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Friday, June 27th, 2003

Durban, South Africa.

Visit To Wentworth

And Durban beach

After breakfast Premananda Prabhu and Shanta Prabhu drive me to Wentworth, the old so-called Colored area where I grew up, to pay a social call to my ex mother-in-law (Lucille and Lee's grandmother).

Wentworth used to be an extremely violent, dangerous place. When the Afrikaner Nationalist Party came to power in 1948 and institutionalized Apartheid, homogeneous communities were uprooted and forced haphazardly into segregated "group areas," without regard for social class or culture. Naturally, such disparate dumping resulted in resentment and chaos, and feelings of impotence and frustration was expressed in violent acts of rage and self-hate within these "communities." Anyway...

It's the middle of winter here, but it's always warm in Durban, so later, Paramahamsa Maharaj, Premananda Prabhu, Shanta Prabhu and his son Govinda Gopal Prabhu, and Jiva Ananda Prabhu's son, Harihara Prabhu, and I take a drive to the beach.

Durban Beach

As we drive along the sheltered bay, from the Bluff all the way around to the Point beach on the other side of the bay, I'm reminded of the old joke about Durban: "When you get to the Point, it's all Bluff."

We walk along the former "Whites Only" beach along the Esplanade, past souvenir and curio vendors, to the aquarium and dolphinarium, stopping to feed the pigeons along the way.

Back at the Prema Shanti Ashram in Chatsworth, we have a small evening program for the local devotees and guests. Some of the guests sleep over so that they can attend the mangala arati tomorrow.

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