There are some experiences as a teacher that I will never forget. One of them is the culture shock and wonder when I became immersed in the unique and distinct Mennonite culture as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher. How could it be that just an hour north of my hometown there were these distinct groups of people wearing bonnets, “pioneer” style dresses, driving horse and buggies, and living such a different life? It really fascinated me, and I had so much to learn.
I soon learned that there are many different types of Mennonites, and each group has very distinct rules of what is allowed. For example, some groups don’t believe in the use of glass in tractor windows, or rubber tires; other groups fled anti-German persecution in Canada after the first world war and now split their time between Canada and northern Mexico.... [read more]