We are on our way on the overnight express train from Kiev to the Black Sea port of Odessa. I can never seem to sleep well on the train. At 2:13 a.m. we arrive at Vinnitsa, and an hour later we reach Zhmerinka — patches of light in an otherwise dark, snow-covered landscape.
At 4:37 a.m. we stop for two minutes at Vapnyarka, an hour later we make another two-minute stop at Kodima, and yet another hour later we stop at Kotovsk for twenty minutes. It is snowing; the snow is at least eight inches thick, judging by the footprints in the snow outside my window.
By the time we reach Zatishya at 7:46 a.m. most of the devotees in our tour party — Ashutosha Krishna Prabhu, Mukunda das Brahmachari, Nitai Chand Prabhu, Indra Mohan Prabhu, and Nikolai in our compartment, and Dayal Krishna Prabhu, his wife Lila Mayi Devi Dasi, and mother Isanuga Devi Dasi in the next compartment) are up.
Everybody chants the Hare Krishna maha-mantra on their japa mala for an hour or so until we reach the penultimate stop, Rozdilna, and during the last hour of the journey, I answer questions about Krishna consciousness until we arrive at Odessa, right on schedule, at 9:48 a.m.
Raghava Pandit Prabhu meets us at the station; after lunch I meet with some of the local devotees, and in the evening we have a public program at Sunaina Devi Dasi's dance academy.