Adventure Bags

Adventure Bags are hand-made from previously flown paragliders and traditional Malawian Chitenje cloth. Each bag is a unique piece of functional art and was made by a proud mom who learned to sew at The School of Dreams (Benjamin Jordan's project in Malawi.)
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Can your Wing Fly Forever?
A paraglider dies after only 400 hours of flying, but what if they could fly forever?

Well, after 14 years, and about 2500 hours of flying, I had retired six un-flyable wings to my closet and it was beginning to be a problem. I was holding onto them for sentimental reasons, unwilling to separate myself from the magical adventures each one of them encompassed. What else could I do?

Years earlier, I had travelled to Malawi, Africa and helped a young man there become his country's first Paraglider Pilot. Since then I have struggled to find a way to help other foreigners feel comfortable in doing the same. To me, the path was always clear, but less clear was determining how the project could be funded. Unwilling to be under the thumb of corporate sponsors or take the standard approach, of soliciting donations of westerners for yet another project in Africa, I was in a moral standoff of sorts.

And then one day I opened my closet only to have 40 kg of precariously balanced bags of old nylon come tumbling down and it hit me! I could take these gliders to Malawi, find people who needed work, teach them to transform them into something useful. Then together, we could sell them to support both their community and this unique paragliding initiative.

That's what happened, and over the past three years:

- four hard-working moms have learned to sew
- they have setup their own communal work space, complete with two foot-powered sewing machines
- 20 un-flyable wings have been sent to Malawi
- 250 bags have been produced and sold as a result
- the program has become self-sustaining model of repurposing, dedication, and ingenuity.


Now that the bags are selling and the program is running, attention has gone into supporting:

- the a Solar Powered Internet Centre for Youth, complete with a large table and four tablets with access to Wikipedia
- 15 volunteers stay at The School of Dreams centre, further contributing to the program infrastructure and local economy
- two young Malawians, in their desires to fly free, with another two slated for training in 2019

And so what about your wings? Will they fly forever? Will that porous old nylon be transformed into jobs, useful items and the opportunities for the young men and women of Malawi to share your passion for free-flight?

That's for you to decide! Either way, I am grateful to you for taking the time to read about what we have created and invite you to be a part of the magic in whatever way works for you.

Here are a few useful links:

- Check out the beautiful new Adventure Bags
- Donate a glider (flyable or not) to The School of Dreams
- Volunteer in 2019

Ben :)

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PREVIOUS DISPATCHES

XBC : A Dream Come True

I always knew someone would do it. I just never imagined it would be me.  The potential of paragliding over the entire span of Canada's southwest mountain ranges, has been my great dream since moving out here 10 years ago.   And, though there are many other Canadian pilots more worthy of such a task, I discovered that for one reason or another, they all had logical reasons for why it could not be done.   Today, please celebrate with me as I walk to the Calgary MEC store, completing this 39-day, solo, unsupported journey from Vancouver to Calgary and the first Canadian vol-biv, from Pacific to Prairie.  More importantly, thank you all for your support and believing in me in general. The love you show makes impossible seem like an outdated concept.  <3 B

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XBC - The Gear List

Over the past few weeks I have received many emails from people curious to know what gear I carried throughout the XBC vol-biv. And while I intend to offer a short review of each item, this will take a bit longer so we'll start with this basic gear list for now.  [h]Paragliding[/h] Ozone [url=http://www.flyozone.com/paragliders/en/products/gliders/alpina-2/info/]Alpina 2[/url] Ozone [url=http://www.flyozone.com/paragliders/en/products/harnesses/ozium/info/]Ozium[/url] Harness (foam removed for space) High Adventure [url=http://www.highadventure.ch/en/beamer-3-en.html]Beamer 3[/url] Lite Directional Reserve Revolver Snowboard Helmet Garmin E-trex GPS (simple) Flytec Variometer (old, sound only) Samsung Galaxy S4 Phone with Topograpical Maps  [h]Camping[/h] Delorme [url=http://www.inreachcanada.com/inreach-se-two-way-satellite-communicator/]inReach SE [/url]Two-Way Satellite Communicator Ozone [url=http://shop.flybubble.co.uk/ozone-geo-backpack-56l]Geo Lite[/url] 56 Litre Rucksack Petzel Tikka Headlamp Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 Tent Thermarest NeoAir Sleeping Pad Western Mountaineering SummerLite Sleeping Bag MSR Hydromedary 2L Bladder with Drinking Hose MSR Dromedary 10L Bladder Iodine for Water Treatment Jetboil Flash Lite + 100g Fuel Kala Soprano Ukulele Mosquito Head Net Hygene Stuff First Aid Kit Pocket Knife Whistle Lighter  [h]Camera + Charging[/h] Sony RX 100 M4 Gopro 4 Silver Goal Zero [url=http://www.goalzero.com/p/11/Nomad-7-Solar-Panel]Nomad 7[/url] Solar Pannel Goal Zero [url=http://www.goalzero.com/p/358/flip-30-recharger]Flip 30[/url] USB Battery Pack  [h]Clothing[/h] Oboz [url=http://obozfootwear.com/mens/backpacking/beartooth-bdry]Beartooth BDry Boots[/url] (1) MEC Synthetic Antimicrobial [url=https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5046-660/Pro-Elite-2-Boxer]Underwear [/url](3) and [url=https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5039-860/Core-Shot-Short-Sleeve-Tee]Shirt[/url] (1) MEC Merino [url=https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5034-434/T2-Zip-Hoodie]T2 Zip Hoodie[/url] Underlayer 2XU Calf Compression Sleves (1) Disent Compression Socks (2) Wool Socks (1) Prana Stretch Zipper Pant (1) SARI Synthetic Bottom Underlayer Goal Zero Neck Buff (2) Imitation Mamut Down Vest Mountain Hardware Wind/Rain Shell DeFeet Merino Gloves Valandre Oural Down Mittens Oakley Valve Sunglasses (Thanks Mike!! :) Ozone Cap  [h]Food for 5 days[/h] 1 kg Peanut Butter 500 g Instant Ramen Noodles 500 g Rolled Oats 250 g Espresso Coffee :)

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The Boy Who Flies

Adventuring into the heart of Africa, a paraglider instigates a young man's potentially deadly quest to release the weight of poverty, social taboos and self doubt, and take to the skies. In doing so, the traveler is confronted with unsettling truths about his own racial and cultural identity.

In a country where no one flies, two friends can inspire a nation by putting everything on the line.

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A Canadian Dream

Fly along as Benjamin Jordan sets a new World Distance Record (10,000 km) as he crosses Canada by Powered Paraglider. Along the way, you will land at summer camps and inspire thousands of children, while raising funds to send less fortunate ones to summer camp next year! The 71 minute, Documentary Feature contains 15 chapters chronicling the epic successes and failures of this unprecedented journey. Each chapter focuses on a unique aspect of Canadian geography, culture and the exact mix of team-work and blind optimism required to pull off such a daring stunt. Since it's release in 2010, A Canadian Dream (formerly "DREAM") has screened in theatres world-wide and, through it's proceeds, has allowed almost 100 children, from low-income homes, the opportunity to attend summer camp.

Watch Now..
Join the Adventure!
Your information will be kept confidential.