Today I learned that Hutterite’s don’t own land and they believe in sharing everything to eliminate greed which is viewed as a sin. I wasn’t bold enough to ask the man about all this but Googled it for myself later!
I was walking my dog down my street when a van pulled up along beside me very slowly. I was apprehensive and moved back from the road but the man said his little boy wanted to see my dog because she is so big. Every talk show and news broadcast warned me about this moment and I was supposed to memorize his license plate then run screaming in the other direction, but I didn’t. I could see the little boy peering out of the window at my dog so I figured he was serious. We chatted a bit and he told me that he had an appointment in a half hour and they were driving around wasting time. It turned out his appointment was at my next door neighbour’s house. My neighbour has a clinic in her home where she treats people using acupuncture.
He asked if I could direct them to any farms where his son could see some farm animals while they waited. I invited him to turn into my driveway because I was just about to let my chickens out of their coop to run around. The boy could play with them and watch them run around to pass the half hour if they wanted.
I only saw the man’s shoulders and head so when they climbed out of the van I was shocked to see they were wearing what I thought was full Amish garb. I am not sure if they noticed my double-take. The little boy’s outfit could be compared to a train conductor with a dark formal suit and a little hat with a peak that stood straight up. The man was wearing a similar outfit but no hat and the woman was wearing a bonnet and long high-collared dress.
The little boy was petrified of the chickens and started screaming so I only got to chat with the wife for a few minutes before she took him in the van to calm down. The man stayed outside and we chatted for almost the whole half hour. I was so fascinated by him. I always thought that Amish would be shy and socially awkward or not want anything to do with someone consumed by technology but he was very engaging and we got along very well. He told me that he is Hutterite not Amish and they just flew in from their little community in Alberta to seek treatment for their son who is mute. From the sounds coming out of the boy when he saw the chickens I think he will be just fine!
The man explained that even though they live in a community with many farm animals to sustain them, the animals do not wander around. He had never seen chickens bounce around the lawn unconfined before and thought he might like to get a few chickens for his son when they get back to Alberta. I was honoured that he liked my chickens so much!
He took his first airplane to get here and he and his wife have been consumed by the television in their hotel room. I wondered if they thought this outside world was awful because this week the television is plastered with the Boston Marathon bombing and the plant explosion. It must have validated their way of life and made them feel relieved that they live in such peace.
When they were leaving he asked for directions somewhere so I pulled out my iPhone to look it up for him. He said that the internet is one thing he wishes they had in his community with no radio or television.
I fee so fortunate that I chose to walk my dog in that direction at that time on that day. If I had done even one thing differently I would have never met my new Hudderite friends.
I was really sad to see them drive off as I was completely fascinated by this man and the strange language he spoke to his wife and child. When they come back for their next treatment I will have them over for supper I think….