At the Purcari Winery in the village of Purcari, Moldova. Photo taken December 7, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Tiraspol, Transnistria...the country that doesn't exist.

Where are they going next? Northern Moldova. Arrive December 11th.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Part 2 - A Different Colony

In yesterday's blog post we showed you our visit to our first Hutterite colony. We were lucky enough to tour two different colonies that day in order to show you the differences that can exist between colonies.

In general, they have the same basic structure. That is, physical goods that are for the benefit of the colony are owned by the colony. And everybody works for the colony.

But there are some glaring differences in attitude.

We arrived after supper, at around 7:00pm to the Swift Current Colony. This colony has existed for 38 years, and 81 people live there.

Again, most of the housing is in rows. We hadn't been shown the interior of any of the houses at the first colony, so we were curious about that and glad when we were invited into the first house. George and Annie are an older Hutterite couple, and they ushered us into the living room. Very basic, but comfortable. And I noticed that they had both a fridge and a microwave, but no stove or oven. And no television or radio.

We sat and spoke with them for a few minutes, and our guide Judy showed up with her daughters Amanda and Darlene. Judy is about our age, and Amanda is 25 and Darlene is 20. She also has two boys who are in between those ages.

They first led us to a brand new building. As I said, this colony is 38 years old. They just finished building a new building that houses their laundromat, slaughterhouse, smokehouse, and cold storage.

The building was built in three months and is not totally finished. They have yet to move in the laundry machines, and they only just began to use the slaughterhouse.

The new building has a state of the art heating system.

The flooring is heated with water piped into the floor.

The slaughterhouse.

From there, we went to the main building that houses the dining hall, the church, and the kitchen. Again, everything is spotlessly clean.

This kitchen is 38 years old, although I'm sure some of the equipment has been replaced over the years.

They had new refrigerators installed recently.

The school has only four students!

We were invited back to George and Annie's house where Judy and the girls joined us. They started asking us about travel. Interestingly, Amanda has a smart phone and spends time on the internet. We don't know if she has a computer, but we got the impression that perhaps she did. They seem to have a much more relaxed attitude than at the first colony we visited.  

And Amanda would love to travel. She wants to see everywhere, which is a totally different outlook than we expected. When we brought up the subject of travel at the first colony, the response was "we don't do that".

But Amanda has yet to be on an airplane, and she's a little nervous about that.

At George and Annie's home.

The Hutterites love their chocolate and sweets!

So, that was an interesting cultural experience and we're glad to have had the opportunity to meet these nice people and we look forward to seeing them again.

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20 comments:

  1. This is absolutely fascinating! Thanks for sharing your tours at both communities.

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    1. You are welcome, and so glad you enjoyed both of the posts! :-)

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  2. A bit of both here and very interesting to tour their place.
    Thanks for taking us along.
    I know a few local people here that have left the communities who live and work outside now. Anything is possible today.

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    1. Yes both places were interesting and it was good to see the differences between the two colonies.

      Yes, some leave the colonies and live on their own but most like their lives and stay. They certainly don't stop them from living if that is their desire.

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  3. It seems to be a whole different way of life than the Amish. Thanks for the visit.

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    1. Yes, they are different in most ways but they still embrace their religion and their own little community and try to live off the land as much as they can. However they love the new technology and don't shy away from it.

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  4. Judging from today's picture, Iceland seems like a cheery place.

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    1. It wasn't so cheery that day, there was a very strong wind! Having said that the town of Reykjavik and the area in that part of the country actually has a warmer average temperature than New York City does in the winter.

      Iceland is one of our favourite countries and despite the high cost of visiting there, we would jump at the chance to visit it again and see whole country rather than just the small corner that we got to see in our 5 days there. It is amazingly beautiful and very photogenic.

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  5. When Chris brought up the Mennonites in Mexico, it reminded me of the ancestry of Mitt Romney who ran for U.S. President on the Republican Party ticket. It seems eons ago that a group of Mormons made their way down to Mexico to start a colony/community and to escape U.S. Laws prohibiting polygamy, among other difficulties. The people and history of that Mexican Mormon community are traced directly to his family lineage. I wonder if that community has remained in tact today.

    Dee

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    1. One of my relatives married someone who came from one of these groups. (I think there may be several?) Google "LeBaron clan" to find more on them. There is a crazy, lawless history of that family.

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    2. It looks like only a couple of settlements are in Mexico now and they are rather small because when the Mexican revolution began the Mormons left Mexico to return to the USA. Later, after the revolution a few of them returned but not like the number they had before the revolution.

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    3. Very interesting read Sarah! You can't say that your relatives lead a boring life. ;-)

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    4. The roots of the LeBaron family are not as far back in history as I first thought. Gosh, Sarah, you certainly do have an exciting family!! About as exciting as it gets in my family is my Grandfather Cleve being thrown out of his family's Primitive Baptist Church on Sunday in rural Georgia because the members smelled bourbon on his breath.

      Dee

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  6. Had to go back to yesterday's post to get caught up. That woodshop is pretty awesome. Pretty sure the equipment wasn't that heavy duty in the local vocational school that used to be not far from here. Or course, it's closed now, as a result of a previous provincial government's "funding formula". Not mentioning any names.
    But I digress.
    Too bad Debbie didn't want to have her picture taken. "Hutterly ridiculous", I say! (was dying to get that in there somehow) *snort*

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    1. High schools across the US used to have wood shops, almost all gone now. Everything's computers. If you want woodworking equipment, you can get a good deal on surplus HS stuff.

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    2. You always make us smile Bob! I am sure you were dying to stay that. :-)

      Yep, it is pretty sad what our public schools have become. I remember even in elementary school we had shop, cooking and sewing classes.

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  7. Thanks for sharing your experiences. My Grampa used to tell me about the Hutterites now and then, but I don't think I've seen pictures before. (He was from northern Minnesota, and one of my aunts and her family are in Sask.) I am very impressed with the totally clean kitchens! Do they eat all their meals at the dining hall?

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the post Sarah.

      Yes, most of the meals are eaten in the dining hall although some people will have guests over for a visit so they will eat in their own home and during the planting and harvesting seasons the women will take food out to the men. Also in the second colony that we visited the men and women may sit at the same table, it certainly wasn't frowned upon although I don't think it was a regular occurrence either. Both colonies were totally spotless and not just in the kitchens.

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