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.)

Aloha readers. As the more ardently assiduous among Awareness’ adherents may have noticed, we skipped a few weeks. Alliteration aside, we would like to explain ourselves: we were offered the opportunity to work in Hawaii for a month.

We did not enter into this decision lightly. We agonized over whether or not we should go. Tears were shed, fingers were shaken, battle lines were drawn. I exaggerate, but only slightly.

First, we listed everything we wanted to do with our time in Ghana: all the projects we envisioned and all our goals. Then, we contacted everyone who would be facilitating these projects to get an idea of how much time each one would take. For example: we wanted to visit a cocoa farm and speak with someone involved with an NGO working on cocoa farming labor issues. We thought we might spend a few weeks at a cocoa farm, traveling across the country and getting our hands dirty. In reality, our contact wanted us to come for a long weekend, and the cocoa farms were just outside Obuasi (the town in which we are based). A few days turned out to be plenty of time to get a good snapshot of the work being done there. We came to the conclusion that we could accomplish everything we wanted to accomplish with our time in Ghana, despite a month in our 50th state. However, we were still on the fence.

Next, we spoke with the director of the organization we are here to help. We learned that, in December, the organization (SSF) and in fact, most organizations in Ghana take about 3 weeks of vacation. We would either spend this time traveling or twiddling our thumbs. Learning this sealed the deal. The opportunity to go to Hawaii and work combined with the organization’s furlough tipped the scales in favor of traveling to Hawaii.

With our director’s blessing, we packed for the islands, as best we could from what we had in Ghana. Our readers must think us quite the dashing jetsetters. To put your mind at ease and to tame any green monsters, we worked our asses off in Hawaii. In the five weeks we were there to work, we had four days off, and the rest were spent working from sunup to sundown. But don’t worry, we’re not asking you to feel sorry for us: we did get in some amazing Hawaiian experiences, like two sunset humpback whale-watching sails, a helicopter ride over the world’s most active volcano, and a little time on the beach.

Now that you know why we’ve been remiss to post these past few weeks, we’ll get back to the good stuff (Ghana) next Thursday!