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Monday, September 14, 2015

Amish Country

Aloha Everyone,

Our visit to the Pennsylvania Amish area in Lancaster County is like stepping over 200 years back in time. This is a beautiful and intriguing place: rolling hills, vast farmland, and lush country side with horse and buggy as the primary source of transportation.

Their lifestyle reflects a way of life that is based on a literal translation of the Bible.

In this society, the family is the most important social unit. It is common to have 8 to 10 children. Often several generations are living under the same roof. Older family members are respected and cared for by the family and community. Interestingly, many have exemption to paying into government social security system because they do not accept any assistance.

Their dress is simple, solid colors, long and unadorned. Their language is a dialect of German.

Electricity use is forbidden. But they could use 12-volt self-contained batteries that are unconnected to the outside world.

Visitors from outside are tolerated as their commerce includes selling hand-crafted items such as bird houses, mailboxes, rocking chairs and furniture. We also saw small fruits & vegetable stands and signs selling home-made pies in front of the houses. Honu's physical size prevented us from parking along narrow streets. Also Amish people are generally reticent and reserved in public.

Aloha -- Cathi