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Monday, August 25th, 2003

Johannesburg, South Africa

Journey Over Africa

Return to South Africa

It's a short hop across the Arabian Sea from the United Arab Emirates to India, but because I am retracing my journey from India to Russia (using up the return halves of my airline tickets), I board the nine-hour Emirates Airline flight from Dubai to Johannesburg, more than 4,000 miles (6,500 kilometers) to the south.

All day we fly south-southwest, across the Tropic of Cancer in the early morning and over the desert sands of the lower Arabian Peninsula countries of Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, then across the Gulf of Aden and down the verdant east coast jungles of Africa along the Indian Ocean, over Somalia, Ethiopia, and, at noon, over Kenya and across the equator into Tanzania (with the Zanzibar Islands off the coast), ever onward over Malawi and Mozambique, until we cross the Limpopo River and the tropic of Capricorn into South Africa, and, rumpled and disheveled, we finally land at the Johannesburg international airport as the late afternoon sun plummets towards the western horizon.

Premasindhu Prabhu's two sons, Lokanath Prabhu and Yogendra Prabhu are there to meet me. They drive me over to the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Ashram in Lenasia, where I will stay for a few days before returning to Kolkata, India, via Mumbai. From Kolkata, I will have to get a ticket to Delhi, and then go on to Govardhan to await the return of Srila Gurudeva and his entourage from Moscow on Wednesday next week.

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