Saturday 16th, April 2011.
We all piled into the bus for Gent. I filled my trip time up by making a PowerPoint for my upcoming Vaisnava Vedanta Presentation (having not presented in the Friday group).
We arrived in Gent and went straight to the park for a picnic. By the time we had finished our sandwiches, Partha Sarathi Prabhu and Rick Prabhu had already distributed a book. A man had stopped, seeing so many colourful people, and they rewarded him with Srila Prabhupada’s mercy for his curiosity.
The harinam party came out in what Partha called the “staggered formation”. Mahaprabhu Prabhu gave out three Tilak mrdangas, each a different colour and organized so the players made the image of the Belgian flag, as they walked along. Bhakta Adam was leading, with the king of turbans on his brow. The harinam speaker was cranked to kill. It was the perfect mix to gather attention from the crowds of young, sophisticated citizens of Gent.
I was on the scene with Partha Sarathi. It wasn’t long before we lost the harinam party (as always), whilst distributing a book to a girl in dreads with a Siva T-shirt. Finally we caught up, just as Gopal Hari Prabhu began to lead. We stopped by the riverside, inspecting large boats for a possible boat harinam, and Rick Prabhu gave a speech in Dutch to the people watching from the above bridge.
Soon enough we had Gopal Hari with us, skipping out on leading harinam so he could learn the ropes of book distribution from Partha Sarathi. They sent me over to a bench to talk with a man who was watching the harinam. I had a great talk to the guy, whose name was Peter, and coincidentally he was moving to Australia very soon. I gave him my card, so I could send him information on our centres in Aus and gave him a book.
We struggled to gather everyone into the bus in the end, because they were so fired up to keep preaching. The trip seemed to fly by and we culminated the experience with a pizza party in the restaurant. Partha Sarathi was so impressed by the experience that we talking about the option of opening a centre in Gent, being filled with favourable and educated young folk. It was surely a magical experience that was memorable for the sheer spontaneous bliss.
Part 1 . Part 2