by Simon Black
Emma Gingerich doesn’t remember any joy in her childhood.
She grew up without electricity or running water, and took only one bath a week.
Education was so limited that to the best of her knowledge, the earth was flat. She didn’t even know how to speak fluent English, even though she grew up right in the heart of the US.
Emma belonged to one of the strictest Amish sects in the country, called the Swartzentruber, who speak a dialect of German. She didn’t know, and could barely communicate with anyone from the outside world.
Still, at the age of 18, she knew she had to leave.