loren Eric Swanson: Amish Honeymooners

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Amish Honeymooners

Last week, while we were in Estes Park, Colorado for the Global Learning Community, ten of us drove into town to go around the track at the local go-cart and fun zone. As we were standing in line purchasing our tickets we couldn't help but notice three young (late teens / early 20's) Amish couples all dressed as...well Amish--the girls in bonnets, aprons and long skirts and the boys w/ pants without back pockets, C. Everett Coop beards and Dutchboy haircuts.

Bob Roberts(http://www.glocal.net/blog/), from Northland Church for the Communities and Glocalnet, engaged them in conversation (imagine that!) and found out that they had all gotten married in the previous year and they were taking a group honeymoon by train from Ohio to Fort Collins. It's amazing how well these Amish could drive, once they mastered the fundamentals. On a high banking turn young Ishmael Boorg dropped to the inside without touching the brake and passed Layo (from San Salvador) and me. For two of the three guys, driving was a first time experience. The third fella had left the community and "dressed like one of you," got his driver's liscence and kept it when he returned to the community. So he was able to rent a car in Fort Collins to get them to Estes. While the young men circled the track, their wives stood behind the fence smiling. Now it gets more interesting. Bob Roberts bought another twelve tickets and gave them to the Amish men on the condition that their wives get behind the wheel. Their response was gracious--"We've never met (English) people like you before!"

Now picture this; three Amish girls, who have never driven anything, circling the track with their bonnets pinned back from the wind, white knuckles gripping the steering wheel while their husbands passed them by with grins spead wide on their partially bearded faces. It was a site to behold.

What we can learn from the Amish go-cart driving experience:
1. Mario Andretti could be part Amish
2. Driving is more nature than nurture
3. Even the peace-makers can be very competitive when the occassion arises
4. Adventure is found in many daring forms
5. What happens in Estes...stays in Estes!

see also: http://www.movie-pages.com/movie/for-richer-or-poorer/0783226896/ and