Part One: Transit in Santiago, Chile
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Santiago Airport I spoke to ground crew who apologised for
the luggage problem. They promised to try their best to get my missing
suitcase to me before the end of the next day so I could fly on
to Bolivia intact. They also promised me $100 US to buy some
clothes. I exited the airport with only my hand luggage and met
my hosts for the next 36 hours – some devotees and associates
from Santiago’s Hare Krishna community. On the way
from the airport we discussed my plans for Chile. Although I would
be transiting only briefly here now, I would return in 1 month for
a one-week intensive cookery course.
a quick tour of the downtown, we arrived at the centre at Calle
J.M. Carrera 330, and retired to my freezing cold room with
the usual jetlag. I bathed in ice cold water – the water heater
had broken - borrowed an assortment of ill-fitting warm clothes
– and joined my hosts for lunch.
first repast in South America was delightful: Spicy frijolles
(beans), rice, soup, chilli rellenos (medium sized,
medium heat chilis stuffed with cheese), a sweet and sour vegetable
combination laced with chunks of fried queso blanco
(fresh white cheese) and a local mate (pronounced
as matay - tea) made from the leaves of the avocado tree.
the evening I dressed in devotional attire and attended the evening’s
exuberant chanting in the Temple downstairs from my room. I had
been scheduled to host the evening as a special guest, and read
from my book “The Great Transcendental Adventure”,
a history/biography of Prabhupada, my guru and the founder-Acharya
of the Hare Krishna Movement, and his visits to some of the major
cities in Australia.
book, published four years previously, was the fruit of a five-year
writing project that had taken me all around the world interviewing
Prabhupada's disciples and well-wishers who had experienced his
visits to Australia between 1971 and 1977. The 700-page book had
been well received everywhere, and the guests here were looking
forward to hearing some excerpts tonight.
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