Sunday, July 13, 2008

One Cool Thing

I have been doing a little reflection and realize I have done some pretty cool things in my life. This won't be a complete listing, but I am going to try and list some every now and then to share. I am hoping you'll share some, too.

No, this isn't a meme - just some recountings.

I think one of the coolest things I have ever done is spend 2 weeks with an Amish family. Now, for a Texas gal, this is big. I was an exchange student (via AFS) within the United States my senior year of high school. For anyone who wants to know when that was, it was wayyyyyyyyy back in 1977. My exchange was from Houston, Texas to Jefferson, Ohio. Culture shock enough right there from the coastal plains of Texas (and the 4th largest city in the US) to a agricultural small, small town in Ohio. Most of my Ohio friends parents were dairy farmers, however, I was fortunate to stay with a local attorney, so I was in town, not on a farm.

Anyway, I am digressing.... part of the exchange included a mini-exchange within my time there. Amazingly, I got to stay with an Amish family in a neighboring Ohio town. I was accompanied by a foreign exchange student, Esme, from New Zealand.

While the Amish do not regularly participate in this process, especially since they have the Little House On The Prairie, one-room schoolhouse, through the eigth grade type of program, Esme and I were singularly blessed.

We were not SUPPOSED to stay with a strict Amish family, but were assigned to a family whose father had left the Amish lifestyle to fight in WWII many years ago. The remainder of his family were still Amish and they allowed us to live with them and learn of their lifestyle.

We stayed in their home, went to school, cooked, helped with some farming chores, and rode around in buggies.

School was eye-opening and amazing - these kids were getting a superior education. And all the things that seem "weird" to us non-Amish people had reasons and purposes that you just don't know if you just don't know.

Curtains hung in the windows in different directions to let people know if a girl of marriage age was living there. Hat brims are different sizes to let people know if the men have officially joined the church. Buttons are "nasty" and are never used. Photos are graven images, thus not allowed. I could go on and on.

But, isn't that cool?


Veggie Mom said...

That is SO cool! How did you happen to get this eye-opening opportunity? BTW, I tried the Flickr mosaic that you and several others in the Blogosphere have suggested--also really cool!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Very cool.

MissKris said...

I'm sure that experience broadened your teenage horizons in a great measure! As a Junior in high school I was invited to be in a similar situation, except it would've been going to Europe to spend 6 weeks with different families in several countries...a few days here, a few days there. I would've given ANYTHING to go but my father had suffered a disabling injury on the job just prior to that. My mom had to go to work to help support the family. They just didn't have the money. As disappointed as I was, I understood and certainly never held that lost chance against them. But I think on it every now and then and wonder how it would've enriched my life. The name of the program just came back to me: People-to-People.

LaQuintamomof3 said...

Really interesting.
Hey thanks for coming by and making a comment! I bet life with a 16 year old can be challening... I am sure when I am there I will be ranting too :)
I like your blog!

linda said...

Yes, very cool...and an experience not many can say they've had. Good for you!

Kerrie said...

Wow...I didn't know that about you Lynda. That would have been a phenomenal experience for a teenager.

~*Paty*~ said...

That is VERY VERY cool. I would have loved to have an experience like that for sure.

gary rith said...

Farm land here in northern New York is very cheap and hundreds of Amish have been settling here. It is amazing to see run down and abandoned dairy farms brought back to life---with a horse and buggy and plow! They are so hard working and skinny! You can see little kids playing outside sometimes, which consists of pulling each other around in a wagon or other simple things. Unbelieveable.

Ronnica said...

What a neat opportunity! I'm sure that it really opened their eyes.

So are you saying I should hang my curtains a different way in order to attract my prince charming? =)

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