Cooking With Kurma

Kurma Dasa

Kurma's South American Tour

Cooking With Kurma > Travel Diary > South America

Part One: Transit in Santiago, Chile

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click for larger image At 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.  

click for larger imageAfter 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. 

click for larger imageMy 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.

click for a larger imageIn 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.

click for larger imageMy 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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