This is the story of Bernard Van Ark, a Dutch farm worker. It will be your story during this activity.
My name is Bernard Van Ark, I'm 28 years old. I earn my living as a farmhand in Holland. The city of Utrecht is about an hour's walk from here. Most Saturday evenings, my friend Hans and I walk to the city to visit friends and see the girls. We don't always feel very well when we go to Mass in our Roman Catholic church. Sometimes we have sore heads on Sunday morning.
Three mornings every week in summer and fall I get up at 5 o'clock, load my boss's wagon With flowers, cheeses and vegetables and coax that miserable horse to haul the wagon to the big farmers' market in Utrecht. I spend the day selling at the market, then make my way back to Mr. De Jong's farm. He's my boss --owns this small bit of land here. Some days the market money isn't good. Prices are pretty low these days.
Even though we work hard, we can't seem to earn a decent living. I heard Mr. De Jong tell his wife he'll be laying me off in a couple of weeks, once the weather gets colder. I don't have enough money saved to make it through the winter. Since he got that tractor last year, there's less work for farmhands like me.
I work hard but I just can't seem to save any money. I want to buy a farm in Holland. someday, but I guess that's just a dream. There is very little land available and I'll never be able to find an affordable farm here. So Amelia and I might as well forget about farming here after we get married. Land costs too much; my pay is too low. I could move to the city to get a factory job, but I just don't like that idea. City life isn't for me.
Last Saturday, a fellow was putting up notices all over Utrecht, advertising a magic lantern show all about a place called Canada. Notices said there was plenty of good farmland in the West. Some place called Saskatchewan. The magic lantern show is on tonight. Guess I'll go to it. Is Canada the answer to my problems?