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Wednesday, June 11th, 2003

Durban, South Africa.

New sights

Getting used to change

After breakfast, Gopinath Prabhu drives Goswami Maharaj and me across town from Phoenix to the Prema Shanti Ashram in Chatsworth. Both these suburbs were formerly zoned exclusively for Indians under the hated Group Areas Act, but with the abolition of Apartheid, they are now becoming integrated.

It still takes some getting used to, driving across the city, to see Africans in Indian school uniforms streaming out of the school gate, jostling and conversing animatedly with their Indian school friends. It's a shock to realize just how strictly not just the white race, but all the races were segregated from each other in the schools, the workplaces, and the neighborhoods. Thank you Nelson Mandela.

At the Prema Shanti Ashram we are met by our hosts, Jiva Ananda Prabhu and his father, Mr. Krishna Swami Naidoo, who kindly allow us the use of the ashram for the remainder of our stay here in Durban.

Many of the local devotees attend the evening program to hear Goswami Maharaj speak and to spend the night at the ashram so that they can attend mangala arati and the morning program.

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