Yet this 22-year-old from a small school tucked in a town known more for its Amish crafts than computer programming skills had managed to do the unthinkable: overcome 3,000 miles of distance and a deep cultural divide to land his dream job.
"I am a Christian. I don't like the way the English teenagers live. I have always treasured the simple life and the way the Amish live and am looking to hopefully become Amish when I'm old enough," said one teen who described herself as "a modest young lady."
It was mesmerizing watching festival old-timers, men in beards and women in long country hair, going around meeting friends and acquaintances. Here, truly, was a portrait of rural America.
TLC has found another crew of renegade Amish and Mennonite youth to cast for Breaking Amish . If the LA version is anything like the previous Breaking Amish or Amish Mafia, not only will the "reality" show include heavy doses of fiction, it will also fabricate more myths about Amish life that deserve a good debunking.
"You're going to Pennsylvania?" our friends asked. "You're usually flying off to some destination we've never heard of, but the state named after William Penn? Why Pennsylvania?"
Vacation planning for us queers is never just about where we want to go and where we can afford to go. The question of "is it safe for us to go there?" is always lurking, and we often and with good reason seriously consider the gay-friendliness of our vacation destination.
In the real world, which increasingly is becoming the virtually augmented reality world, a smartphone, a pad, or a laptop are survival tools. Even the Amish have a word processor.
After living on an Amish dairy farm for a year, I agree with those who argue that the reality programs reflect a lack of knowledge of the plain folk. The Amish community I associated with had an intimate and sensible relationship to the mainstream world. The beauty is how they managed it.
As several of the folks interviewed on the show indicate, the Amish people are held up by many as a stereotype of humble, innocent simplicity. And while this is true in many cases, there are also darker sides to the culture.
An Amish Murder isn't a study of the Amish way of life but there is enough involvement of the Amish community in the script to make those seeking information happy. The movie itself is run of the mill but any production that offers a chance to see Neve Campbell in a lead role is worth watching.
Though Mountains Fall is Dale Cramer's third and final book in The Daughters of Caleb Bender series, based on actual events that transpired in the nineteenth century when a group of Amish people fled the United States and set up residence in Mexico.
There's much to tell about the Amish and Mennonite communities. The stories are voluminous and varied and an American audience would enjoy the telling of them. Too bad Hollywood won't be there for the discovery of it, nor America for the learning of it.
Since getting royally trounced in the election, Republicans, imitating the logic and behavior usually limited to kindergarten recess, have been trying desperately to figure out how they could possibly have lost.
Mennonites around the world are very involved in responding to basic human needs and working for peace and justice. How in the world, then, can war, prejudice, hate-filled media, income inequality and poverty fit into this paradigm?
It is this devotion to nostalgia and religious attachment to the past that I can't help but think about every time I work with my Amish friend Ervin, a farmer of sweet sorghum whose crop is produced exclusively for my newly minted liquor: Sorgrhum: America's First Sweet Sorghum Spirit.
Last year, as I drove across the country on its longest contiguous highway, US Route 6, I came across what I consider the best attractions where kids (and our inner children), can get dirty, run around and commune with nature.