My friend, Ken

…is one of the more colorful friends I have. I wanted to post a bit about him today because tomorrow he is getting ready to ride his Vespa scooter all the way across America, from Florida to California, to raise money for the children of Canoa, Ecuador. A few years ago he got involved in building a school there, in a small village without a school. They have been building La Escuela Bilingue los Algarrobos, one classroom at a time, each year trying to raise enough money to buy books and uniforms, and pay a meager salary to a teacher. You can read all about the school, the children and the village HERE.

(Here is their little school and the entire village of young children, teachers and EcoSurf volunteers.)

I can’t remember ever asking you guys directly to donate to a charitable cause and I can’t imagine a time when I would ask you again because, you know, everybody has plenty of charities they favor and not so much money right now. But here is the top ten list of reasons why you should go HERE and sponsor a few miles.

1. No matter how little money you have, you have more than they do. The school needs your help and you get a LOT of bang for your buck when you donate to them.

2. Ken adopted Stretch, the screech owl, at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve and is providing his food for a whole year.

3. Ken volunteers every single week at The Christmas Toy Shop here in St. Petersburg, repairing donated and discarded bicycles and at Christmas time, he gives them to all the families in St. Petersburg who can’t afford to buy them for their children. He is a curmudgeon with a big heart.

4. Ken bought a screech owl box at Wildlife Weekend and hung it in his tree. When our not so favorite neighbor attacked a honeybee hive, high up and bothering no one, out on the easement, with a can of hornet spray and insulation foam, the bees moved over to Ken’s owl house. As much as he wanted screech owls, he is letting the bees stay as long as they please.

5. Ken fought, long and hard, through the most miserable war, for his country. That would be you.(Scoot and Ken stop to see airplanes along the way. Ken flew helicopter rescue in Vietnam and went on to become a commercial pilot so he has interest in planes.)

6. Ken will write funny posts every day about his trip. They are funny because a) spelling is not his long suit and b) since it is just him and Scoot, he posts funny photos of Scoot doing things like admiring flowers, talking to policemen, enjoying a beer at a local diner. You can follow along with Scoot’s diary.

7. This is a ridiculously long trip for a 60-something guy to make on a Vespa Scooter and he needs all the encouragement he can get.

8. These photos of the first graduation at La Escuela Bilingue los Algarrobos illustrate the power and pride of education. When we help educate the children of the world we make it a better place for all of us.


9. Ken would do it for you. That’s a fact.

And the number one reason you should sponsor a few miles along Ken’s way:

He loves chickens!

We have no idea how long this trip will take. Ken thinks it will be about a month, give or take. We’ll keep his wife (the other Vicki, who helped me plant the new garden) company while he is gone, although she seems to do just fine on her own. They lived on a boat for a dozen years and half the time Ken would be flying off somewhere and she managed to entertain herself. Still, I know she will miss him.

Anyway, I think you should support Ken’s efforts to build the next classroom for the school. Death Valley and Bakersfield, California are already spoken for but you can sponsor as few or as many miles as you please through paypal or anyway you want, HERE. And then follow along as Ken and Scoot make their way across America.(Now that I think about it, he does sort of look like James Bond.)

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12 responses to “My friend, Ken

  1. Dammit Vicki, you know I have 2.9 kids in college and a “meager teacher salary”. Then you do this Madison Avenue sales job on this obviously neat guy!
    I was resisting donating pretty well, and then you tell me he loves chickens.
    Dang it.
    It won’t be much, but … dang it … you sold me.
    Friday is meager salary pay day. He’ll have to wait til then.

  2. Oh, happy day! Cool dudes doing for cool dudes. THANKS, FC!

  3. That Ken is “one of the more colorful friends I have” is perhaps the scariest thing I have ever heard you say on this blog. So, ok, I’m in, because

    1) he loves chickens
    2) he’s letting the bees stay
    3) Vietnam. nuff said.
    4) I refuse to let some Cracker in Florida get all the brownie points

  4. PS

    5) That what this blog shit is all about, right?

  5. Jane- precisely so! Thank you, thank you. And thank you for ‘friending’ Abby, too! 🙂

  6. I’m on it, baby. Happy to help out. I sure would like to meet him someday.

  7. He sounds like a great guy to know. I might be able to help soon.

  8. Done. But, I refuse to let bees move into my owl house.

  9. A true citizen of the world… my heart always goes out to people who extend a hand further than the boundaries of their town, state, country… and species. We will donate something to the cause.

  10. Lowndes County….. Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi?
    Who can resist a man who loves chickens… and children?

  11. very nice blog!! keep up the good work!!
    PS: check my blog!!! 😛

  12. An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a coworker who was doing a little research on this. And he actually bought me dinner due to the fact that I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to discuss this matter here on your web page.

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