While travelling south, we had to pass through the Gold Coast, and Sudevi’s invitation to visit her family at their home came at the right time. We first met Sudevi and Venu in July 2011 at the Parakai hot pools in New Zealand! Soon after, we reconnected online and when their family moved to Australia later that year, I hoped we would hook up again on this side of the Tasman.

Sudevi has been persistent in inviting us to visit. It’s lovely to finally be able to see their new home, which is within sight of the water at Currumbin, and to meet more of Venu’s family who are in town for Lalita’s fifth birthday tomorrow.

Sudevi and Lauren, November 2012
It's just been a brief visit, but I love connecting with beautiful women, and Sudevi's heart is lovely and pure.

We parked up the top of a residential street on the hill above the beach and descended a steep driveway to access the Howard-Clarkes’ home. Although it’s an old, small building in need of renovations and possibly slowing falling down the hillside, Sudevi has filled it with colour and warmth.

Delaney in Lalita's bed, November 2012
Dell rediscovers the joy of digging under the covers on a soft bed. I love the curtains in Lalita's room — they're beautiful maidens and unicorns.

At home in Sudevi's house, Currumbin Beach, November 2012
It doesn't matter the size of the house, little artistic touches are what personalise it and make it a home.

Krishna gods on the family altar in Sudevi and Venu's home, November 2012
Sudevi and Venu are Krishna devotees, and this is their family's altar.

Our girls were quickly welcomed by 5yo Lalita and 2yo Kishori, along with Venu’s 3yo niece Ella, so we boost little-girl-numbers to seven. There was a bit of scuffling as certain toys were considered, but Lalita and Kishori were soon distracted by their extended family members who came for tea.

Calista playing with a wooden cake set, November 2012
Calista enjoys playing with this beautiful wooden cake set. Each piece and decoration is held in place with a little magnet.

Venu playing guitar with his brothers and mother in the background, December 2012
After the family meal, Venu leads us in worship songs. His family are all devotees and they sing songs that obviously familiar to them all.

It’s lovely to be welcomed within a family circle again, and I find it interesting to observe the religious practices of other faiths. So much reminds me of my own time in Christianity — only some words are different. We’ll spend more time with the Howard-Clarkes tomorrow before we continue our journey south.