This is the story of Johannes Gishler, a German shop worker. It will be your story during this activity.
My name is Johannes Gishler. I'm 22 years old. I live here in the German city of Berlin with my younger sister Hannah and 2 cousins. Our apartment is so crowded, sometimes I just have to get out for a while. I work for my uncle Fritz in his busy grocery shop. I work too much, I think.
Let me explain.
Six and a half days a week I'm in the shop serving customers and listening to my uncle complain. Too many taxes, not enough income. More money is needed so the government can build up the army. Will there be a war? There's a lot of talk of war lately. I don't like it.
All of these things upset my uncle. He spends his days worrying and complaining. I spend my days working too hard. Sometimes I worry, too, especially about having to serve in the army.
I take some time off on Saturday night to visit with my friends. Then comes Sunday, and I'm off to church. I go to our Lutheran church. Then maybe we have a big meal or visit friends. And pretty soon it's back to work on Monday for another long week.
Then comes payday. But my pay is never enough. The rent Hannah and I and our cousins must pay for our apartment is too high. Our landlord says he must raise our rent to pay his taxes. I'll never be able to save money at this rate. Never own a shop like my uncle. Never get out of this trap. What can I do?
Maybe I should join my friends who are leaving Berlin. Where can I go? I read about the Canadian North West. Thousands of people from Europe have settled there. They'll need someplace to go to buy groceries. That sounds like a good opportunity for me. I think I need to know more about Canada-this place called Saskatoon sounds interesting. It might be the solution to my problems.