On Thursday, May 24th we left Phoenix on a flight to Chicago. We planned to drive to our first stop in Bloomington before going to the Chicago temple that evening, but changed our mind and stayed overnight in Chicago due to a late arrival time. The next morning, Friday, May 25th we paid a visit to the Chicago temple before driving to Bloomington and were greeted by kirtan from an ecstatic group of devotees. After some prasadam we made our way to Bloomington, Illinois.
We arrived in Bloomington at the home of Shankararanya prabhu and his family for prasadam. Later we went to the newly constructed temple he and the small congregation of devotees there have built to set up our displays to prepare for the TOVP presentation that evening. The temple filled with almost 75 devotees for kirtan during which the Padukas were offered flowers. Radha Jivan and Jananivas prabhus then spoke about the TOVP project in great earnest followed by a plea for pledges. In a short time over $50,000 in pledges were made. Kirtan started and devotees received the Sitari on their heads, after which prasadam was served.