Pirates of Jurassic Park
The place. Kauai, the Hawaiian island nicknamed “The Garden Isle.”
The particular place. The National Tropical Botanical Gardens in Poipu (Allerton and McBryde Gardens)
The point in time. May 21st, 2010
The pirates. Me, two teaching assistants, a pair of cooking coordinators, and 18 students from Trinity Western University
Aye, matey! We showed up at the front gate of these gardens, see. And we heard they was filmin’ Pirates of the Caribbean IV there. We would’ve given our earings to see the likes of Johnny Depp (a.k.a. Jack Sparrow, a.k.a. Captain Jack Sparrow) and his crew. That woulda’ made our Trinity Western University travel study a real treasure, eh?
But no, our tour guide kept steering us away from the pirates. S’like he thought we weren’t quite safe with a bunch of pirates. Little did he know we were pretty well pirates ourselves, navigating the high seas of botany, science and theology. Macho botanists we sometimes called ourselves.
Still, ‘twas larger than life when we found ourselves embraced by giant fig tree roots that had once held velociraptor eggs. We half expected to be confronted by Professor Ian Malcolm from the Jurassic Park movie askin’ us what God woulda’ thought of bringin’ dinosaurs back from the dead.
Remember that Jurassic Park pirate – that computer techie who tried to make off with dino DNA? The stormy scenes of him trying to make his getaway were real. Hurricane Iniki had struck with a vengeance on the island of Kauai during the making of the movie in 1992. Steven Spielberg managed to film a few scenes there before the lot of them hightailed it to go film the rest somewheres else.
No hurricanes hit Kauai while we tramped about the garden isle for the month of May. We brought back no actual gold from the island, nor autographs of Johnny Depp, but our pirate fellowship in the sparkling sunshine was priceless. No swords were wielded except the living and active double-edged Word of God (Hebrews 4:12), and that sword stabbed all of us from the captains to the crew, through and through.
For God so loved Kauai, the pirates, the plants and the dinosaurs, that he sent His one and only son that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life! (John 3:16, Jurassic Park translation)