The Heart of the Matter
November 16, 2012
Prem Rawat in Madagascar


Traveling guest blogger, Louise Roenn, checks in with another onsite report from her series of "Into Africa" posts. Next stop: Johannesburg.

"I've been waiting for 30 years to see him in person. Now, he is here!" says a smiling Mbolatiana Andrlamahefarivo in the Carlton Hotel lobby in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar.

Mbolatiana has been listening to Prem Rawat's message of peace since 1980 and has maintained a strong wish to see him, in person, ever since. Today will be his moment.

The lobby, this morning, is buzzing with anticipation and excitement prior to today's historic Words of Peace event.


Not only is it Prem Rawat's first visit to Madagascar -- for most of the 450 attendees, it is the first time they have ever seen or heard him live.

"We want to thank you for coming," an elderly gentleman says to Prem Rawat 30 minutes into the event. "We have been waiting for so long."

"Because of you, I'm here," Prem Rawat responds, acknowledging the extraordinary efforts made by people everywhere -- both local and half way around the word -- to make today's event possible.

Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world. The majority of its 20 million inhabitants make less than 2 USD per day. The island is covered by desert, mountains and rain forest, with species, fauna and flora found nowhere else on Planet Earth.

Thanks to the generous support from people around the world, Madagascans from even the most remote parts of the island have arrived for the event after days of traveling by bus, train, and airplane.

"I know this country is poor, but the hearts of people here are rich. That is the true wealth," Prem Rawat declares to the rapt audience. "I know you are going to go forward, and that wonderful things will happen here after this event."

I didn't think the smiles on the faces of Mbolatiana and the other people I met in Madagascar could get any bigger until I saw them after the event. Wow.

"We can't find words to express what we are feeling on the inside after this event," two young guys tell me on their way out. "It is one of the best days of our lives."

Photo 1: Mbolatiana Andrlamahefarivo (in the middle) and other volunteers from Madagascar.

Photo 2: Rozelia Harisoa Antenaina (right) and two friends who helped with seating at event in Madagascar.

Prem Rawat, on TV, in Africa
Benin, Acra, and Johannesburg events

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at November 16, 2012 03:57 PM

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