61 responses to A Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 Photos
  • *
    Al in Ky
    Comment on A Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 Photos (July 12th, 2013 at 05:16)

    Thanks for sharing all of the photos. I was in the area last month
    and saw many similar sights. I enjoyed the photo of Pathway
    Bookstore. I remember the first time I visited it — even though I
    had the address, I drove by it twice. I thought it would be a great big place, with at least one large sign out front, but it
    is so unassuming, and an interesting place to visit. I think there
    is an Old Order Mennonite community (Groffdale Conference — horse and buggy Mennonites) near Tippecanoe and that may have been the one you passed through. I’ve never been to the Rochester Amish settlement — will have to take a side trip there next time I travel north. And a question– do you happen to know how many square miles the Elkhart-Lagrange settlement covers now?

    • *
      Comment on A Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 Photos (July 12th, 2013 at 09:43)

      Good question Al, I do not know. There is a relatively recent directory, 2012 I believe. I think it has reached down to touch the Nappanee settlement. When I was there in 2006 it was already stretching up to touch Michigan as well.

      There are areas when driving through this community that you don’t see English homes for quite a stretch.

      Sounds like that may have been the community you are talking about. I think it was a little south of Mentone.

      On the way back to Lagrange, I drove through a hamlet called “Disko”. I could look at maps for hours just to read the place names.

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    Helen Tiernan
    Comment on A Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 Photos (July 12th, 2013 at 05:45)

    Hi Erik, hope all is well with you. The photos are great and make me miss Indiana. Have you ever visited any of the communities in the southern part of the state? Most of them appear to be fairly strict old order Amish. When I was there a few years ago I didn’t take my camera when visiting my Amish pen-friend as I didn’t want to offend her or her family. I regret that now as I could have taken photos of the house and farm and all the goats and horses and buggies.

    • *
      Comment on A Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 Photos (July 12th, 2013 at 07:10)

      Helen I spent 3 weeks in Daviess County, and in another settlement that is now no longer Amish, but never visited communities in some of the more conservative areas of southern Indiana like Orange County. I thought I might on this trip, but had to back burner that.

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      Sandra Kathleen
      Comment on A Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 Photos (October 30th, 2013 at 20:01)

      Helen,

      How did you get an Amish pen-friend?

  • *
    Slightly-Handled-Order-Man
    Comment on A Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 Photos (July 12th, 2013 at 06:07)

    It looks like and sounds like you had a terrific visit. I think my favorite picture is the cloudy sky picture. I’ve been seeing clouds like those at evening time when I’m at work this week. The one buggy picture also looks like they are off to a picnic to me too.

    I couldn’t see anything odd in the “Hilty” picture, but I wondered if the Lancaster Gorilla had followed you to Indiana.

    • *
      Denise
      Comment on A Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 Photos (July 12th, 2013 at 09:19)

      Not odd-I think Erik was referring to the RV under the sign. The Amish probably had a hand in assembling that.

      • *
        Comment on A Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 Photos (July 12th, 2013 at 09:37)

        That’s right Denise. I had RVs on the mind earlier in the week. I didn’t notice one was driving right by when I took this, until I pulled it out for this post.

        • *
          Slightly-Handled-Order-Man
          Comment on A Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 Photos (July 12th, 2013 at 21:45)

          Erik and Denise
          Ah yes, I see it now.
          Perhaps the dealership pays an employee to drive the RV around so that they can have picture snapping English take promotional pictures without being against any Ordnug rule (there is no rule against free advertizing is there).

  • *
    SharonR
    Comment on Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 photos (July 12th, 2013 at 06:59)

    Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 photos

    THANKS ERIK for sharing photos — I just love this part of the country! Being from Florida, it’s always a treat to see those beautiful farms! We will be in Penn. and Indiana, early Sept., visiting relatives and friends and can’t wait to “take in” all of the magnificent scenery! Our friends live in Southern Indiana, and they too have a few Amish families, around Mitchell, IN. — they even “deal” with them, in their Antique shop, with an Amish carpenter making crafts for their shop, too.

    On getting pics of Amish and area — 2 years ago when we were in Lancaster, PA and surrounding areas, we shot a lot of photos, through the car windows, always managing to get any Amish people at a distance, without snapping them “face-on” — we did respect their privacy in this matter, and we got plenty of good photos, without intruding on them.

    Phone shanties — they are so cool — when in Lancaster, PA, we did see “businessmen” or shop owners, use their cell phones — those would be convenient for them, I’m thinking. It was an odd site to see, until I later understood about the “no phones” in their houses. :)

    Thanks for great shots!
    SharonR

  • *
    Carol Comer
    Comment on Thanks! (July 12th, 2013 at 07:04)

    Thanks!

    Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful pictures!

  • *
    Randy Adams
    Comment on Nice Photos (July 12th, 2013 at 07:09)

    Nice Photos

    Eric, I always enjoy the photos you include. This was a great batch. These sort of photos also make nice computer wallpaper.

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    Adair
    Comment on A Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 Photos (July 12th, 2013 at 07:21)

    Love the photos – thanks!

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    Jan Drexler
    Comment on Thanks for the photos! (July 12th, 2013 at 07:28)

    Thanks for the photos!

    The Elkhart-LaGrange area is my home territory, and the pictures were almost like a visit. Thank you!

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    Comment on A Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 Photos (July 12th, 2013 at 07:31)

    Beautiful!

  • *
    Andrea green
    Comment on A Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 Photos (July 12th, 2013 at 07:58)

    Hi Erick
    What fab pictures, just loved looking at them and reading about where you have been, me thinks you could have one of the best jobs !! What away to spend three weeks, very nice lol, think my favourite pic is the buggys all lined up for pizza hut :-).

    • *
      Comment on A Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 Photos (July 12th, 2013 at 09:47)

      Thanks Andrea, it wasn’t 3 weeks in Indiana, but with this and two trips to PA since beginning of June it’s been about that long in Amish communities. Yes I am grateful for it. That Pizza Hut is popular with the Amish.

      I drove by again on Sunday when leaving for Ohio, and not a buggy was to be seen, of course.

  • *
    Debbie H
    Comment on A Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 Photos (July 12th, 2013 at 09:07)

    Thanks for the photos. I love looking at all of them. My favorite was the ladder over the fence. Wish they had them when I was having to go all the way around the fence to retrieve the ball’:)

    Also love the sunset picture. Very peaceful.

    Debbie

  • *
    Margaret
    Comment on A Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 Photos (July 12th, 2013 at 09:49)

    Excellent post! Thanks, Erik!

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    mary
    Comment on Amish in Indiana (July 12th, 2013 at 10:02)

    Amish in Indiana

    We go to Shipshewana every fall.Love it there. Have been wondering about the Allen/Adams county areas. Do they have stores and such as Shipshewana does. Any tourism?
    Thanks
    Mary from Minnesota

    • Tourist development in Adams and Allen Counties

      They have a handful, but neither community is really oriented to tourists. That may be slowly changing…at two of the stores I stopped at in Adams County, I was given a brochure with a map of Amish businesses and profiles of a number of those businesses. In Allen County there have been moves to develop a tourist complex in Grabill, with Amish involvement.

      Here’s an article from a few years ago, there are more recent ones than this out there:

      http://www.theallianceonline.com/news-releases/plan-proposes-amish-makeover-for-grabill

      “We felt that Grabill had the potential to be more than what they are and closer to what Shipshewana and Nappanee are,” Udris said. “Beyond the benefit to Grabill itself, the end result is that it would have the impact of bringing in money that currently isn’t being spent inside Allen County, and it maybe would bring us additional branding potential for Allen County.”

  • *
    Scott
    Comment on Amish in Indiana (July 12th, 2013 at 11:45)

    Amish in Indiana

    Thanks for the wonderful photos and description. I enjoy learning about the Amish life, society and recipes. I drive a semi truck around the country and enjoy seeing the different areas they reside in.

    Once again thanks…

    Scott

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    Terry Berger
    Comment on In case you're interested. (July 12th, 2013 at 12:57)

    In case you're interested.

    Hi folks,
    In Northampton County Pennsylvania where I grew up, a ladder over the fence or an opening in a stone fence large enough for someone to squeeze through is called a ‘Fensahgreich.’ I’m curious to know if there are different words for it elsewhere.

    Terry

  • *
    Nancy Lynn
    Comment on Windows (July 12th, 2013 at 13:00)

    Windows

    I notice so often that they have smaller windows in their homes. I wonder why they would not go bigger as it would let in more light and since they don’t have a lot of furniture that they need lots of wall space would they not get larger windows to let the sun in for heat and light in to save more on their lanterns, Just wondered.

    • *
      OldKat
      Comment on @ Nancy Lynn (July 13th, 2013 at 09:09)

      @ Nancy Lynn

      Well … maybe it is because unless they used insulated (thermal) windows they would also be letting a lot of cold winter-time air in, too.

      Our home is almost 100 years old and the difference between being in a room that has the original windows and one that is in the part of the house that was remodel 28 years ago & had Andersen thermal windows installed is amazing. I have insulated that old house as much as is possible, and sealed and caulked everywhere that I can … but those old double hung windows let in a more cold air in the winter and probably let OUT more cool air in the summer than I care to think about. Bigger windows would mean more surface area for heat exchange and more gaps along the edge to let air escape.

      That would be my guess anyway; as to why they wouldn’t have already done what you are suggesting.

    • *
      Comment on Amish Windows (July 13th, 2013 at 19:14)

      Amish Windows

      It’s a good question on windows, that varies, it may be part of the standards in some groups as well.

      One Amish place I stayed at recently is full of windows, and happens to be in the right spot on the hill that it catches a breeze all the time. I think they knew what they were doing when they built it. Of course it also gets winter winds though. I’m not totally sure if it was an Old Order Amish place when it was built though, or something close to that.

  • *
    Carolyn
    Comment on Wonderful pictures (July 12th, 2013 at 13:05)

    Wonderful pictures

    The pictures and their explanation were a great way to report on your trip. It makes me feel like I was there for a little while. You are very blessed to have been able to make this trip. My husband & I plan to go to Ohio in the fall. This post makes me want to go to Indiana also.

  • *
    Lattice
    Comment on A Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 Photos (July 12th, 2013 at 13:43)

    Well, I enjoyed your trip immensely!

    I also believe that it’s just a matter of time before limited-use internet is permitted for Amish home businesses and for ordering purposes.

  • *
    Dave
    Comment on A Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 Photos (July 12th, 2013 at 14:22)

    Great blog entry and photo’s Erik. Do you get a sense that the Amish community is less, static, or more absorbed into English culture compared to 5, or 10 years ago? You can answer by region or qualify if you like.

    • *
      Comment on A Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 Photos (July 13th, 2013 at 18:42)

      Dave that is a hard question to do justice to here, but my first response is to say more, with Amish involvement in businesses and with the general creep of technology in both English and Amish society.

      However Amish have also migrated a lot in the past decade, and those are often more traditional groups trying to stay that way, and also they tend to have somewhat larger families as well.

  • *
    Erin
    Comment on A Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 Photos (July 12th, 2013 at 15:35)

    Beautiful photos! As others stated, I really enjoyed the virtual tour. My favorite was the last one. Absolutey gorgeous!

    I’ve only visited Amish communities in the midwest and would love the opportunity to visit other states.
    It’s on my Bucket List!

  • *
    Sandra Kathleen
    Comment on Thanks for the Photos! (July 12th, 2013 at 15:49)

    Thanks for the Photos!

    Thanks for the photos and commentary,Erik. The first phone shanty looked like it could have been a shower…with all the items lining the window sill! 😀

    I also liked the thundercloud scene the most — just beautiful!

  • *
    Juanita Cook
    Comment on A Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 Photos (July 12th, 2013 at 16:17)

    Love all these photo’s. Thanks for sharing them with us.

  • *
    TOM-GA
    Comment on picnic buggy photo (July 12th, 2013 at 19:13)

    picnic buggy photo

    They have probably been to a food locker or the store and picked up food that needs to be kept cold. The last time I was in Ethridge, Tn. I noticed a lot of buggies coming from the business area had coolers in them, and assumed that was what they were for.

  • *
    Dali Castillo
    Comment on Amish Indiana (July 12th, 2013 at 22:23)

    Amish Indiana

    Really enjoyed all the info and pictures. I live near Shipshe & Nappanee & visit often, but haven’t ventured toward Allen County. I look forward to future info on the Topeka clinic.

    • *

      Community Health Clinic in Topeka, Indiana

      Dali here is the website for the Community Health Clinic, soon to be opened in Topeka:

      http://www.indianachc.org/wp/

      From the Clinic’s About page:

      The CHC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit healthcare facility that provides excellent and affordable medical care consistent with the needs of the Amish, Mennonite, and other rural northeastern Indiana communities. The CHC will initially focus on serving children with special healthcare needs and their families. We embrace, incorporate, and promote participation in research to advance medical knowledge and improve care.

      • *
        Dali Castillo
        Comment on Community Health Clinic Topeka (July 13th, 2013 at 19:08)

        Community Health Clinic Topeka

        Thanks for the clinic info, Erik! Appreciate it!

  • *
    rick
    Comment on nice (July 13th, 2013 at 06:44)

    nice

    Well done, Erik. I spent a day in Middlebury in June seeing some Mennonite friends. The supper guests were sisters and their families, and the sisters’ the family that runs Pathway in LaGrange. Like Al in KY, I have driven by the bookstore more than once without realizing it as well.

    According to his sign, the guy selling raspberries got “First Place”, so they must have been good! Haha!

    • *
      Comment on A Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 Photos (July 13th, 2013 at 18:48)

      Well done on the sign caption Rick. He was very Amish about it and didn’t brag about winning first place while I was there :)

      It was a young lady that helped me out at Pathway, maybe one of the sisters you mention.

  • *
    OldKat
    Comment on Rasberries ... @ Erik (July 13th, 2013 at 10:03)

    Rasberries ... @ Erik

    No, I’m not saying your photos were bad; they are outstanding.

    I’m talking about this: “They are not certified organic, but he said something about not using chemicals. He was pretty enthused about it all”

    Just curious if many Amish go through the process of having their farm production “citified” as organic? Most of the people I know that have looked into it claim that it is more trouble than it is worth. Instead, they use terms like “All-natural”, “No chemicals” or “No antibiotics” for animals they produce or “No preservatives” for any food items they may produce. There are people that will insist on that certified organic label, but unfortunately not many want to pay the premium that it costs to purchase certified organic products.

    I am not knocking organic production; I prefer it when the price differential between organic and standard produced items is not too great. Apparently, though, demand for organically produced products has not materialized as much as we might have all expected that it would. Demand for “LOCALLY produced” items HAS truly taken off though & that fact is not lost on most of the Amish that truck farm.

    • Organic and locally grown produce among Amish

      Aha, I get it now Oldkat, I had to read your title twice. I missed the “insult” the first time around, I’ll take those raspberries :)

      Yours is another good question which I can only touch on in terms of an answer–in 2006 when I surveyed this community it seemed like it was burgeoning “thing” in just a small minority of farmers, who were there already or in the 3-year process to get there. I would guess it is a bigger deal in Lancaster County. Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-Op had around 70 farmers last time I heard, most of them Amish.

      I think some Amish are seeing it as a way to do something with a relatively small tract of land. It might be that the math works out better in a place like Lancaster in terms of the costs of converting vs. the demand for organic produce with the huge mid-Atlantic region market.

      To the average Amish farmer, I am not sure how odd or unorthodox organic farming seems nowadays. More success stories probably help make it more attractive, assuming the successes outweigh the failures, which I would guess to be the case.

      Of course the locally produced bar is a lot lower to clear and Amish have no doubt benefited from this trend without having to change the way they do things.

  • *
    OldKat
    Comment on Oops; typo bug ... again (July 13th, 2013 at 10:07)

    Oops; typo bug ... again

    I should have said: “Just curious if many Amish go through the process of having their farm production “certified” as organic?

    Although “citified” might work as well!

    • *
      Comment on Organic produce is city produce? (July 13th, 2013 at 19:04)

      Organic produce is city produce?

      Great typo…and actually fits pretty well. A few years ago I attended a customer picnic for the Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-Op held on an Amishman’s farm in Lancaster County. A few dozen Washington DC participants in their CSA program attended along with the Amish farmers and their families. When worlds collide…I don’t mean that anything bad happened, it was a nice event, it was just two very different cultures meeting, brought together by citified organic fruits and veggies.

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    Slightly-Handled-Order-Man
    Comment on Chain, chain, chain, chain of stores (July 13th, 2013 at 18:28)

    Chain, chain, chain, chain of stores

    Does anyone else wish that Raber’s Super Center was a nationwide or international chain?

    I think I’d feel better about shopping there than other American super store chains that have come to Canada in the last 15-20 years (Wal-Mart, Target to name two).

    I think that Raber’s would probably succeed if they applied Amish values nationally or internationally even if the majority of the employees where English in their, lets say, Happy Valley, Newfoundland store location.

  • *
    Scott
    Comment on I wonder... (July 13th, 2013 at 22:42)

    I wonder...

    I wonder if there are any Amish families in the tourist type areas that offer (for a fee) REAL AMISH HORSE & BUGGY RIDES to the tourists?? I believe it would be fun to try it at least once.

    • *
      SharonR
      Comment on Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 photos (July 14th, 2013 at 07:04)

      Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 photos

      YES, around Lancaster, PA, there is “buggy rides” for a small fee, for us “Englishers” to experience riding in an Amish buggy. We saw them while we were in the area, 2 years ago. We didn’t ride one, however, as we were spending our money elsewhere, in the area. :)

      There is also “educational” attractions that tell about the Amish culture, in the real setting of a farm. Check out the travel info on the internet, for Lancaster, PA and you’ll find oodles of things to experience!

      Now you are making me want to go back — which we will be traveling up that way, in August!! Can’t wait!
      SharonR

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      Mary Yoder
      Comment on Visit Amish in Indiana (July 15th, 2013 at 09:35)

      Visit Amish in Indiana

      Scott,
      I have to smile about the REAL AMISH, sorry, it just tickles me. I am Amish and would LOVE to give you a free REAL RIDE. We gave the author, Wanda Brunstetter and her husband, Richard a ride around the square (4 Miles) a few weeks ago.
      I can answer the question Erik; of the couple that was published in church, which happens to be our district and Erik went to our church.
      They do lots of prep work and live separately, the bride moved to Ohio a year or two back, and her husband to be is from Ohio, so she will be here without her fiance for a few weeks, helping her parents get ready.
      The big district directory of 2012 is only this area and not from Nappanee and Michigan. The address directory covers all of that and more, it is the people who are covered in the Die Blatt.

      • *
        Lattice
        Comment on A Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 Photos (July 15th, 2013 at 10:25)

        Greetings, Mary,

        Some of us (society people) speculate about the use of internet by the Amish.

        Do you think that the internet will someday be allowed in the Amish home?

        • *
          Mary Yoder
          Comment on Visit Amish in Indiana (July 15th, 2013 at 15:28)

          Visit Amish in Indiana

          Lattice,
          Internet use? Hum.. I use it at work and try to keep it work related, but you know this blog is extra. Knowing Erik, I have to kinda keep tabs on him maybe? Ha
          I do hope we can keep it out of the phone shantys and such. People do go to libraries and use it there. My concern is the bad part of internet and all it can lead to. We can misuse internet as we can misuse other things in life, but when we nail it down, in all honesty, internet opens doors the Amish don’t need. So my answer is no.
          Erik, we enjoyed having you and that sandwich and fries was sure good at Emmatown. A Baja Burger. Thanks again!

          • *
            Comment on A Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 Photos (July 15th, 2013 at 16:12)

            As did I, Mary Alice, I like that diner/restaurant, it is a neat atmosphere and interesting location.

            Mary Alice and her husband ordered from the sandwich menu and I went with the special, which wasn’t bad but after seeing their sandwiches I wanted to rewind my order! Well, the company is what makes the meal anyway, and that was good :)

          • *
            Lattice
            Comment on A Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 Photos (July 15th, 2013 at 17:52)

            Thank you for your input, Mary. Someday I think it might be possible to have “personalized” browsers which give certain groups, like schools or even the Amish, very limited, pre-approved usage, and the ability to surf only chosen sites; no allowable links. There’s a little of that now, but it’s rather faulty yet.

            You could do your ordering, post notices/news to distant churches, and advertise your products. Society people could perhaps access your ads, but you (the protected group) could not venture outside the approved sites.

            Email sure would be handy too.

            But then I think about the amount of time that can be lost in front of a computer, and I wonder, “Who will pick the vegetables?”

            It will be interesting to see.

      • *
        Comment on A Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 Photos (July 15th, 2013 at 11:39)

        Thanks for filling us in Mary Alice. I really enjoyed Emmatown lunch and church the next day :) Say hello to “Mr. Yoder” from me!

      • *
        Dali Castillo
        Comment on Visit to Amish Indiana (July 15th, 2013 at 12:06)

        Visit to Amish Indiana

        Mary,
        I went to see Wanda in Middlebury when she was here and she spoke of the time spent with her Amish friends.
        I’m with Lattice on the question of internet usage. I look forward to your response on that.

  • *
    Christine McMahon-Chase
    Comment on A Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 Photos (July 14th, 2013 at 12:54)

    Thank you for sharing. Living in Washington state doesn’t lend itself to seeing these wonderful sights in person. I hope to visit the Amish community areas in Montana at some time.

  • *
    Katrina
    Comment on A Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 Photos (July 15th, 2013 at 14:20)

    Thank you Erik, for the beautiful photos, especially those of the Elkhart_Lagrange area. That is where I grew up, and I am planning on visiting my family there later this summer.
    To the query about horse and buggy tours, there is a tour offered of the Shipshewana area. It basically takes you around the town.

  • *
    Ouida F.Tannehill
    Comment on Ouida (July 25th, 2013 at 19:56)

    Ouida

    I really enjoyed the photos I read a lot of the Amish Books by Beverly Lewis an I loeved to see the photos

  • *
    Ann B
    Comment on now I'm homesick! (August 6th, 2013 at 14:08)

    now I'm homesick!

    Thanks for the IN pix! LaGrange/Ship is my home so some of the shots were of familiar places… I might even be a bit homesick now! 😉

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    tabby f
    Comment on comment on visit to amish indiana (October 24th, 2013 at 23:34)

    comment on visit to amish indiana

    Eric,
    I so enjoyed looking at the pictures with explanations, which is always important. I was in that area in early August, and it was beautiful. We took a buggy ride in Shipshewana and loved it.

    unfortunately my camera messed up and I came away with just a few pictures instead of the hundreds I took.

    • *
      Comment on A Visit to Amish Indiana in 25 Photos (October 31st, 2013 at 10:18)

      Tabby, glad you enjoyed it and sorry to hear about the camera snafu. That must be maddening.

      We’ll have a photo post up tomorrow in a similar style on my recent visit to the Pinecraft community in Florida. It was “low season” so not a lot of people around, but there were still plenty to visit with.

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