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What's not to like about Ghana?

What's not to like about Ghana? Nice people. I'm a nice American. English is spoken. I speak English. They kicked out the British. So did we.

Like any developing country, there's too much poverty, of course, but Ghana has proved itself to be a model for the rest of the continent by holding another clean presidential election.

A Ghanaian business owner speaking about the U.S. presidential election told me he was most impressed not by Barack Obama but by John McCain. Why? Because McCain stepped aside when he lost. For an American like me, of course McCain has to step aside. He lost. But that's not always the case in Africa. Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, for example. With that in mind, kudos to Ghanaian losing candidate Nana Akufo Addo: after losing by just 40,000 votes to John Atta Mills, not only did he step aside but he showed up to celebrate the January 7 inauguration.

The pace of life here certainly is slower than the States, but each time I feel like complaining, I remind myself of the Ghanaian mechanic I had the good fortune of meeting in October. My daughter and I had rented a car (note to self: don't do that again) to do some sightseeing and were driving from Accra eastward toward Togo when I heard the muffler and exhaust pipe scraping along the pavement. Not good. How will we get home? Where will we sleep for the night? Am I responsible for this jalopy? As I pondered these and other questions, I saw a man wave me toward his shop along the side of the road. Yes, a mechanic. There's hope. He and a co-worker got to welding and 90 minutes later it was re-attached. The bill? Seven cedis. That's about $10 USD. (I gave him a good tip, as well) As they finished, my 4-year-old daughter looks at me in complete sincerity and asks "Why is this taking so long?" So much for slow.