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.

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
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    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
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    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
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    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
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    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
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    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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