Monday, August 18, 2008

Lord Balarama's Appearance Day

ISKCON Silicon Valley
Lord Balarama's Appearance Day

Book Distribution Team (photos of Bhakta Jonathan and Vaisesaka das)
Bhajans with Gauranga Kishore das, Tusta Krishna das and Stephanie
Downtown Santa Cruz, California

LA Ratha Yatra

After driving from Florida to California, Bada Hari and I arrived the night before Lord Jagannatha's parade. Nrsimhananda and Natasha kindly hosted us (and eight other devotees) at their pyramid house in Topanga.

Kathleen, Kristy, myself (Kosa) & Nicole

I am blessed with awesome sisters.
They are a big reason for me to live
in Monterey.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Artist Hide-away

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

New Zealand Flashbacks

I could be marooned here in the Bay of Islands - no problem

Beached Kayaks at the Bay of Islands

Goat Island, 1 hour north of Auckland, snorkeling around the reefs

Sukadeva and Gaura wrestling

Piha Waterfall, about 1 hour west of Auckland

Father and Son under the Fall

The Beach at Piha

Lake Taupo

Would you trust this driver if you were being towed?

What Bada Hari does when he's not singing

Gaura flying hard and high

Crater of the Moon Thermal Park

View from the volcano

The end of another beautiful day in New Zealand

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Melbourne, Australia

In Melbourne, Australia, is a thriving ISKCON temple on the outskirts of the city, in the historic district a few blocks from the ocean.
Srila Prabhupada visited Melbourne four times, twice here at this temple. His rooms upstairs house a beautiful museum, with all his personal paraphernalia on display. The main sitting room is where we chanted our japa each morning.

A lot of prasadam distribution is happening every day in Melbourne. Downtown is Crossways, an inexpensive lunch program that serves at least 300 people each day. Two blocks away is Gopal's restaurant, serving 200 - 250 people for lunch and dinner.

Brahma Kunda kindly hosted us in his apartment on the outskirts of Melbourne city, driving us to and from the temple, taking us to see the city, to the beach, and most important- bringing maha sweets for Gaura.

While in Melbourne,
Gaura and I watched some of the Australian Tennis Open matches.

The beach near the temple.

Sunset over the city bridge

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Dolphins & Koalas

Bay of Islands

Four hours north of Auckland is the famous Bay of Islands, with the warmest weather and water you’ll find in New Zealand.
Many of the residents of New Zealand’s Northland, both historically and present day, are of Maori descent. In the evening we went to a cultural presentation on the history of the Maori people presented by Maori youth and young adults in story, dance and song.

Amongst the 144 islands dotting this bay there are dolphins, whales, penguins, and other varieties of sea life. Wanting to swim with the dolphins, we went out on a half day excursion around the bay. There are many eco guidelines in place to protect the dolphins, so we didn’t end up getting to swim with them, but we did enjoy some wonderful exchanges off the bow of the boat. All the dolphin pods we came upon had young calfs, so to protect them, no swimmers are allowed.

Gaura took these dolphin photos from the boat
(not easy to get!)

We were invited to lead an evening program about one hour south of the Bay of Islands.
Vidyapati’s parents, Marleen and Bill, live near Whangarei, and host programs at their home from time to time. The bramacharis from Auckland stay with them sometimes to distribute books in the area, and invite the people they meet to these programs. It’s an informal get-together: teaching people how to sing kirtan, explaining why to chant and touching upon our basic philosophy, and of course, serving a wonderful dinner. Many of the guests stayed around for casual conversation and to ask questions ‘till after 10 pm. Can this simple format, with brand new people, be duplicated anywhere?

Fast Forward

We’ve got about 3 weeks of blogging to catch up on, so we’re going to fast forward so we’re current, and fill in the missing weeks’ photos here and there.

Melbourne, Australia

On the 2nd day of the retreat at Nandagram, 2 hours from Melbourne, Kaushal prabhu took us out to see the coast on Great Ocean Road and wild koala bears.

Gaura climbed high in the Eucalyuptus trees to take these photos

He even shot this one while balancing in the tree

I got these two shots from below, as Gaura bonded with his new friend