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Tuesday, June 10th, 2003

Durban, South Africa.


I yam what I yam

After a good night's rest, we attend mangala arati in the small temple room in Rishabdev Prabhu's house. Rishabdev Prabhu is our most senior devotee in Durban. Afterwards, he and I reminisce about the early years when we were still trying to establish the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math here in Durban in the 80's.

Shyamali Devi Dasi and her brother, Ramanath Prabhu arrive later in the morning with some madoembies to complement the already sumptuous lunch provided by our host, Rishabdev Prabhu. Nobody seems to know what the English name is, but a madoembie is a highly nutritious yam that is a staple among the indigenous African population.

I saw some madoembies in the local market yesterday and mentioned that I had not had one in twenty years, so they are served for lunch today. The devotees here are like kalpa-vrksa, or the wish-fulfilling trees; Goswami Maharaj and I have to be careful what we say because even the most casual mention of something in conversation results in its materialization.

In the evening, the late Bhuvan Pavan Prabhu's wife, Jayawathi Devi Dasi, and her family arrive in two cars from Pietermaritzburg to see us. Bhuvan Pavan Prabhu was the manager of the beautiful Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math that he started building for the satisfaction of Srila Gurudeva in Pietermaritzburg. His eldest son, Nimai Ananda Prabhu is now managing the Math and overseeing the construction with the help of Sanjay Prabhu (architect).

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