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Roseau, Dominica Gardens (1)

The next morning, the women decide there will only be time for one activity on the island. They discuss which event will be the least expensive and the most interesting. Finally, they settle on taking a guided tour. Their guide meets them at the dock. She is holding a sign with their last names printed on it.

Winsome:    Good morning, ladies.  I am very happy to meet 
            you. First, I want to give you a bottle of water as  
            it will get very hot today. 
Sandra:     Thank you, that’s a very thoughtful idea!     
            What is your name?
Winsome:    Oh, I’m sorry; I should have introduced       
            myself; my name is Winsome.
Donita:     That’s a beautiful name. I don’t think I’ve   
            heard it before.
Winsome:    I have to thank my father for it; he lived in 
            Jamaica for several years and named me after his     
            favorite teacher.
Sandra:     What a nice story! I’m a teacher…..
Donita:     (Interrupts.) Do you think any of your students 
            will name their daughter after you? (Laughs.)
Sandra:     I wonder!
Winsome:    What names should I call you ladies?
Both:       We are Sandra and Donita.
Winsome:    Very good; now ladies if you will be so good  
            as to get in my taxi, we will start the tour.
Sandra:     I’m very interested in the history of the     
            island.
Donita:     (Groans.) Not me; I’m more interested in seeing 
            the birds and flowers.
Sandra:     I guess it’s because I’m a teacher who loves  
            to travel and learn about everyone’s culture.
Winsome:    I will be happy to tell you about the history 
            of Roseau and then we will go to the beautiful       
            Botanical Garden. Then both of you will be happy,    
            right? (She begins driving.)
Both:       (Laughing.) Good idea! 
Winsome:    Do you ladies know the island of Dominica is  
            around 26 million years old?
Both:       Really!
Winsome:    Yes, but my history teacher said it is the    
            youngest island in the Caribbean. We are very lucky  
            because the older islands are not as pretty as       
            Dominica. I will tell you what my teacher taught us  
            about the first people to live here, but there will  
            be no test! (Laughs.)
Both:       Thank you!  (They also laugh.)
Winsome:    Do you ladies know the origin of the name     
            Dominica?
Sandra:     I think so. Doesn’t it mean Sunday?
Winsome:    Exactly! In 1493, Christopher Columbus sighted 
            the island on a Sunday, so that is what he named it. 
            Now for some more history:
            More than 5,000 years ago, tribes migrated into the
            Caribbean, maybe from the Orinoco basin. Then some 
            3,000 years later, Arawaks followed.
Donita:     Are there some kind of records about the first 
            people living here?
Winsome:    Not exactly; the only evidence about the first 
            people is from relics that were found. But we do know 
            more about the later people; the Arawaks.  We know   
            that they were not warriors, but a peaceful people   
            who organized into communities. Sometime around 1000 
            AD, other Carib tribes sailed north to settle on     
            other islands. Any questions, so far?
Sandra:     Yes, but I remember reading that early        
            European explorers were shocked to find cannibalistic 
            Caribs. Is that true?
Winsome:    Historians believe that this was a story made 
            up by the sailors to justify the genocide that was   
            done in the area.
Donita:     How horrible!
Winsome:    Another suggestion was that early colonists   
            told this story to keep other explorers away from    
            trying to take over the islands. Anyway, fleets      
            avoided the Eastern Caribbean until the mid- 17th    
            century, just in case the story was true.
Author: Torsten Daerr