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Roseau, Dominica Gardens (2)

Sandra:     So, what country decided to be “brave” and    
            explore the Caribbean?
Winsome:    My teacher would be so proud of me for        
            remembering all these dates! (Big laugh.) In 1627, the 
            British Earl of Carlisle was given the rights to     
            Dominica. Then in 1635, the French government claimed 
            Dominica and sent missionaries to the island.  This  
            was a big mistake.

Donita:     Why do you say that?
Winsome:    The Carib people put up a big fight. They did 
            not want the soldiers or the missionaries telling    
            them how to live. The Caribs made it very difficult  
            for the French to get a “stronghold”; settlers did   
            not want to stay. 
Sandra:     How long did that last?
Winsome:    It was another 100 years before the French    
            settled on Dominic. The population had dwindled      
            because of fighting and disease. The French lost     
            interest in living here.
Donita:     And no other country tried to take over?
Winsome:    The English came to the islands in 1761.  Then 
            the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783, giving the   
            British control. It wasn’t until November 3, 1978    
            that there was full independence. By the 20th        
            century, there was a plan to divide the Caribbean    
            region among several nations. 
Donita:     What did that mean? 
Winsome:    In 1865, Dominica was a British Crown colony. 
            By 1967 Dominica became semi-independent. We had a   
            female prime minister in 1980. But the former prime  
            minister did not like losing the election. So there  
            was some trouble.
Sandra:     What happened?
Winsome:    There were two coup attempts and Patrick John 
            the former minister was accused of starting them. He 
            was acquitted, but a few years later was found       
            guilty. 
Donita:     Did he go to jail?
Winsome:    He was sentenced to 12 years in prison.  Now  
            ladies we have arrived at the Botanical Garden. Feel 
            free to stroll around for as long as you like. I will 
            look for you in an hour to find out if you want to   
            stay longer or leave. Goodbye until then.
Sandra:     Goodbye. Donita, let’s get one of those flyers 
            over there to find out about the park. (They pick one 
            up and read.)
Donita:     It says here “The gardens cover nearly 1/3 of 
            the land in the inner city. In the last few years, it 
            has suffered damage due to severe tropical weather.”
Sandra:     What a shame! 
Donita:     It seems to be a top priority to restore it.  
            It says here, “The government has undertaken a       
            serious effort to make the gardens a place of beauty 
            once more for both the visitors and residents.”
Sandra:     It’s so beautiful now; can you imagine it     
            looking better than this?
Guide:      Good morning, ladies.
Both:       Good morning.
Guide:      I am here to answer any questions you might   
            have about the gardens.
Donita:     How big is this place and how long has it been 
            here?
Guide:      There are 40 acres and was started in 1890 by 
            the British Crown Government. The original purpose   
            was to have a supply of seeds of various crops for   
            the farmers.
Sandra:     Forty acres!  I don’t think one hour will be  
            long enough for us to see it all.
Guide:      You had only planned to see the garden for one 
            hour?
Donita:     Our driver, Winsome said she would meet us in 
            one hour.
Guide:      I know Winsome and I think she just wanted to 
            give you some private time to look around; then she  
            will probably join you and explain more about the    
            plants, parrots and small animals.
Donita:     I’m very interested in seeing the parrots.  I 
            read that some of them are on the endangered species 
            list. 
Guide:      Yes, that is very true; I’ll show them to you 
            as we get closer to the parrot research center.
Author: Torsten Daerr