In the Amish country

Yesterday was Memorial day and it was rainy so we used the day to do our laundry and some computer work. We also went to the movies to see “Logan” for only $2.50.

The weather is still crappy when we wake up today. Sully has some cable or hose running loose under his body so we get it checked and turns out it was the ground cable from the battery. It’s weird it wasn’t hooked and the guys were surprised we could even start the van.

Once this is dealt with we make a stop at the Lancaster market before driving to the town of Lilitz for lunch.

Next we visit Kitchen Kettle Village, it’s a tourist mall but what interests us are the buggy rides. We opt in for the tour with a stop at a dairy farm. Our driver, Eli, is a 10th generation Amish. His family came from Germany in 1766. He doesn’t know where the word “Amish” comes from. The Amish started immigrating from Germany and Switzerland in the early 1700s. Their beliefs vary from sect to sect, but 90% of Lancaster’s Amish population are strict believers and follow the Old Order, living a simple, Bible-centered life. No one back in Europe lives like they do. They live off the electricity grid but they use battery for a number of things, especially to work at the farm. The batteries are charged with a diesel generator. They use propane a lot, to cook and to light their home. They speak their own German dialect and read the Bible in German. They organize themselves in districts. A district is about 25 to 40 families. If there’s more families they create a new district. They don’t have Churches, they practice religion at home. The children go to the Amish district house, a one room school. They learn English at school. At 14 years old they get out and start living the traditional Amish life. They can’t use bicycles so they use scooters, but we’ve seen children on tricycles! They wear plain clothes using no zippers, only buttons. It’s easy to spot the Amish farms today (Tuesday), because washing days are Mondays​ and Fridays, the clothes are still outside to dry. They try to make their own stuff as much as possible, but sometimes they still have to go to Walmart (to buy sugar for instance).

After the buggy ride we head to Strasburg to see the oldest continuously operating railroad in America (since 1832). But the locomotive is already in storage!