Part Seven: Buenos Aires, Argentina,
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had a restful sleep in the guest room that had definitely seen better
days (it had a decidedly sloping floor and crumbling window frames!).
Towards the latter half of the temple morning program, I gave a
reading from my biographical work on the life of Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada. After breakfast, I met Pablo, who had
invited me to Argentina, and we discussed the plans for my visit.
Pablo headed up the Buenos Aires branch of Alimentos para la
Vida ( Food For Life), a world wide movement providing nourishing,
sanctified food to all in need. (http://www.ffl.org/)
explained that at the end of my ten-day visit to Buenos Aires we
would be staging a massive festival called Sabores del Mundo
- Tastes of the World - at a posh downtown
convention centre featuring live music and sumptuous food, all in
aid of raising funds for Food For Life. Pablo had invited
five musical groups to play at the event: Atmarama Dasa was
flying in from Spain to play his inspiring devotional, classical
guitar. Also appearing on the night would be "Xeiti Novo",
a Celtic music band, Irupe Tarrago Ros, a 'world music' group,
an all-girl spiritual gospel group called Sheprays, and 108
Sonidos, a world fusion ensemble. Quite a line-up! Pablo's
plans were certainly grand, and his enthusiasm was infectious. He
showed me the glossy brochures advertising the event, and I appreciated
the work he had put in so far. And there would be a lot more to
do before the night!
10.00 we headed off for a scheduled meeting with Carolina Garcia
Huidobro, the events co-ordinator of the venue, the Multiespacio
Darwin. On the way we drove past the shopping area of Abasto
and a few other famous landmarks. Carolina showed us all around
the colossal expo-hall, and our group began to discuss ( I had no
translator - oops!) how we would set up the rooms, the stage, the
food booths etc. I was intrigued at the mellifluous rendition of
Spanish spoken by the proud young portenos around
me. Argentine Spanish, called Castellano, is spoken with
an Italian accent!
I could barely pick up the gist of the conversation,
but it was great to listen to!
the long, animated discussion (of which I understood little) Pablo
and I excused ourselves, and drove downtown, past the famous
Plaza De Mayo, for a scheduled newspaper interview with an
old friend of Pablo's, Marcello Franco, Editor-in Chief of
Clarine.com, the on-line edition of one of Argentina's most
well-known newspapers. The interview with the well-educated Marcello
was up-beat and stimulating to say the least, and he enthusiastically
promised to promote the event. After a very late lunch, the day
was practically done.
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