We went to visit the Amish in Lancaster. We decided that, "what the heck, we will just pay for the darn buggy ride, and the expensive one since we will only do this once." So we went on a buggy similar to this one.
Our driver had farmed his land for 34 years, his parents had farmed it for 34 years before him and his grandparents had farmed it for 18 years before that. Now his son was farming the land and he drove buggies as a retirement job. We walked around his family's farm and he told us all about it. This barn here is not his farm, but the neighboring farm.
I taught the boys to hold hands so they don't get lost. At least one of them is paying attention and will drag the other.
We got to see all of the cows and how their dairy farm works.
When we first saw the cows Henry yelled, "Cow!" Our whole group chuckled. It was the first time he had ever said cow.
Elizabeth slept through most of it.
Here is Elizabeth with the horses.
Here is a slightly more flattering photo of her.
Some things we learned about the Amish. Their first language is German and that is what they primarily speak at home and church. According to our driver there aren't any biblical teachings that support the way they live, but it is part of the rules of their church. They have about an 80% retention rate and believe that their life is easier and better than the rest of civilization. Their average marrying age is 19-24 years old. The Amish population doubles about every 25 years. They rotate the location of church from one neighbor's home to another every week. They have a schoolhouse with one teacher that teaches all of the kids in the area up to 8th grade. After 8th grade they go to work.