2018-05-09, Ryan Parks, A Visit to China

Past President Mary Ellen McKay opened the meeting at 12:10.  President Lya Jordan is traveling to the Seychelles.  The invocation was given by Sherry Franzoy.  The Pledge was recited.  Blaine Goss led the singing of  “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” in honor of those who are working.  (Blaine smiled as he said that because he is retired!)  Mary Ellen told a joke about worms –yes, she did.  She also recognized Fran Boldt who recently sang with the Masterworks Choir.  Rotarians participated in the Meet and Greet.  Visitors were introduced.

Happy Dollars and Announcements

Chris Dulany told about going to the Parade of Homes and running into the Brockways in their garage and their neighbor Mark Mesh whose house was in the Parade of Homes.  

Gary Brockway thanked Daniel Payne for taking care of the May programs while Gary was ill.

John Hernandez said he was mighty glad to be here.

Larry Candelaria thanked the group for the good welcome he has had in this club.

Jim Parks gave a review of his trip to Hawaii, where they just missed  the results of the volcano and the flooding.

Patty Groth finally did her laundry and found three Rotary pins in so doing.

A comment was made on the Aggies sweeping the Lobos.  Mary Ellen said she enjoyed last week’s speaker Kathy Rodolph who is so good with her players.

Kristi Granados thanked those who have helped her this year while she was undergoing some problems in her life.  Sue Groth worked with her on the Student Rotarian program.  Kristi will be going to Centennial High School tonight to recognize two students at their awards assembly.

Richelle Ponder announced the Taste of Las Cruces is coming up soon.  It is June 7 at the convention center.  Tickets are available from her or Patty.  They are trying to have mainly local restaurants rather than chains.  She is asking for help with silent auction items.

In the weeks that Lya is gone, past presidents of this club will lead the meetings.

Don’t forget EREY.

The Program

A very interesting program was presented by Ryan Parks, a long-time friend of Daniel Payne.  A family man, Ryan has five children and is in the process of adopting a Chinese child.  He has a BA in Chinese History and an MA in China Studies and lived in Beijing for a year.  His personal experiences and his studies made for an insightful talk. 

The Chinese are not allowed in church but have “congregations”.  Some of Ryan’s information comes from his church.  Chinese people are not allowed to emigrate to the U.S.  because of U.S. immigration laws.  But in China everyone is closely watched.  Some examples of being watch were given.  When Ryan’s mother-in-law was visiting, she was immediately approached about whether she had papers—a visitor must register very soon after arriving.  Later Ryan was asked, “Is your mother Jean still in town?”  It was found that smoke detectors are often “bugs”.  The political agenda is everything and the government is paranoid of their own people as well as foreigners.  

The government is not as peaceful and organized as you may think.  Ryan says that there is a “blood bath” in the government and is very corrupt although the people do not see this.  The media is strictly controlled.  “What you see is not true.”  He gave a story about realizing that a big building was just a fake—not a real building at all.

The one-child policy has eased some but a couple has to obtain a permit to have a child.  Forced abortions at home are possible.  A couple lose all rights if they go against the policy.  English speakers are everywhere.  All kids learn in elementary school.  For Chinese to learn English is easier than the opposite.

Thank you, Ryan.  (I hope I have the main points right.  Sue)

After the Program

$77 was raised for Lya’s school projects.  $219 is in the lottery pot.  Richelle has the winning ticket in the drawing but drew the king of spades.  Next time, Richelle.

The meeting closed with the 4-Way Test.

Thank you, Mary Ellen, for conducting the meeting today.

<prior week   following week>

Guests of Rotarians



Fran Kemp


Marty Swafford

Richelle Ponder

Mark Mesch

Gary Brockway

Mary Phillips

Earl Phillips

Isobel Hernandez

John Hernandez

Kori Plank

Greg Fant

Visiting Rotarians


Home Club



Student Guests




it's summer








Submitted by Sue GrothSue Groth