It was my turn to work last weekend. This happens about every three weeks between May 1 and September 30, which are the months the outdoor Village is open to the public. For me, working a weekend shift carries an added benefit in that I tend to meet more people on weekends than during the week.

Last weekend I chatted with a young family who have just moved from Nunavut, way up in northern Canada, to Blumenort, down here in beautiful, sunny southern Manitoba. How nice to see that spending a “family day” at Mennonite Heritage Village was a priority for them.

I also met a family from Winnipeg who, when asked if they had been here previously, informed me that the child had but the parents had not. The boy had come earlier with his school class, as part of our Education Program, and he was now bringing his parents out for a visit. This is not an uncommon occurrence.

Another family from Winnipeg visited us on Sunday. They told me they had already been at MHV for Pioneer Days. During that visit they learned about our Sunday Buffet, so this was the day they chose to come out for lunch--and for another tour of the Village. They spent most of the afternoon here.

On Sunday I also met a couple from Jerusalem, who are in Canada for work-related reasons. The brief conversation I had with them suggested this was their first exposure to Mennonites. What a privilege to be able to provide them with this learning opportunity.

So working a weekend shift has advantages and disadvantages. The advantages are represented by the experiences noted above and are made possible by a schedule free of the usual weekday meetings. The disadvantages have to do with not being able to sleep in, little time for family activities, and not being able to attend the church that I am a part of. As with many other things in life, I’ll take the good with the bad.

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About the Author

Barry is the Executive Director of the Mennonite Heritage Village. While he does not consider himself to be a historian, he places a high value on the preservation and interpretation of the Mennonite and pioneer stories that help people of all ages understand and appreciate their heritage. Learn more about the MHV.

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