Chinese Association of Iowa students visit during turbulent times

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Joining Dallas County Supervisors, seated from left, Mark Hanson, Chairperson Kim Chapman and Brad Golightly Feb. 4 were student members of the Chinese Association of Iowa, who visited a supervisors meeting in Adel as part of their two-week sojourn in the U.S. They brought along a banner signed by many of the Democratic candidates in the Iowa Caucuses.

“May you live in interesting times” is an English saying wrongly thought to be a translation of a traditional Chinese curse.

Apocryphal or not, with the Iowa Caucuses barely over, the outbreak of COVID-19 or the coronavirus hardly begun and impeachment of U.S. President Donald Trump at its height, half-a-dozen members of the Chinese Association of Iowa visited an interesting meeting of the Dallas County Board of Supervisors meeting Feb. 4 as part of their two-week sojourn in the U.S.

Swallow Yan, executive director of the Chinese Association of Iowa, introduced the visiting members of the association to the Dallas County Board of Supervisors and presented the supervisors with gifts, including stress-relieving squeeze balls.

Yan said the 16- and 17-year-old students were getting large doses of American politics and economics on this trip, with the Iowa Caucuses engaging the state, the impeachment of the U.S. president occupying the nation and the U.S.-China trade war unsettling the world.

Yan said their interest in local government brought them to the meeting of the Dallas County Supervisors, who explained some of the basics to the young people, and the visitors in turn asked questions about U.S. customs and practices.

Supervisor Mark Hanson, who toured mainland China in January with Yan and even lunched with U.S. Ambassador to China and former Iowa Gov. Terry E. Branstad in Beijing, regaled the young people with details from his visit.

A student film crew also interviewed the supervisors, asking their opinions about the U.S.-China trade war and the coronavirus epidemic. The Republican supervisors agreed that U.S. President Donald Trump was a strong leader.

After meeting with the supervisors, the students toured the Dallas County Courthouse and a courtroom of Fifth Judicial District, where they learned about the U.S. justice system and the system of local courts. They also visited the offices of the county assessor, treasurer and recorder and then toured the county jail.

This is the 17th year the Chinese Association of Iowa and the Iowa Youth Leadership International have sponsored the two-week journeys and the 12th year the students have toured Dallas County government.

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