Monday, July 12, 2010

Update on Jonathon Stalls' KivaWalk across the US

Jonathon Stalls and his dog, Kanoa, have completed 132 days and over 1,600 miles so far on their KivaWalk across the country! Jonathon wanted to share more about his adventure with the Kiva community and wanted to encourage his supporters in Colorado to join him as he walks from Littleton to Denver later this month.

Update from Jonathon Stalls in his own words:

- Half-way across the United States of America

- Over 1,500 miles traveled on-foot

- 65 + host families

- 268 members on KivaWalk Lending Team with over $188,000 in loans

- Four pairs of shoes

- Over a hundred small-towns

- 1,000 hungry ticks

- Watching seeds in fertile soil sprout to full harvest

Walking has truly become our job.

These good legs are moving on their own and my arms are programmed to frequently re-adjust the 50 pounds of sweaty pack to its snug position. New sights, shade spots, and the unpredictable interactions that await us fuel our focus. The vast & well-farmed expanse of the American Mid-West is rich and worth seeing. I strongly encourage everyone and anyone to take a few extra hours as you pass through Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio to visit small town America and her rural highways when crossing... you won't regret it!

We are currently moving through the last week of harvest season in rural Central/Western Kansas...its incredible. I remember as if it was yesterday when we trekked into planting season. Now we are surrounded by fresh cut fields and corn as high as my shoulders... outstanding. While interacting and learning from locals and host families I find myself consumed by the beautiful simplicity, raw hardship in tough economic times, and a strong personal desire to see businesses back into the local hands. The impact in moving towards faster, stronger, bigger, and easier is affecting this country in ways that is catching up to us. This lesson has been very real for me and I hope 'our' younger generations will grow closer to listening for it.

Ahhhh, halfway across the USA and already I feel fuller, smarter, and more solidified in priorities that will forever shape my choices & investments to come. We have crossed 1,600 miles of Eastern American townships, farms, forest, grassland, cities, and neighborhoods that thrive with rich American history. With these riches comes the luxury of more saturated communities offering access to gas stations and/or general stores about every 15 - 30 miles. Moving West we face new challenges and scenery. We are moving into the wilder and wider territory of the Rockies in Colorado, desert/canyons in Utah, lonely highways in Nevada, and the Sierra Nevadas in California. This next phase will require heavy planning and healthy discernment for our health & safety. We will be seeing some of the most spectacular land in the world; however, at the expense having less access to email, website updates, and our Facebook page.

Through this walk WE are bringing unique people from all over the world into the greater Kiva community. Promoting this organization continues to be everything and more of what I hoped for. I can't tell you how much I enjoy the hundreds of conversations that go beyond the surface, planting positive & challenging seeds on how we look at 'our' money. Kiva builds a beautiful bridge for people of all walks of life to re-focus, re-think, and re-visit the 'hows & whys' in our investments...I simply love it.

I welcome your help in 'walking' with us through your neighborhood, park, or trail. You are officially invited to JOIN US via bike, car, or on-foot in CO, UT, NV, and/or CA as we tackle these 'extreme' environments and would be more than open to helping you plan and strategize your involvement.

We continue, one foot in front of the other into the new communities rooted in the heart of the West. There is no doubt that what lies ahead will bring intense mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion; however, with it comes the rewards of raw adventure and truly feeling ALIVE!

I couldn't be more thankful to everyone that has made this trip what it is. Every email, comment, text, phone call, and effort made in support is seen, felt, and SO appreciated.

Enjoy the following words, they speak to me daily:

Our Deepest Fear

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous talented and fabulous?
Actually who are we not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn't serve the world
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you
We are all meant to shine as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone And when we let our own light shine we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same as we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

- Marianne Williamson

Jonathon and Kanoa invite all supporters in the Littleton, Colorado area to join them as they walk from Littleton to Denver on Tuesday, July 20th. They plan to depart from the Littleton YMCA at 8 AM. More details and the exact route will be determined soon. For more information click here.

KivaWalk News Coverage:

The Stafford Courier

The Ottawa Herald

NBC News: Kansas City

The Daily Star Journal: Part 1 and Part 2

Dodge City Globe

St. John, Kansas News Online

The Garden City Telegram

We wish Jonathon and Kanoa continued success on their trip! You can also follow Jonathon's trip on his KivaWalk website and his KivaWalk Facebook page.

**Disclaimer: Please note that the KivaWalk website is operated and monitored by Jonathon Stalls, and is independent of, and not affiliated with, Kiva Microfunds (“Kiva”), including its website ( Kiva and “Kiva Walk” are two separate and non-affiliated entities, and any transactions an individual may decide to make through or forKivaWalk or otherwise for Jonathan’s trek—whether financial or non-financial—would be solely for the benefit ofKivaWalk and would not be for the benefit of the Kiva organization.