After our fun day at Hershey Park in Pennsylvania, it was time to head back home — but not before we drove another half an hour to Amish Country! This German expat was not going to go home before I saw what my countrymen and woman were up to. I’ve always wanted to learn more about the Amish.
Did you know the Amish are not really Dutch at all, they are German? Well, they come from several places, but they speak German, not Dutch. The term “Dutch” is an old term for Germans.
Since it was Sunday, the Amish were in church. But they don’t have churches — they meet at each other’s houses. Once a year, every Amish family hosts the whole community (20-30 local families) at their house.
It’s a big production because the largest room in your house needs to get cleared for special benches for the service that will get delivered. The service is pretty long, like 3 hours, and then everyone eats and visits.
So all the real Amish stores were closed, but we were able to visit The Amish Farm and House. We took a bus tour through the country, learned about the Amish way of life in a house tour, and walked around the farm to see the animals, corn maze, and one-room school house.
The Amish go to Target and restaurants just like we do, but they don’t have electricity in their own home. In their view, that lets in the outside world.
A giveaway that you are looking at an Amish farm is that it doesn’t have electric wires going to their house. But, the tour guide explained to us, they will run all kinds of things on batteries, so they do have refrigerators and other conveniences.
We only saw a few Amish people; two buggies coming home from church and a couple of girls that were walking home. They were wearing black instead of white bonnets, which mean that they are available for marriage. They only get to wear them on Sundays.
cWe passed these train cars and were informed that it is a hotel! You get to spend the night in one of the kaboose. How fun that would be with L! There is also a renowned train museum nearby, so we’d have plenty to do if we visit Pennsylvania again.
If I had a little girl, I’d make her wear these cute bonnet hats — I’ve always liked them on The Little House on the Prairie. I have a bit of a love affair with the simple life of that time.
…after Landon tried out an Amish scooter. Amish people are not allowed to ride bicycles because they always have to have one foot on the ground. Whoa! But they ride these large scooters and use roller blades.
Meaning they are wearing 20-30 pins on their body, and we are not talking safety pins. These are straight pins like sewing needles.
Only a married woman with kids is allowed to wear an apron with a bow in the back at home so she can get all the housework done. And with an average of 5 to 10 or more kids, I don’t think the work of an Amish woman is ever done.
I don’t understand how they make it through the winter, freezing all day and night. I’m so miserable when our house is colder than 70 degree! And they don’t have AC in the summer, of course, unless they rig up something with a car battery.
Amish school houses are one-room buildings, and they build them every two miles so that kids never have to walk more than two mile to school. The teacher has to be unmarried, and school only goes up to 8th grade.
After learning so many interesting fact about the Amish lifestyle (did you know that an outsider would have to live with his girlfriend’s Amish parents for 15 years before he would maybe be allowed to become Amish and marry her?), we drove home in the comfort of our rental car. Amish are allowed to ride in a car but not allowed to drive it.