[This is part one of a diary that John Mutter, co-founder of the Bamboo Bike Project, kept on a trip to Ghana in January 2011]
I left for Ghana on Tuesday January 11th on Delta flight 226 via Altanta amid concerns about travel because of snow along much of the US East Coast south of New York. Ice and snow had closed the Atlanta airport the day before. Although Delta flies direct to Accra, two flights a week go through Atlanta and the others are direct from JFK. We considered delaying by a day but snow was expected in New York Wednesday and already Lamont-Doherty was having a delayed opening and the South Orangetown schools where my daughter goes to school were closed. But by the time I traveled in the afternoon flights in to Atlanta were on time and there were no delays leaving other than the usual – the plane could not be pulled back from the gate and we had to go back and get a Supertug to get us moving.
The gate for the flight to Ghana was close to the arrival gate from JFK and that flight was delayed an hour as the plane was cleaned and “swept by security”, whatever that might imply. Certainly didn’t improve confidence.
Flight was not full at all; maybe a lot of people had cancelled due to the bad weather. I got an emergency row seat, which was good for legroom but about as uncomfortable as could be imagined — very hard base, no padding to speak of. But I did sleep some on the flight.
Marty, Justin and Ben from Bamboo Bike Studio, as well as the documentary filmmaker Nicole Hahn left a few days prior, Nicole delayed until Sunday while the others left Friday. We have heard from Nicole but not from Marty. She and the others are staying at the Cicero Guest House and I am booked nearby at a hotel – the Royal Lamerta.