Flying a site with two lives.

June 20th, 2014 - Malombe, Balaka, Malawi

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Recently we found a flying site along Lake Malombe, beautiful as it was, it surprised us with it's two extremes. Life while soaring high above the lake was unspeakably amazing. It didn't take long for the stunning lake view to get me thinking that this place was a perfect location for The School of Dreams.

This thought vanished as we touched down and experienced life on the ground. As we packed our gliders, the youth, with endless energy, ran from one Baobab tree to the other, making noise and showing disrespect to Ben and Erica and I.

After a night of decompressing, we realized that, while a place like this might not be an ideal location for the school, that IT IS the kind of place that would benefit tremendously from the school's travelling programs.

These youth have an abundance of energy like I have never seen before. At the same time, it is clear that they have no place to focus this energy. The School of Dreams outreach programs will help these kids discover the things they are most passionate about and provide them with the ongoing motivation they will need to fully realize their dreams.

I am becoming more and more inspired as it becomes clear, the gap that The School of Dreams will fill across our great nation.

G :)

The First Malawian XC

I never thought it could happen to me.  As I scoured Google Maps in search of Malawi's highest peak, my objective was to train the first Malawian to paraglide, have him fly from there, and make a film about it. It was an epic 'top-to-bottom' and we all went home satisfied.  Three years later and I have returned to this magical land with a deep hunger, no longer to teach others, but to teach myself. The lesson: Fly far and high in a land no paraglider has ever explored.  After a three hour hike in, my team and I found ourself perched 500 metres above the valley floor. The thermic cycles were strong and frequent so we wasted no time. Within ten minutes of launching, I was wishing I had setup my in-flight pee tube; not because I had forgot to go earlier, but because I was so excited I could hardly contain myself.  My wildest of dreams had come true! The great Mount Mulanje, upon which I often gazed while training Godfrey years back, was allowing me to fly along its beautiful body: A medley of ancient spires, massive caves and painted cliff faces. Throughout the entire flight, I had a feeling that this rock knew something I did not, suggesting that I tread lightly for this incredible mountain commanded the respect of a dinosaur.  As the short winter's day came to a close, I landed on a dirt road to the tune of hundreds of cheering villagers. They had all whitened something they had never thought possible. So had I.  For more photos of the great Mulanje, follow us on Facbeook: [url=http://facebook.com/schoolofdreams/]http://facebook.com/schoolofdreams/[/url]  View this flight online or in Google Earth here: [url=http://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/922361]http://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/922361[/url]

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Dedza: A breath of fresh air.

We have this habit of driving in the middle of the day. In Malawi, without AC, this is like turning on your oven and jumping in for the afternoon. As a result, we tend to arrive to new destinations somewhat delirious.  Along the long, windy road to Dedza, we pulled over to fuel up. The guys whipped out the map but I couldn't have been bothered; I was in awe of the landscape before us. Where the sun dipped below the new terrain was glowing like something out of a fairy tale. Perhaps it was just a bout of heatstroke but I was certain that we had finally struck gold.  Today, after a relatively growling hike, I had my best flight in Malawi thus far. For an hour, I soared up and down a magnificent range, waving at villagers and ultimately landing to the joy of a hundred children near where we are staying below.  With a heart full of bliss and a belly full of 'Nsima,' tonight I dream of glorious cross country flights across the Dedza region to come.  Erica :)

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