This series of posts documents two ordinary folks attempting to get out there and do good. Over the next few months, we’ll follow them through the setbacks and triumphs of their endeavor to take the inspiration of Mountainfilm and turn it into something tangible. (To catch up. start here.)

After deciding to go to Ghana, we started the process of getting visas. Given that we will be working in Ghana for approximately five months, we need multiple entry visas, as the maximum stay is 90 days. The process seems fairly straightforward, but requires us to submit our travel itinerary (i.e. entry to and exit from the country) along with the application, meaning we have to buy our plane tickets in order to obtain the visa. Yikes. Non-refundable tickets at $1500 are a hell of a trigger to pull with no guarantee of entry into Ghana. Fortunately for us, the visa application turned out to be somewhat of a rubber stamp process. We got our visas back lickity split and now have a little more traveler “street cred” in our passports.

Next: vaccinations and meds. To travel to Ghana, you must have proof of yellow fever inoculation. There are several other shots that are recommended, as well (typhoid, meningitis, hep A, hep B, etc.). All told, I suffered bravely through five shots, complaining fiercely and bursting into snot-filled episodes of fitful weeping with each one. Jenny inoculated herself with a bamboo needle in between pulls of moonshine.

With a bloodstream chock full of viruses, we then faced our next microbial foe: malaria. There are two prophylactic options to protect oneself from malaria. One is Larium: infamous for its severe and occasionally permanent side-effects, Larium is taken orally once a week and can make you trip balls in your sleep. The other option is Malarone, which is horrendously expensive (around $15 per DAY). It’s unfathomable how anyone could pay for such a basic travel necessity for an extended period of time without medical insurance. Luckily, neither Jenny nor I will have to be one of those poor souls forced to play the “where have I been for the last month and how did I lose all this weight?” game. It took a bit of insurance finagling, but the day before we left Telluride, we finally secured the 330 pills needed for the both of us.

Now fortified and ready to fight the microscopic forces of evil, Jenny and I prepare even further. Find out how next Thursday!

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