China Trip with Elderhostel

In 2007, Mel and Pat Oakes took a 26 day trip to China with Elderhostel. We found China a fascinating place and contrary to most long trips, we were not anxious to get home. There was much that surpised us. The lack of public displays of nationalism and the enthusiastic reception of Americans were two welcomed aspects of the country. People were anxious to try their English with us. At the time there was much of an older China still in existence, however they were racing to modernize. The blend of East and West in their modern architecture we found beautiful. Construction was everywhere, people are moving to the cities at an overwhelming rate. We were told that more than 300 million will move during the next 20 years. Pollution from coal fired power plants was a serious problem, Beijing's smog was very apparent, with stories of childrenn never seeing the Milky Way or in some cases, stars! They had planted 15 million trees to mitigate the problem, however that would require a long time to have any effect. They were quite happy with the one child policy, their comment was, "You don't understand the impact of the birthrate in a country of one billion people All the young people we met had ambition to start their own buisness and improve their English.