However, the highlight of this week was probably a trip I took yesterday (which was a public holiday for Martin Luther King's birthday) to Shipshewana which is the centre of an Amish community. For anyone interested, here is a website: Shipshewana or for more information on the Amish people http://amishpeople.org/. It was an interesting experience though it appeared to highlight some contradictions in the community. We started with a trip to an RV manufacturer (http://www.crossroadsrv.com/) in Topeka which was not the most interesting part for me I admit, though I was intrigued as the business employed a large number of Amish workers who appeared to have no problem with using electricity and other modern technology whilst working. I'm yet to understand why they are comfortable with that, but strive for such a simple life in the home.
|Two men working on the carpentry at the RV factory.|
|The finished product: a top of the line version of what they were making at the RV factory. More details here: http://www.crossroadsrv.com/rushmore/|
|Welcome to winter in Indiana.|
After the RV trip we grabbed lunch at a diner which once again was staffed and patroned by many Amish visitors who seemed to enjoy making the most of electricity and other technologies, but whom still rode in their horse and buggy to the restaurant.
|A common sight in the community, the horse and buggy is the only mode of transport for Amish families.|
|We opted for a slightly different form of transport, group shot time.|
Moving on, we visited a Mercantile in Shipshewena - this was basically a small mall in the village. Davis Mercantile included a variety of shops, ranging from handcrafted goods, especially quilts, to outdoors shops and other gift shops.
|A selection of fabric available at one of the shops, with a particular emphasis on quilting.|
|A gift shop which featured an array of handcrafted quilts.|
From the Mercantile, we headed to Menno Hof - a visitors centre designed to explain the story of the Amish and Mennonite people. It was incredibly well done, and an interesting look at the background of these religions. However, at many times it did a good job of oversimplifying the story - though I guess that is to be expected when such a broad overview is delivered.
|Outside the Menno Hof.|
|Self potrait time.|
All in all it was a fascinating experience, and has prompted me to spend more time reading into the ideas of these people. However, I will struggle to understand their reasonings as their concept of a simpler life does not really appeal to me.
This week is shaping up to be a busy one, but I will try and post again soon.