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Home > Walking > Walk2018

Walk 2018 – daily accounts and reflections from Ian

Ian's 631 mile walk is being described below, 'as it happens'. Please consider sponsoring Ian so you can encourage Ian and contribute to the work of AFFIRM and Arukah Network.

Day 28 (June 28) – A day of appreciation and satisfaction


Walk completed!

The SWCP 2018 family has been joyful in its accompaniment. Thank you for your encouragement, optimism, and faith. Your stories, with stories of others (both local and global) illuminate meanings for life and faith and health. We see God and healing more clearly.

Insight has deepened out of a mysterious mix of solitude, isolation, exuberance, spiritual presence, and friendship.

I did not imagine we would all be doing this together, but we have done it!

Alison is superb as we all know. Thank you for your grace under pressure, adaptability and loving care. It was intense, though not publicly visible.

Thank you co-walkers. Craig, Elizabeth, Jon (and Stanley), Robyn, Colin, Hayley, Diane, and at odd times, Diana, Robin, and Alison.

Which takes me to the base-camp team on a not-holiday. Let's do this again? Amanda, Leesa, Peter, Louise, thanks for jumping into the boiling pot.

Andrew Cox is special – for care, attention to detail, and sensitive support. Maybe an extra vocation is surfacing?

Andrew Wilson in Melbourne (website), Rituu Nanda in Delhi, Robin Rader in New York, Jake Lloyd in London ... a brilliant communications team.

Day 27 (June 27) – Durdle Door to Swanage

a trio of walkers

Another unexpected day. It started with a spectacular coast and then a very long diversion around military land. After Robyn rejoined the walking team in the early afternoon, we found the coast again, and we could breathe.

The people on the path guided, informed, and inspired. We met Bob, Mike, and Chris, who said they were 'mad as a box of frogs'. Just an English expression. Eleanor and Sian are avid National Trust enthusiasts, because they want to preserve the coast for the public.

Gary and Charlie and Ozzie are photographers. They guided us to a 'Doctor Who' filming site, which is a cave hidden inside steep cliffs. We felt like Doctor Who and companion, but we were not sure who was which.

cliff-jumping youth

We were inspired by London school youth taking a jump off a cliff, safely mentored by an instructor. One said it was scary, but that it felt good.

Our valiant support team of Alison and Robin walked the path twice, though we missed each other until the very end.

There is something about the water. It has space, body, movement. We can submerge and be refreshed, or we can just look at it, and we find that it washes over us, and it seems to help healing happen. The theme of healing has come through today.

In Zambia in September, 2004, a family living with HIV shared their story. 'Since I started Anti Retro-viral treatment, I feel a lot better and I have encouraged 17 people in the past three weeks to go for Voluntary Testing and Counselling'. Drug treatment has helped. Yet it is the neighbourhood relational and spiritual healing that had driven treatment forward.

'God is our refuge and strength,
An ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
Though the waters roar and foam, and the mountains quake with their surging.
Be still and know that I am God.'
Psalm 46:1-3, 10 NIV

[Ed: 29 miles and 13 hours without comment thereon]

Day 26 (June 26) – Island of Portland

Dave and his dog Pam-Pam

I thought today would be similar in 'feel' to other days – but not so. A small island is just that-walkable all around, dramatic cliffs and sea colours, tea at the lighthouse, disused quarries one of which has been converted into a sculpture garden (Roy the Boy dog is a highlight), people with history and stories to share.

For example, in the early morning sun, Dave and his dog Pam-Pam explained how they host international students. Dave talked a lot about Brexit and that he really appreciates Italian students. I listened. We connected.

Beach boxes

Steve is retired. He had been a Navy weapons systems engineer based on Portland for many years, until the MOD cut back in the late 90's. Steve wants to fix things ... and to be creative ... so he makes jewellery for his wife. And he maintains what I think is the best beach hut at the best cove in England. We will be in contact.

The theme that comes to mind is 'small actions adding up'. Small actions in and by and with community accumulate. Circles of influence radiate and intersect. Movement for health and faith happens.

In Wiawso, western Ghana, community-to-community transfer became visible in 2014 after six months of SALT practice, with HIV and malaria as entry points.

Community people from Subiri said, in August 2014, 'Transfer is a process. We need to establish local facilitation teams in other transfer communities so that the support can expand'. And from Boinzan, 'We will start by helping people join the SALT team'.

Day 25 (June 25) – Durdle Door to Weymouth

serene coast

The shorter segment today was welcome! The scenery was breathtaking – cloudless sky, plunging declines, still sea, and stretching climbs. The rocks forming the Durdle Door shone in the early morming light.

An encounter with cricket-fan and family-centric John alerted me to an Australian defeat. Jim and Robin are fell runners ... they acted as pacers for a friend who ran the whole path in 14 days. That would mean 44 miles per day. My average of 22 per day is enough!

Orchid-hunting Sandra has found a rare orchid on her property. She is not advertising the secret but wanted to share her discovery.

As always the people on the path are there for their reasons. Connection is always found to values and thoughts that are evident in the stories of local people in other countries.

Today the connecting theme is 'Relentless'. During the daily struggles of many people with their family and community, they persist in hope.

A comment from Joseph Vandi, a university lecturer in Freetown, Sierra Leone, in November 2017 after an evaluation of a two-year SALT reponse to the Ebola epidemic: 'We have come to believe we are heading somewhere. We are sowing a seed. It is a community journey. The destination is transformation, for my life and others.'

Day 24 (June 24) – Eype to Weymouth

Shark tooth and other finds

Day 24 was a serene, gracious, Dorset country and Chesil Beach waterside walk.

We met Liz who connected with Robyn ... both nurses; Glenda and who moved from London to the coast 20 years ago; and several Duke of Edinburgh award teams of youth, who shared tales of getting lost, trying to read maps correctly, pushing on, and for others, giving up. All happy that they tried.

A short paleantology tutorial from John and Oxala happened around a 200-million-year-old shark-tooth that Oxala had found today.

The theme for today emerged as 'Finding the way'. In Malbork, Poland, the work is led by a husband and wife team Christophe and Gosia. Gosia is passionate about children's work:

'There was a lightbulb moment for me when Gosia described the children as part of the team that can have a God-influence in their own homes and neighbourhoods, because when they return home from the after-school club, they take God with them. They are different 'people' when they go home – and that shows.' Andrew Cox's reflection on a comment from Gosia during a Salvation Army Integrated Mission visit to Poland – 2016.

Day 23 (June 23) – Eype to Branscombe

the walking team at that moment

The walking team of Hayley, Colin, Robyn and Ian was joined by tbe base camp team of Alison, Amanda, Robin, and Diana for a Seaton beach picnic lunch.

In between many Saturday SALT encounters happened: Jim the retired marine who quotes Shakespeare; the 'jolly Molly' family; Steve, the Whole Path Walker, almost finished, very hopeful that he will complete; Tricia the local low tide guide; Sandra the artist; Lois the potter and one time hippie.

The people on the path are hopeful, eliciting the theme of hope. We agreed that hope can be expectation with action. The mystery is that we have to act without knowing the result. We trust, find confidence as we go, and find that we are different.

That happened in Henan, China, after a China-based SALT team conversed with families of people living with HIV, for many months. The people had become infected through transfusions of untested blood. Many died. The silence changed to acknowledgement, and confidence with hope emerged by March, 2012, when the GLoCon team visited.

For more detail on the GLoCon visit to Henan, China see GLoCon synthesis 7.

Day 22 (June 22) – Paignton to Exmouth

grafiti - love will find a way

The theme today is 'Love is the way'.

Sounds like a song, but it was sparked by meeting Tabor, from Hungary, who volunteers with the National Coastwatch Institute. He has been a sailor, and he wants to save other sailors in trouble at sea. He simply wants to give himself.

In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a SALT-mediated integrated-mission approach in Divinea Favela has influenced significant change over the past 28 years. The implementing team has many skills, yet their underpinning has been love for and with local people.

During the GLoCon visit of September 2012, Simone, President of the neighbourhood association, said 'We see people with the eyes of God, the eyes of love. We are not alone. There are challenges, but God is always with us'.

For more detail on the GLoCon visit to Brazil see GLoCon synthesis 23.

The path is now traversing south Devon. More towns by the sea, more ice creams, and in between the flat town promenades, the ups and downs remain relentless. Walking today was a delight in the warm day sun and cool morning and evening. The English Riviera ... we have seen it.

The walking team today were Robyn and Ian morning, adding Alison, Diana and Robin at lunch for a short (!) time, then Ian to Exmouth finish.

Thanks for following. SEVEN DAYS TO POOLE.

Ed: 26.6 miles today; 12 hours and 20 minutes.

Day 21 (June 21) – Paignton to Stoke Fleming


Three elements were surprising today: the weather was great; the encounters with people on the path were profound, even before 6.00am; and the folded beauty of the approach to the Dart River estuary was intensely compelling.

As Malcolm from Yorkshire said, the path can be 'relentless' in terms of up and down. There was a lot of that. The National Coastwatch team of Dave and Dave notice as they coordinate rescues.

Ian, a local resident, said he finds it easier to bear the crosses of others compared to his own. He was referring to the premature death of his brother and the support he now gives to the extended family.

He reminded me of the GLoCon visit to Bangladesh in February, 2012.

A community health worker spoke of women who had previously been involved in brothel work. After several years of SALT work, changes happened. Many took up other work ... 'the women are now respected to the extent that men cooperate with them.'

So the theme today has been 'Sharing in suffering'. For more detail on the GLoCon visit to Bangladesh see GLoCon synthesis 4.

Day 20 (June 20) – Hope Cove to Beesands

school children walking

More miles today ... warming up for the last week. [Indeed over 22 miles and duration nearly 13 hours]

Mystical mist, plunging cliffs, rugged with tranquil feel. One of the three top segments so far for me.

Very few walkers ... though suddenly, around a cliff corner came a primary school class from a local school. They do a week on the path each year. The Brits embed the walking community culture early! People from the village joined in to help manage along with a host if teachers.

The theme for me today has been 'SALT, light, and grace'. I was stirred by the atmosphere and presence in the mist.

Boat named Amazing Grace

In Stepney, East London, in June 2012, a GLoCon visit enabled a timeline to be mapped for the previous 13 years of Christian-Muslim interface. Through local neighbourhood SALTy conversations, light has come, and God's grace has been felt, and it has nourished the neighbourhoods.

'Over years we have developed knowledge of the neighbourhood that allows us to enter places. The timeline shows a thread from the whole pattern'. Kerry Coke, Salvation Army officer, June, 2012.

'Everyone has a story. Listening shows interest and gives positive feedback to the person. Visits build connections'. Jason, Stepney community volunteer, June, 2012.

For more detail on the GLoCon visit to Stepney see GLoCon synthesis 17.

Day 19 (June 19) – Hope Cove to Bantham; Wembury toward Plymouth

Ian, Alison and Robyn

Whew! An accidental rest day with two short walking moments. 9.01 miles. Three walkers. Robyn joined again. Alison launched into walking, having managed all logistics for the last 18 days. She is a true road warrior now, and much else.

The enforced schedule change was pushed by an absent ferry. Tony Goddard lives next to it, and invited us for coffee. A long Zambia-related conversation followed – all of us have had significant life forming times there. We met Mike from New Zealand and Elaine, and discussed out personal 'roots'.

Robyn and Alison

In February 2012, we explored the theme of roots and faith, as an interfaith team, south of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), near the Ganges River, with some Muslim communities. They were recent migrants with no land, and very little connection outside their own context.

'We cannot lose our place, or we lose respect'; 'In togetherness is our strength'. Community members from Diamond Harbour, November, 2012

For more detail on the GLoCon visit to India see GLoCon synthesis 3.

Day 18 (June 18)

Jill and Jo with Jon in the conversation

The key feature today was ... NO RAIN! Also Devon has again been entered from Cornwall ... south Devon to be accurate.

Jon joined the walking team again for a few hours. Thanks for your fine company, Jon.

Early this morning we enjoyed two delightful and surprising encounters. One was with Rosie who has opened the local Anglican church at 6.00am daily ... for the past 20 years.

Another was with Jo and Jill ... neighbours and long-termers living in Portwrinkle. At 8.00am they stopped for a long time to reflect on people from outside buying second homes in the town but not engaging locally. Who belongs? Who am I? Who are we?

The theme of 'Identity' emerged from these encounters. Fear and suspicion can flee, and trust grows, when we listen to local story.

At Cederbrae, Toronto, Canada, in November, 2012, Tina, a person linked with the Salvation Army, said 'We were invited back to the home, and we will go back to meet the mother of the young man we met today'.

For more detail on the GLoCon visit to Toronto see GLoCon synthesis 21.

Day 17 (June 17) – Millandreath to Porthpean

the enthusiastic sheep-organising Stanley, leading Jon and Robyn on the track

A tranguil and occasionally-difficult walk with another wet experience in the morning. It is becoming normal. 24 miles, start time 5.00am, finish time 8.05pm.

It was a joy to welcome Jon with the enthusiastic sheep-organising Stanley, and Robyn. Time flew! Good company.

We had a conversation with Steve who said he had lived in the village for 20 years. Did that make him a local? He feels he belongs, yet says that the locals say that you need at least two generations to be buried in the village cemetary to be a real local. He loves it because of the people and the coast.

The theme today is 'Community memory formation'. Thailand demonstrates strong longitudinal memory, which can be a solid foundation for informed action now.

'I saw my parents always giving, so I am also giving. I see the benefit. My children are successful, educated and employed.' Sopa, a health volunteer, working with the monk from the Buddhist temple. March 2012.

For more detail on the GLoCon visit to Thailand see GLoCon synthesis 5.

Day 16 (June 16) – Carne Beach to Porthpean


Rough in places, wet early morning, no walkers until midday, mystery of isolation and deep solitude, then happy anticipation for meeting Jon, Lisa and ... yes ... Stanley ... on the path. Collected by Peter and Louise ... me two hours late as usual.

Finally ... an Australian ... Duncan from Tasmania. And an American couple from Colorado who had just returned from a mission in Haiti.

It so happens that, a few hours earlier, I had based the theme for today, which is 'Sustainability', on the GLoCon story of Haiti.

Wesley Noel, community health director, Font des Negros, Haiti, November 2012: 'My faith in God means I have joy to serve and be helpful. I have been able to learn and share, within Haiti and internationally. This is right for me and I am supposed to stay'.

For more detail on the GLoCon visit to Haiti in November 2012 see GLoCon synthesis 22.

Day 15 (June 15) – Carne Beach to Heldan Passage


An easy walk ... tranquil ... recovery day after Day 14. People on the path are the highlight, as is the sea, and ferries, and Falmouth Harbour, and a big breakfast for lunch!

The theme today is 'Invitations back home'.

In Atlanta, USA, the Pittsburg community surrounds the Salvation Army School for Officer Training. In November 2012 we again visited the neighbourhood.

What did people say? 'Come out of your walls, don't stop coming to visit.'

What did we learn? 'We are learning how to engage to the heart and issues of this community. It is simple and profound'.

For more detail on the GLoCon visit to Atlanta USA see GLoCon synthesis 20.

Day 14 (June 14) – Mullion to Helford

stormy seas as a gale brews

The theme today, as a gale brews, has been 'Conversation'.

In September 2012, during a GLoCon visit to Victoria, Australia, the facilitation team of the then Department of Sustainability and Environment reflected about its work on bushfire prevention and management across the state.

'We built our team and relationships across the state showing equality and openness. Three communities began a community conversation about fire.' Claire Campbell

'Facilitation is highly unusual as an approach, especially from government. Change emerges when the facilitators are also willing to be transformed. Love is expressed.' Andrew Wilson

'The groups that have emerged over the past five years work a different way. They are diverse, gathered around food, campfire conversation, very open and flexible.' Matthew Campbell.

For more detail on the GLoCon visit to Victoria, Australia, see GLoCon synthesis 19.

Day 13 (June 13) – Mullion to Marazion

Fellow walkers

An easy walk today with frequent cliff fall diversions. Dog owners and their dogs advised.

The recurrent meetings continued ... Berkard and the German team ... Harriet and her sister Jen ... the Clough enthusiasts. Not forgetting Biscuit the cream-producing cow and her owner Kerris.

The theme today is 'Neighbourhood'. From Tondo, Manila, Philippines, June 2012, we heard from Feby, community visitor since 1991, grandmother of 10 children:

'This is part of our life; we cannot ignore or forget what we learned all those years ago. I feel a burden to start again. We used to visit the Barangay Captains to educate about HIV. I can still share what I learned.'

For more detail on the GLoCon visit to the Philippines see GLoCon synthesis 18.

Day 12 (June 12) – Sennen Cove to Marazion

Sennen Cove

Lands End, deepening community of 'people on the path', pale blue water, untouched white sanded coves: a startling introduction to southern Cornwall.

'Ownership' is the theme for today, arising from a Woking UK story of Stuart and neighbours.

'I stopped drinking two years ago. Three months later I began to volunteer time in the neighbourhood kitchen of The Salvation Army. It's a journey, but recovery is easy if you really want it.' Stuart, Woking UK, June 2012.

For more detail on the GLoCon visit to Woking see GLoCon synthesis 16.

Day 11 (June 11) – Sennen Cove to St Ives

Fellow walker

Hot and sunny, superb, rocky, strenuous ... and for some walkers even more. Another 26 miles.

The theme for me today has been 'adaptive organisational strategies'.

From Kharkov in Ukraine, June 2012, Salvation Army employee Oleg said 'I want to do more to go out, not only work from my desk.'

Vadim, the pastor/corps officer, said 'Visiting people at home helps us change our role from carrying everything, limited always always by how much we can carry. We can start by going out each week as a team, and we will learn how we can shift our priorities.'

For more detail on the GLoCon visit to the Ukraine see GLoCon synthesis 15.

Day 10 (June 10)

walking statistics and surreal morning coastline

The walk today was relatively painless and in the early morning the coastline was exceptionally misty and surreal. 30% of the walk is now complete!

My motivators are the scenes that change minute-by-minute; the 'people on the path'; and the Affirmers and SALT practitioners, near and far, who are connecting with me as I travel.

The daily quote, which is sourced from a specific SALT story from the initial GLoCon visits of 2012/13, is the foundation for the thematic analyis. Today it is 'shared confidentiality'.

Confidentiality is a capacity of local groups, especially family and neighbourhood, to know what is going on, and to safely share it in that group. This happens without fear of harm, and with awareness that the particular issue is usually everyone's concern.

walking track

HIV, addictions, leprosy, disability, mental illness come to mind. The group is enabled to function well and make decisions for change because of this trust-based based capacity.

In Narva, Estonia, HIV prevalance is high in young drug users. Sveta, an employee of The Salvation Army in June 2012, was part of the GLoCon visit team. She observed a family, living with HIV and AIDS, widen its circle of sharing simply by means of a conversation. All the visiting team members were included, including Sveta who had been living with HIV for 10 years.

For more detail on the GLoCon visit to Estonia see GLoCon synthesis 14.

Day 9 (June 9)

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Thinking about health social and community change with Denmark GLoCon stories from June 2012 in mind.

'Could we greet neighbours of different cultures and say hello across cultures? Yes we have done it, and we can do it here.' ‐ Sonia (retired Salvation Army officer living in the neighbourhood of Tingbjerg.

'Someone said that SALT is too simple. Actually we make it too complex in our own minds. It is a matter of daring to sit down with someone and listen.' ‐ Hanne Wahl, currently based in Syracuse NY, USA.

For more detail on the GLoCon visit to Denmark see GLoCon synthesis 13.

Day 8 (June 8)

Refreshments along the way

Today the theme is 'youth, future, and faith'.

'We have heard, and now will be able to tell our friends. We will share because the discussion today has been an eye opener.' So said Junior, a youth living in Mbabane, Swaziland, April, 2012.

Junior is part of a group of community youth who joined the SALT process of the GLoCon visit team. The youth chose optimism in preference to despair.

For more detail on the GLoCon visit to eSwatini* see GLoCon synthesis 12.

[* On 18 April 2018 Swaziland changed its name to eSwatini]

Day 7 (June 7)

a hooded Ian

The theme for today has been 'Invitation'. We recall conversations in Zambia, at Chisikesi town, near Monze, April, 2012.

Elvis Simamvwa is a significant presence in Zambia and beyond. He has been part of the Chikankata HIV home care and prevention history since 1987. He knows how to discern 'invitation' in local and poltical and faith contexts.

'What made the difference was not ART (anti-retroviral therapy): it was care. Caregiving has precipitated change.'

For detail see GLoCon synthesis 10.

Day 6 (June 6)

signpost – national trust – Hawkers Hut

Today's reflection is about signposts and facilitators.

The sign posts are strangely comforting. If one is missed, I tend become startled, as if the right guidance has gone.

When looking around, the sign is usually a bit further away, and I go there, and the right path opens up.

I see them as quiet facilitators-not demonstrative or loud, just there. Elizabeth and I had talked about their effect as 'facilitators', ensuring success of all on the path.

Day 5 (June 5)

coastal view

Tough walk today ... yet the most startlingly wild and provocatively beautiful part of the walk so far.

Alison and I are each and together finding our patterns that will help us actually complete in 29 days!

We thank God for the people on the path, for you all, many of whom are somehow participating at a distance as co-adventurers, and we thank Elizabeth for giving us accompaniment on Monday, as did Craig before that.

Today I have thought about 'facilitation team'. Superficially it's me who is doing this long walk (and yes it isn't easy) but actually I'm just the visible part of a wider team effort. It sheds light on global and local resonance through community story. Something to celebrate.

welcome lunch with team

In Zimbabwe, in Matabeleland, Mr Gift Moyo has nurtured community health team formation for almost 30 years. It is team development with a difference, in that they facilitate expanded local community response to HIV and other issues.

Gift looked back in April 2012, and remembered 'The community leaders resisted, but we continued meeting and including them, until most of them understood HIV and risk, and some of them joined us.'

For detail on on the Zimbabwe visit see GLoCon synthesis 10.

Day 4 (June 4)


Another 22.9 miles. Today's reflection is from Kenya, recalling the GLoCon visit in 2012 (for detail see GLoCon synthesis 8):

John Mutua, Kithithuni, Kenya, 2nd April, 2012:

'What we are is not equal to what we see now. We must always ask what else is possible. How did I become part of this story? I was standing with Antony somewhere. He said 'Just come and see what we do.' Others have joined by seeing what we do and asking to join.'

John died unexpectedly in 2017. His mission was to participate and his destination was to live in hope. He is there.

Day 3 (June 3)

After his walk today Ian offers the following reflection on the GLoCon visit to Long Chuan in 2012 (for detail see GLoCon synthesis 6):

Ian on Day 3

He Gan Mo is a respected local community leader in Long Chuan, Yunnan, China.

After community counselling happened from 2003 the numbers of deaths from drug abuse declined dramatically. Between 2008 and the visit by the GLoCon team in March 2012 there were no recorded cases of drug abuse. The village was awarded 'drug free' status by the county government.

'I see a lot of changes in people, who are more hopeful.' Five out of eight administrative areas of the prefecture were successful in becoming 'drug free'.

Day 2 (June 2)

Today Ian walked 28 miles! He offers the following reflection on 'listening'. For details of the GLoCon visit in 2012 to Srayikadu, Kerala, India see GLoCon synthesis 2:

'They came many times to listen and his (Rajeesh's) mental pain lifted'. Comment from the mother-in-law about the influence of the visiting trauma counselling/SALT team starting after the tsunami of 26 December 2004. Srayikadu, Kerala, India.

Day 1 (June 1)

Alison and Craig before the walk

Ians started walking at 4.45 am (!) and completed his first 21.82 miles nine hours later. Only 609 miles to go!

Ian recalls a quote from Maii Zoegparii of Aizawl, Mizoram, India (February 2012 after SALT and timeline exercise showing the period 1987 to 2012). For details of the GLoCon visit in 2012 see GLoCon synthesis 1:

"It's been like time has stood still; we grow as communities together on the journey through the river of life, the road of which is paved with relationships built with care and appreciation – a miracle that the Spirit of God has created."

Day minus 1 (May 31)

Warming up in the rain and cloud starting the walk tomorrow. See Alison with my brother Craig who are – at the moment – the Support And Walking Team.

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