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July 17th, 2009 - By: Keren Menashe - Location: Thunder Bay - Permalink
It seems that no matter how much intention we have for making our way through Northern Ontario, the winds are determined to keep us here for a little while longer.

We have been grounded in Thunder Bay since Monday evening when we arrived...although we did have two successful launches but the winds were too strong at higher altitudes and Ben had to come down almost immediatly.

But we have been super productive! Thanks to the quick turn around by the insurance company and Rob's generous support we have new computers again and we are quickly catching up on the things that have been neglected. I guess that is what windy days are good for!

T. Bay (or as we prefer to call it, Thunder B.) has been super kind to us and the Churchill cul-de-sac neighborhood has taken us in and shown us us love and so much support.
Thank You Don, Lori, Tabitha, Graziela, Albert and John!

with much gratitude,
Love in Northern Ontario
July 15th, 2009 - By: Keren Menashe - Location: Thunder Bay - Permalink
The entrance to Ontario was marked by amazing trees, an endless number of lakes and very few places to's as scary as being in the mountains. But it sure is beautiful.

We got held up in Dryden for four days waiting for the winds to die down so that we could make a run for Ignace, Upsala and eventually Thunder Bay.

While in Dryden we had the privilege of staying with Kate and James Kroeker. They are the parents of a good friend, Rachel, and they took us in like their own. Our gratitude to you guys is endless. We were given the space to feel at home, with our feet on the ground and the rare opportunity to rest and truly recharge. Thank You Kate and James!

When we did finally get off the ground we had our longest distance day since the beginning of the trip. Benjamin flew 350km from Dryden to Thunder Bay, with a stop in Ignace to refuel and a stop in Upsala to wait out the heat.

In Upsala we were greeted with a friendly woman running across a field to invite us to lunch. We had a delicious lunch with Jim, Lynn and Leanne at their beautiful cliff side resort. This is a secret gem of Upsala. They are in the works of putting in a golf course but their driving range and events location are set up and the feel of the place is magic.

Thank You Jim and Lynn for the hospitality, donations and gas. Your support and enthusiasm is still talked about on the bus.

This blog is for the love that we've been experiencing. Thank You.

Thank You Steinbach!
July 7th, 2009 - By: Keren Menashe - Location: Steinbach - Permalink
The wonderful people of Adventure at Altitude in Steinbach, MB welcomed us in with open arms last Saturday!

Barry, Tim and their crew had a day long fundraiser in our honor and brought out the BBQ, hot tub, DJ and disco lights! It was so great to spend our weekend with people who love life so much.

Thanks Barry for the 4L of motor oil. Thank you for the donation and the fundraiser.

Thanks so much you guys for the effort, and love and attention.

You guys are amazing.
Much love,
Ben, Jess and Keren
Honey was broken into...
July 6th, 2009 - By: Keren Menashe - Location: Winnipeg - Permalink
Honey our bus was broken into last Thursday in Winnipeg.

Two computes were stolen:(

I still haven't really found the words to express the frustration and battle that goes on in my head.
How to let go? Be gentle on my heart and not get to a place of distrust for everyone...

Can't shake off this feeling that if more kids that felt desperate to steal got to go to camp...maybe they would find all sorts of reasons and strategies to help calm the desperation...
Maybe those kids would find a way to connect even with strangers, and find enough care to respect their personal spaces.

We are trying to find solutions to this very frustrating problem. If anyone can help us by sponsoring and making a note that it is for the computers that would be very greatly appreciated.

Thanks for everyone who has been so supportive.
Much gratitude for all the kindness that we experience, know that it is not erased by a little misfortune.

Almost rained out in Brandon, MB
June 26th, 2009 - By: Keren Menashe - Location: Brandon - Permalink
We got to Brandon Manitoba yesterday! Brandon is our first stop in Manitoba and were so excited to finally have some calm skies and a wonderfully curious community to land in.

As Ben approached the town, people stopped their cars and got out to take a look at this strange lawn mower sound coming from the sky. The radios picked up our story and the newspapers and tv were stoked to come and check us out.

Thanks for the warm welcome Brandon!

But Friday morning came...and the rain came with it. We did everything we could to push back the presentation to avoid the rain. But important year end commitments and graduation kept us from giving Riverview School the full deal.

Luckily, The rain stopped for just a moment and Ben managed to stay in the sky just long enough to photograph students in a Raven formation.

It was super great fun to be in Brandon. Thank you Riverview for your patience and energy.
Have a wonderful Summer.

Blow outs and tough calls.
June 22nd, 2009 - By: Benjamin Jordan - Location: Regina - Permalink
Standing in a school yard full of 350 eager bodies, a beautiful tiger's paw laid out in strings to contain them, paramotor warmed up and a wing ready to take me away the east stand members of the media, the principal and a school board rep ..looking to the west I can barely keep my eyes open the prairie winds have increased so rapidly. No, not again! It took what felt like forever to get over canceling the Lindale launch in Moosejaw and here we are, on the cusp of another sacrifice in the name of safety.

I explain to the kids that while there's nothing I want more than to show them the magic of lift and capture their formation, making poor choices means not making goal; still a good 7000 km away. Though their principal encourages applause, there is a void ..some clap, but my presentation is incomplete and even the kids that weren't listening can tell. They return to class, then a group of 20 return, each holding a kite. The art-and-craft wings trash around in the 40 km/h gusts, up, down, right, left.

Guess I made a good choice. I hate making good choices.

Sorry Dr. Hanna.

First Canceled school launch:(
June 20th, 2009 - By: Keren Menashe - Location: Moose Jaw - Permalink
We arrived in Moose Jaw bright eyed and bushy tailed after a strong tail wind pushed us hurriedly from Swift Current. We were so excited to be coming into this wonderful community.

Lindale Elementary school had invited and received us with such enthusiasm and we were delighted to be there.

But somehow, after a day of computer work and rest, the winds changed and when we awoke on Friday to present to Lindale school, the winds were blowing at least as hard as they were in Swift Current. But,we got suited up and prepared for a difficult launch.

After Ben's presentation and Cam's safe, but dicey launch Ben prepared to take off but the wind decided differently. She pulled Ben back and brought the wing down on a chain link fence.

With much disappointment we decided to bring Cam out of the sky and cancel the launch. We were heart broken to make the call, but safety comes first. We are sorry to have missed the picture.

Thank You Lindale for being so wonderful and understanding. You are a wonderful school!
Thank You for making us feel right at home in Moose Jaw.


Letter from Chris
June 14th, 2009 - By: Benjamin Jordan - Location: Lethbridge - Permalink
Hey Ben and team,

What an amazing experience it was to fly with you yesterday. I couldn't really imagine what it's like until I was up there being part of a cross Canada flying adventure (even a really small part, like Lethbridge to Taber)!

After we were in the air for half an hour or so and after seeing so much of the beautiful landscape I had a new understanding and appreciation for just how incredible (and challenging) Ben's cross Canada flight really is. I feel so lucky to be able to see small parts our amazing country from the perspective of my PPG; I totally envy Ben who gets to do it everyday across the entire country and I commend you all for working so hard to raise money for kids to go to camp!

Initially when the word was out that Ben wanted local pilots to accompany him for a flight or two as he passed through, I kind of thought it might be a hassle for them to communicate and organize everything for a flight with extra pilot(s). I felt the need to be careful not to make too much work for them as they have enough work between the charities, the logistics and documenting everything. +I was surprised that Ben and his team (Keren and Jess ROCK!!!) were probably more excited and more stoked than I was!

Ben and I had an amazing flight, flying low and slow over cattle feed lots, pristine, seemingly perfect flat, green fields, and around those big 120 foot blade span Southern Alberta wind generators (thankfully they were turning rather slowly). We got some great photos and video too! If anyone out there who flies a paramotor is humming and hawing about flying with Ben, get your ass out there!

If you know anyone who flies, pass this along! It's a great experience that shouldn't be missed It really re-awakened my passion for flying, my appreciation for how incredibly beautiful our country can be from a variety of perspectives (including the air) and it was very inspirational seeing Ben realizing his goals and dreams. I'm freshly energized and inspired to realize some of mine! Thanks again Ben, Keren and Jess!

Yee-Haaaaaaaaaw! Hahaha, Christopher Sarnecki in Edmonton, Alberta

Related Photo Album:
Coalhurst to Medicine Hat
Honey is Home!
June 10th, 2009 - Location: Calgary - Permalink
On Sunday night we arrived at our first camp! Kamp Kiwanis welcomed us in with open arms and it was amazing to see camp programing going on in the middle of the school year.

There is something special about how a camp smells and feels and kamp Kiwanis certainly had that wonderful "anything is possible" energy to it.
Thank you guys for the amazing reception and beautiful smile!

The winds were finally right and we flew from the camp straight to the Wild Rose Auction site where we bought Honey the bus in April. Mike Hayes and his loving family and friends are taking super great care of us and Honey is stoked to be back at home on familiar ground.

The winds were too strong to fly this morning but as soon as they settle we will be on our way to Lethbridge to present in Coalhurst!
Coalhurst Elementary here we come:)

-Keren June?
June 7th, 2009 - Location: Cochrane - Permalink
We are over the BC border! We've made it over the mountains...but guess what we found on the Alberta side?! SNOW! in June...sigh. We were grounded for 2 days and this morning finally got back to the sky.

I don't mean to complain about the's just hard to go back to December after having 2 weeks of full blown summer in the BC interior.

But I'm excited to head into new territory and new landscapes and a new kind of people...cause every province sure does have its own character.

Thanks BC for everything.
Alberta, I can't wait to finally meet you!

May 28th, 2009 - Location: Creston - Permalink
I was thinking the other day that one of the best things about being on this trip, and what keeps me going, is the rare case when someone openly shares how inspired they are. We encountered this kind of openness in Genelle, BC. There was a lovely lady who chased us around town to share her story with us.

She shared that she had lost her faith in humanity and our ability to do good while watching the morning news. Walking out of her house, on her way to work, she saw our bus parked across the street. We were just about to launch and she and her husband were on their way, so they stopped to see what we were about. Our efforts made her excited that there were still people doing something good to improve the world around them. She was so honest in sharing with us that it reminded me how much I still believe that we can change the space around us. We just have to want to.

Thank You Ursula,

Thank you to both of you for your generosity and openness.
Welcome to ABOVE+BEYOND Canada
May 8th, 2009 - By: Benjamin Jordan - Location: Nelson - Permalink
We've been up for 72 hours in these final hours leading up to our leaving town and heading for the west coast. Given that I can barely remember how to spell my own name, let me spare you of a random blog entry for the sake of a filler.

Oh. I suppose that's what this is.

Stay tuned,

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