Lancaster PA Road Trip – 12 of 14

Welcome back everyone to our Lancaster, PA road trip part 12 and picking up where we left off last.

As we continued our travels throughout Lancaster, PA and  its back roads the beauty of its rolling hills and wide open farm land tended by Amish farmer’s was soothing.   The Old Order Amish do not use tractors but instead use horses and/or mules to pull their farm equipment.  They prefer not using tractors (just like not using cars) to keep the community close together.  The point is not (just) to be old-fashioned.  Something that stood out to us was the Amish schools spread out throughout the region.  They were generally one room buildings with anywhere between 10 and 20 children gathered to learn academics.  At times, some of the schools were holding recess and the children could be seen outside playing.  There were so many interestingly glaring differences from the typical school yards we were use to seeing.   The Amish children were outside running around playing but none of the children were isolated or sitting by themselves texting or talking away on their smart phones. All, including teachers were engaged with each other playing games with lots of movement, laughter and interaction.  We are not saying this doesn’t exist in other school yards but there was definitely something different that maybe only could be felt by us as we watched.  At different times, we would purposely lag behind an Amish family in their horse and buggy on their way somewhere.  What a treat.  The interaction between them was incredibly wonderful.  The parents  were so interactive with the children and vice a versa.  They would wave when waved to, smile when smiled at and would show kindness everywhere they went.  I don’t know why we were surprised at this but there again when you don’t know about ones culture or heritage you see tend to have wrong thinking in play.

Well this is it for today.  If you by chance didn’t see a previous part please click on one of the links below and be whisked directly there,

Don’t forget to check out Audrey at Audrey Horn Photo.

We hope you return soon for part 13 and until then have an awesome day and keep looking up.

usathroughoureyes
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  1. robbiesinspiration

    Your descriptions of how the Amish interact with each other clearly illustrates the point of their lifestyle. The youth today are very disengaged from each other and spend a lot of time on iphones and ipads. Maybe that is why we are going backwards with our tolerance towards each other. ipads don’t teach you how to relate to other people.

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  2. TheresaBarker

    Hey Audrey and Tom! Do you know whether one can become part of the Amish community if one is not born into it? Can’t remember, thought I’d ask. – also, does the community speak German still? Again, I think I may have heard this somewhere, but can’t quite remember. 🙂

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    • usathroughoureyes

      Yes, one can become a member of the Amish community and from what we have learned it often happens. It is an interesting phenomenon isn’t it but when one thinks about it there is appeal that would bring some to it. From what we gather when that transition occurs their is a full acceptance. Isn’t that great. It’s kind of an oxymoron though when you can join and be embraced but if you leave you are shunned.

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      • TheresaBarker

        Interesting! Good to know! Am I right in thinking, also, that it is the Amish community that sends their young adults out into the world on maturity to experience the non-Amish world and then they can decide whether to continue in the Amish community? Maybe that’s another group I’m thinking of.

        I have a close friend who was raised Mennonite – I believe it’s a related faith to Amish – and her parents, ex-hippies, converted to the Mennonite religion. Her experience was not a good one. She is still spiritual, but the choices her parents made – to move from Seattle back to Pennsylvania with her and her 2 brothers, where they were impoverished and kept under very tight strictures – were not helpful for her, she tells me. She was plotting a run-away scheme with her two brothers at about the age of 14 – they would come back to Seattle and live with grandparents – when her parents decided to move back here, which was better for her, she says. The parents are still Mennonite and do a fair amount of work overseas (e.g., Cambodia) in human rights support work. My friend is a writer and has a day job as a community college instructor, but is not going the direction of her parents. …!

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      • usathroughoureyes

        Yes you are so right… Its called Rumspringa, or “running around” starting at around age 16. I can’t imagine what that is like even though we have been reading to learn about it. It appears to us that there is a lot of mental and emotional strain for the Amish children when that stage is presented. If they choose to leave they are shunned and if they stay they can become emotionally closed. We are so thankful we don’t have to make such a choice. It had to be hard for your friend but on the other hand the experience must have given her an insight that we will never have. I couldn’t imagine my parents disowning me because I changed churches. Gosh choices can be difficult can’t they.

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      • TheresaBarker

        That’s really rough. I didn’t realize there was the shunning aspect, and that is so unfortunate. I feel sad about the lost connections that must engender. But, everyone makes their own path in this world. My friend seems to have found a middle ground with her parents’ and her own spiritual and religious beliefs. But there must be more flexibility in the Mennonite community, perhaps. Thank you for letting me know!

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      • usathroughoureyes

        I think you said it well in the sense that “everyone makes their own path in this world”. Finding the middle ground is something we all are searching for and it sure can be complicated at times.

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  3. Alexis Chateau

    I haven’t been to PA since the summer of 2015. It was my first stop after Georgia when I first came here for vacation.

    Unfortunately I didn’t run into any Amish. I spent most of my time in and around a small town called New Milford. Population was under 900.

    It was the most bizarre experience! It did not help that most seemed to have never seen a Black woman before. 😂

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    • usathroughoureyes

      It is so pretty there Alexis. We are in North Carolina right now but our next road trip will be Georgia. We can’t wait. Isn’t that something how that small community of New Milford reacted as such. We are learning how small communities become insolated from the world in many ways and become afraid of new people and new things. All the more important for us to be out there showing them the blessings we have to share.

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      • Alexis Chateau

        I remember the hiking trails there were beautiful when I was there all that while ago. I’ve been to North Carolina also, but didn’t get to go out much.

        What part of Georgia will you be visiting? That’s my state.

        It was amusing watching their reaction. I didn’t take offence though it did get downright weird. I remember one man staring at me while I ate, then he called his friend on the phone so they could both stare at me. It was…unsettling lol. They looked like 2 lovesick 50+ year old men.

        I hope you enjoy your trip!

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      • usathroughoureyes

        We have just traveled North to South and East to West of NC and it is beautiful. We’ll be doing an upcoming series on it. As for Georgia, we can’t wait to travel it. We’ve been through it in the past but never to stay and bask in it’s beauty. When we get ready we’ll let you know for tips and places. Isn’t it funny in a sad way though as we watch people watch us. Its like people of different backgrounds don’t chalk up to their thoughts and they are struggling to understand and fit it into their preconceived thoughts. This is when we feel it is great to humbly make an effort to talk with them and let they shatter their own misinformation and preconceived ideas. Isn’t it something how people are always watching whether we know it or not.

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      • Alexis Chateau

        You’ve been doing quite a bit of traveling then. I’m glad you’ll finally make your way to Georgia.

        I save my educating for my blog. I’ve noticed that if people truly want to learn, they’ll ask. For me to broach the topic, is to be met with a brick wall of ignorant resistance.

        I’ve learned it’s not the role of Black women to volunteer to “educate” White men in America. They take offence, every time. Better to wait for them to make the first move.

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  4. Bel

    I miss that kind of life. Growing up, I remember playing hide and seek or whatever fun games we would think of at the playground. I remember dinners where people aren’t actually glued to their phone or tablets and just talk about their days. Those were the days…thanks for bringing those good memories with this post!

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