Wouter (Walter) was the second member of a Boer family that invaded our hostel over the past few years.

Both of his younger brothers and his sister worked part-time at our hostel and two of then still do. Wouter works for the Canadiana full-time.

“Boers”, in case you don’t know, are white South Africans who DO NOT refer to themselves as “Europeans”. They are Africans or “Afrikaners” in their language and they severed their European roots about 15 generations ago.

They speak Afrikaans, a language akin to Dutch laced liberally with German, French and even English terms.

You would be hard pressed to find a race of people with a more passionate connection to the soil of their native country than a Boer (which means “Farmer” in Afrikaans.)

They are notably strong, capable, hard-working, self-reliant and unbelievably stubborn.? (They were also the architects of apartheid but that is thankfully in the past.)

Wouter came to Canada as an immigrant following his younger brother’s trail. He has since been joined by his other siblings another younger brother and his sister Belinda. the youngest.

Sometime later, this year or next, they expect to be joined in Canada by their parents. Their mother was born here but left by the age of two; so. as a result, Wouter and his siblings all hold Canadian citizenship.

It is a rather sad sign to see Boers uprooting from the land with which they have long had such a passionate attachment. It does not bode well for the future of South Africa.

Nonetheless, we are sure they will do well in Canada. It is still a land of opportunity.

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Wouter (left) with Vera from Canada and his younger brother Han

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