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Monday, June 9th, 2003

Durban, South Africa.

Drive to Durban

Meeting old friends

Shortly after breakfast, Goswami Maharaj, Premasindhu Prabhu, Gopinath Prabhu and I pack our bags into Premasindhu Prabhu's car, and we set off on the 600-kilometer journey to Durban.

I had forgotten how beautiful the South African countryside is. We drive through the highveld, the dry, open grassland of the Transvaal province, flat as far as the eye can see, with occasional scattered kopjies or crags, and just when you are becoming bored with the flat, monotonous terrain, a huge outcrop of rock punches forcefully through the flat earth like a giant, craggy fist.

We cross the Drakensburg Mountains at Van Reenen's Pass and the terrain changes dramatically as we descend for over a mile (1,697 meters) through the verdant hills and valleys of KwaZulu, Natal, all the way to the seaport of Durban on the Indian Ocean.

We arrive in Durban at sunset and go to Rishabdev Prabhu's house where many old friends are gathered to receive us: Shanta Prabhu, Rishabdev Prabhu and his wife, Chintamini Devi Dasi, Shyamali Devi Dasi, Ramanatha Prabhu and his wife, Indumukhi Devi Dasi, "Teacher" and his wife Kaliya Krishna Devi Dasi, and many other devotees and guests.

We have a little kirtan, Goswami Maharaj and I address the assembled devotees, and we all partake of a sumptuous fourteen-course prasadam feast.

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