back in 2016: old house and new house. I stayed at old house, which only had three people in it including me.

Old house was made of wood with the exception of the roof which was metal composition. The house was being eaten away by termites, which was evident by the wood dust falling on my bag from the ceiling.

My bed was placed in the corner. My pillow was also placed near the room corner on my bed.

On my first night in the darkness, I heard some noise near my rested head. The room light was missing its bulb, so I used my flashlight to seek the disturbance.

I saw a dead spider hanging from a narrow wooden beam right in front of my face. For some reason the spider was swinging back and forth on the attached string of web. That didn’t make sense in the science of arachnology or physics. There was no breeze in my room.

A few seconds later, the head of a small rat, using stealth mode, popped its head up behind the beam where the spider was hanging. God damn it. I could have sworn it was Templeton from Charlotte’s Web.

I turned around and kicked at the beam to scare the rat away but it wasn’t fazed. It was using ninja focus to disregard my ruckus. The rat was running around behind the wall and messing with my head. I got out of my bed to scare it away with no success.

I put my pillow on the other side of the bed, away from the corner and wall, and went to bed.

Templeton 1, Vincent 0

I didn’t want to go through the Templeton Effect on night two of my stay in Jatun Sacha.  I needed a plan. I need a weapon. And that weapon’s name was Miguel, or should I say his name was Miguel aka Miguelito.

Miguel was a dark brownish, tabby cat who was originally a stray from the transitional forest zone of San Cristobal. Now he can be found meowing in the kitchen, wandering the forest, or sleeping at new house.

I brought Miguel from the kitchen and kept him on my bed. He was my only hope of dreaming about eating Crepes and Nutella from Colombia.

Let me tell you something, I slept like a champion that night. Miguel only slept on my bed a few more nights, but Templeton was never heard or seen from again, nor any other intruder.

Miguelito 1, Templeton 0

tabby cat sleeping on bed


There’s also a fat, wild pig that roams around new house and causes a disturbance at night to the other volunteers. It’s apparently the same size of the table where Jesus had his last supper. That’s another issue I won’t tackle.

Wilbur 1, Volunteers 0

Read my guide on how to visit the Galapagos on a budget.