Winkler Gets a Taste of Croatia

Garden Valley Collegiate
Winkler, Manitoba

By K. Jolene E. (Grade 11)

For most Winklerites, the town seems a safe, comfortable haven. But for Milorad Vujica the exact opposite is true.

Milorad immigrated to Winkler approximately six months ago. His sister and brother-in-law were living in Bosnia and had to leave because they were no longer safe. Milorad decided to accompany his family, for a change and also to learn English.

Change seems to be a never-ending story for Milorad. In Croatia, he had been a lawyer and an owner of a video store. In Winkler, he worked at the Triple-E factory and now attends GVC as a student. Milorad commented about thankful workers in Winkler. "When the buzzer went to return to work (after coffee break), nobody runs. I didn't feel that people appreciated their jobs here."

Milorad enjoys a number of activities and hobbies, such as handball, basketball, tennis, scuba diving, and painting. He would love to give tennis lessons and sell his painted icons in North America.

Milorad makes several observations of life in Canada. He sees Canadians as having a better opportunity to learn because of the abundance of books and all of the computers. But, compared to his native Croatia, he thinks Canadian students do not take education seriously and that we do not have as much knowledge after secondary school as students do back home in Croatia. For Milorad, school here has been a good eye-opener, but he comments that it is not for him since he is getting on in years.

Milorad finds his current life here frustrating. He is unhappy with his limited English and he is contemplating returning to Croatia. Milorad left GVC students with some great advice: "You are young. You are smart. Therefore, you must enjoy what you have."

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