Getting Ready to Leave NZ

The following few days after the successful launch of the Flying High For Kids Project was dealing with media enquiries. The project appeared in a number of newspapers and websites, including the NZ Herald, Waikato Times, andYahoo7. Channel One’s programme, Seven Sharp, have asked to do an interview with me in the middle of January. Keep an eye out for that for those in New Zealand.

It was quite a milestone to take the balloon for its first free-flight over Hamilton early last week. I also did another flight over the city later in the week. On the first flight, we were shooting the promo video for the project. We had two balloons flying together, a camera was in the second balloon. The video was released on Youtube a few days ago. You can view it here:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQSmpGphILQ

I have also been busy organising visits to other countries, namely Australia, Malaysia and Thailand. I have been talking to UNICEF Australia, balloon festival organisers in Australia and Malaysia and a commercial balloon company in Thailand,  (I have been getting permission to fly in Thailand through them).

I intend to fly the balloon at the balloon festival in Canberra, Australia in mid March, then air freight the balloon to the balloon festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in late March. One of the project’s sponsors, DB Schenker, have been helping me to organise that and have been great to deal with.

Another thing I’ve been working on is arranging insurance and the Carnet de passage for the balloon. It has been quite complicated to arrange both of these given the scale and uniqueness of the project. Good progress is being made and I plan to have both sorted out in January.

Lastly, I have started a crowd fundraising campaign through Indiegogo. There are 38 days left until the campaign finishes. The Flying High For Kids Project is self-funded and the cost of running it is high. There are a lot of high costs, such as fuel, shipping, communications, maintenance, visas, insurance, etc. I realise it is not a good time of year to ask for money given it is Christmas and the holiday season, but if you have some spare change to give to the project, it would be much appreciated. At least 20% of your donation will go to UNICEF. You can visit the project’s Indiegogo campaign here:

www.indiegogo.com/projects/flying-high-for-kids

I wish everyone a safe and Happy Christmas and New Year and look forward to keeping you updated with the project early in the new year.

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About the author: Andrew Parker

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