Posted by: Silver | July 21, 2011

Vermilion to Lloydminster

Distance: 64 km
Ascent: 297 m
Cycling time: 3 hours, 15 minutes

Ah, if only it could always be like this…! My ride from Vermilion to Lloydminster was one of those wonderful rides that make this journey a personal joy as well as (hopefully!) a good thing for SOS Children’s Villages. The sun was shining, the wind was at my back, the mosquitoes had been replaced by butterflies, and the wide shoulder kept me well enough away from the traffic to be able to enjoy the whole thing. 🙂

My time in Lloydminster was very busily but productively spent telling lots of different people about SOS Children’s Villages (newspapers, radio, TV, two Rotary Clubs, one church plus assorted friends and relations of my hosts), but, as my ever-wise mother pointed out, I haven’t actually spent much time telling all of you – my blog readers – about the charity, which I suppose could explain why most of you are still seeming rather reluctant to support them (the photo/blog appreciation fund still hasn’t even reached $250 yet… :-(). And so, in the first of an occasional series of ‘educational’ blog entries, let me introduce you to some of the reasons why I think SOS Children’s Villages is special enough to be worth 2½ years of my unpaid time…

I considered starting with a straightforward cut-and-paste of the charity’s mission statement:

“We build families for children in need; we help them to shape their own futures; and we share in the development of their communities”

but I couldn’t help feeling that this might well describe pretty much any charity working with orphans. So instead, let me tell you the main reason why I think SOS Children’s Villages isn’t just ‘any old orphan charity’: SOS Children’s Villages gives its kids a new Mum *. An SOS child isn’t just one of many in a big, institutional orphanage; an SOS child isn’t just a ‘foster kid’, forever being pushed from pillar to post and always feeling out of place; an SOS child gets to grow up in a secure, permanent family home, with an SOS Mother who loves him or her as an individual, the way my Mum loves me. And I think that’s the most wonderful thing in the world.

* and a Dad too, if they can possibly manage to recruit one!

Kitscoty is a tiny little hamlet on the way to Lloydminster. I only stopped there to use the washroom, but left with another donation for SOS Children's Villages after someone recognized the logos on Ranger's packs while he was sitting outside waiting for me!

The town of Lloydminster predates the creation of the provinces of Alberta & Saskatchewan: when the border was created - straight along a meridian - it went straight through the middle of the town. These posts mark the border

Here was another first: pig racing, at the Lloydminster Colonial Days Fair! All very cute and very, very silly...

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