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
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
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
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
Donita: Our driver, Winsome said she would meet us in
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
Guide: Yes, that is very true; I’ll show them to you
as we get closer to the parrot research center.
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