We stayed all week in an apartment above the garage of a former Amish couple, Dan and Lena. They were so gracious - inviting us to their church, letting us take a ride in the school bus that Dan drives for their Menonite School, and spending time talking with and showing us around their family farm. They used to live on the farm. When they got older they passed the farm on to the youngest of their seven children and built this house on part of the property. They rent the room above the garage just to make a little extra money and have something else to do...not that they aren't busy enough with Dan driving the bus and working during Autumn at a corn maze, Lena working part time at a diner, and all the family gatherings/babysitting they have with their 7 children and something like 35 grandchildren, most of whom live nearby. I think they are in their 70's - they amaze me!
The boys didn't go on the bus ride because they were napping, but Emilia and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to ride on a bus with Mennonite and Amish children and one Amish mother who hitched a ride with her son. Dan spent the next hour driving around the beautiful countryside dropping these children off at their houses, sharing some history of the area.
One of the days we drove to Hershey and toured the Hershey factory, museum, and town.
Matthew Bud...always doing something to make us all laugh!
Dan and Lena have an enormous swing set in their backyard, which was fun for our kids, especially when their grandchildren came for a visit one night. :)
We toured a little Amish village. It was fun, even though it was a tourist trap. :)
We gave the kids some money to buy a souvenir. Emilia bought this prairie hat (totally not Amish) and the boys bought race cars.
We attended the Amish Mennonite Church with our hosts and met some very nice people. That Sunday we were invited over to a young family's house for Sunday dinner. Every Sunday this church has visitors, so they have a system set up so that every visitor gets invited to a house for dinner after church - talk about hospitality! This family also had four children, so our kids had a lot of fun playing together (I have no pictures from their house...bummer).
Later on during the week, we were invited over to this house for dinner, along with some other couples. They owned a snake, so that was a big hit with the kids. :) The kindness and hospitality shown to us while we were there was so refreshing and made our trip so much more fun. We thank the Lord for the people we met. Although we live differently, we both serve the same God, which was so evident.
We had such a fun time visiting Pennsylvania. I'd love to go again someday to see the beautiful land and reconnect with the people we met!