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Fredericksburg and sister city in Ghana are worlds apart
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The nearest hospital is more than an hour away, assuming a sick or injured person can find transportation to reach it. There is no rescue squad. No post office. No fire department. No police.
There is virtually no crime, either. A thief can expect to be nabbed and beaten by villagers and held for hours until the cops show up from a station 20 miles away.
Young children wander in perfect safety throughout town accompanied by goats, chickens and dogs.
There is no traffic to speak of. Few people own cars. The town's annual traffic jam occurs in October, when hundreds of people with ties to the town come home for a festival.
But judging Prince's Town by the things it lacks somehow misses much more important points. After all, there's more to life than just things.
The Prince's Town people are unfailingly kind, hospitable, friendly, courteous, well-mannered, dignified and quick to smile and laugh.
They are as proud of their own long, rich and complex history as Fredericksburg residents are of theirs.
Prince's Town's leaders recognize the town's shortcomings and are earnestly seeking, against all odds, to find ways to make life better.
Because of the sister-city relationship, everyone in town now knows the name "Fredericksburg, Virginia" [FRED-er-reeks-burg, ver-GEE-nee-a]. Even the children.
As new and ill-defined as it is, the sister-city relationship shines like a faraway beacon of hope for the people of Prince's Town, a tenuous link to America and better days ahead.
"My friend! My friend!" the children cried when they ran to welcome an American stranger, their hands outstretched in greeting.
"My friend! My friend!"Frank Delano: 804/333-3834