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.)

October 12th dawned bright and early, and we woke eager to begin our journey to Ghana. With nary a snooze button slammed, we leapt from bed, showered furiously, threw our belongings in the car…and waited. Our flight didn’t leave until 5pm that night.

Our excitement over going to Ghana had been drawn out for quite some time.  The packing list had grown accordingly. It encompassed everything we would need to spend five months in a foreign country engaging in diverse activities: from camping gear to everyday work clothes to camera equipment, even to formal wear for the fête we’d surely be attending at the US Embassy, we were covered. Obviously, our Ghana gear came to a substantial pile. It was time to take a hard look and start making some choices. I’m sure my Dumbledore wizard hat would have proven a great hit with the Ghanaian children, but would its magical powers still function after a ten hour flight?

We pared our belongings down to two hiking packs, one duffel, and two carry-ons. Thus unburdened, we proceeded to the airport. Thanks to the powers of wine and lunesta, breakfast (and landing) arrived post-haste.

We were met at the airport in Accra by our contact and future friend, Charles Baidoo. He hustled us into a cab amidst a throng of porters proclaiming the international words of welcome so common at many airports (tip? Tip?! TIP?!) and got us onto a bus bound for our final destination, Obuasi. This is where the adventurous part of our journey began.

Ghanaian roads are rife with potholes and numerous washouts. By the heckling directed toward our driver (translated by Charles), it appeared this was his first time driving this route. Navigating these roads at night with no prior knowledge of the unique terrain is like playing blind man’s bluff with landmines. Buses aren’t meant to go sideways or catch air, but ours was rogue in this respect. Keanu Reeves has nothing on our driver.

Twenty-four hours after our departure from Austin, we finally arrived in Obuasi (battered and bruised, but happy to be there). We were met and fed by our friend and host, Louis Acheampong, who is also the director of the Social Support Foundation. And last, but not least, we were shown to our room and fell quickly asleep to the melodic strains of tree frogs and bleating goats.

You’ve done it! You’ve made it through all the buildup, all the excitement, all the preparations. Next week, to what you actually want to read about: Ghana!