A three day repose had us back in FOI HQ, Sandy Ridgeâ€™s own Prabhupada Village.
Jagannatha Puri Dhama Prabhu, who has been with FOI since the summer of â€™03 was scheduled to be tested for a CDL (commercial driverâ€™s license) on the Thursday we needed to depart in order to be in Chicago. The pressure was on! By the grace of Lord Sri Krsna, Jagannatha Prabhu passed the complex and difficult test without difficulty, other than being admittedly, â€œvery nervousâ€. Hare Krishna!
Within hours of his receiving that license, he was behind the wheel aiming for Chicago, for the windy cityâ€™s Ratha-yatra. Friday evening had the last fifteen miles of the journey lasting better of two hours due to typical traffic. Showers and some prasadam and then back in action. The tents needed to fulfill the required set-up were in place but not stood up or staked down, that would be our morning duty.
As the sun rose on Chicagoâ€™s horizon, the threat of thunder showers urged us on to stand, stake, and tie the tents with haste. The new â€œWho is Prabhupadaâ€ exhibit was placed prominently so also the â€œrefurbishedâ€ Fish out of water was displayed before the public eye.
Weary but eager, most of the crew assisted in the lovely one cart parade glorifying Lord Jagannatha, Lord Baladeva, and Lady Subhadra. The cart was pulled directly into the site to the delight of everyone. The distribution of a â€œfree CDâ€ proved to attract crowds to the international gift shop. Free feasting satisfied the hungry and music drama, etc. captured those seated in the large assembly of spiritual seekers.
Krishnaâ€™s mercy held back the reins, in fact the weather was found to be most comfortable. One more visit to the temple for showers and prasadam before the next stop... D.C. Ratha-yatra.
New mid-week report.
Arriving just as the Potomac Temple parking lot cleared after its Sunday feast, allowing FOI the 48â€™ clearing it requires to secure our trailer. Madhuha Prabhu departed that night after having remained in the cab for most of the day. He had arranged for a servicing of the rental truck, therefore he needed to be in Greensboro, NC by Monday morning. He will rejoin the remaining crew members on July 2nd when the whole party will target the Washington, D.C. Mall site on the morning of the 3rd. Fourth of July is always a fixed date on the FOI calendar, Independence Ratha-yatra and Festival of India.