A ten minute taxi ride to the north of the Zona Colonia are the National Botanical Gardens of the Dominican Republic.   The gardens are huge and narrow city sidewalks are traded for wide foot paths to walk freely in wide open spaces This Sunday there is a long wavy line at the admissions gate, before opening time, and the charge to enter is just one hundred pesos -fifty cents U.S. In the front entrance of the park, there is an orchid sale in progress and customers are carrying them in wheelbarrows to their vehicles in the parking lots. Orchids are very delicate beautiful flowers and it is explained to me, by my taxi driver, that they are very popular in the Dominican Republic. People hang them in their homes and show them on outside balconies. Whether it is Cuenca, Ecuador or the United States, or Santo Domingo, people love flowers and nature. I can hear the city around me, but can’t see it inside the park’s cocoon of trees. Like the Botanical Gardens in Montevideo, this is prime real estate that people with foresight put on the protected list a long time ago. Outside the huge cities of the world, however,nature still swings a big bat  and the places people don’t want to live, can’t live, or don’t have the resources to go, are many. Even in a world of seven billion people, there are places to escape humanity when you feel the need. Even though the city is pressing around us on all sides, the Jardin is natural enough to lift us up this morning, remind us that this planet is still, with exceptions, a Garden of Eden. Stewardship is mentioned in “Genesis”, in the Holy Bible. Taking care of what we got should be on the top of everyone’s to do list.  
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