Travelers fascinated with their tour of China 2008.01.03

Written by David Green.

Former Morenci United Methodist pastor Dorothy Okray traveled to China with Morenci resident Lois Speed last fall. Following are some recollections of the trip.

 

By DOROTHY OKRAY

The secret of China’s ever escalating rise toward dominance as a world power does not lie with its low manufacturing costs. There are a myriad of countries whose people would rejoice over $1 an hour wages. It is the exuberance ofchina.kids.jpg its people: pride in their country’s recent accomplishments; hope for a better future; and a willingness to sacrifice not only for personal gain, but for the betterment of all Chinese citizens.

“We are one family and believe we should help those of us who have less,” explained a Beijing guide. 

The Chinese pay taxes, own their own homes, primarily condominiums (few, except in the rural areas, live in free-standing homes), worry about their children’s education and health care, drive late model cars and dress like the average U.S. citizen. They have eight other political parties, but they act, essentially, as advisers. The government has, however, just recently placed two members of these outside parties as ministers in the Communist government, a real step forward toward democracy, the Chinese believe.

Where the Chinese differ from us:

• The willingness to use tax revenue for the education and health care of those in rural areas, the poorest of their country;

• The appreciation of education, with families sacrificing for their children to participate in after-school programs of music, advanced math, art, etc.;

• The emphasis on beauty, with each small space of a city devoted to landscaped works of art. The overhead freeways include hanging greens; every small nook and cranny of the skyscraper-laden cities find sculpted hedges and blossoming flowers, the parks are manicured masterpieces of the most creative landscape architects;

• and the furious pace of work to develop “green” energy alternatives. 

The Chinese hope for even more freedom, but they do not wish to emulate what happened to Russia’s immediate thrust into democracy. The corruption that took hold of Russia and its inability to pay for teachers and other necessary services has taught China patience.

The Chinese do not feel the uneducated masses—primarily rural—are ready for democracy and capitalism, predicting mass starvation and chaos.  Instead, they are trying to educate those people while providing them with more and more services, such as universal health care by 2010. This they believe to be the most intelligent and compassionate way to build their country.  Right now, they are discussing the structures of other countries and their benefits:  the socialism of Norway, Sweden, Denmark vs. our capitalism.

Of all I saw in China—from the ancient glorious buildings and breathtaking new architectural landmarks—I was most astonished not by them, but by the young children. Their genuine smiles and outgoing nature won my heart. I never experienced a whining, petulant one. This gives a person hope when we realize that more than one out of every four people in the world are Chinese.

  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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