The plan to move to the Netherlands from South Africa had been with Brenton Maas and his wife for some time. When Brenton came into contact with ENTER in March 2022, it became concrete. Brenton: "My conversations with Patrick and Stephan were immediately good, but before I could really leave South Africa, of course there was still a lot to be done." And so the time to emigrate was set for sometime in September '22. For Brenton then, his wife stayed in South Africa for a few more months. Now that she also came over a short while ago, for Brenton the picture is complete: interesting job, nice house and his wife, two cats and two dogs. "Now it's time to work on our future!"
For the first two months in the Netherlands, Brenton lived in an AirBNB in Vlaardingen. From there, he went to the ENTER office in Delft every day. Brenton: "I didn't have an assignment right away, that gave me time to get used to the Netherlands, get a lot of stuff done, like a finding a rental house, and take courses." He found a house in Zoeterwoude. "Nice and quiet, close to a green environment!" And ENTER found him an assignment at a renowned research institute.
With his background in web application development, he started working on the user experience and user interface to plot scenarios in different municipalities. Brenton explains: "In that interface, we can simulate what happens when you close a road somewhere. Because everything is monitored; all traffic, but also, for example, nitrogen and noise emissions, we know exactly what the effect is on the environment if one less road is available. My job is to upgrade the design and make sure that the mapping tool itself can be integrated with multiple mapping technologies."
An interesting job in which, having only just arrived in the Netherlands, he is indirectly working on Dutch cities. Cities he visited himself during visits to the Netherlands. "My maternal grandfather is originally from Middelburg and my grandmother from Rotterdam," Brenton says. "So I've always had family in the Netherlands, who came to visit South Africa during vacations. I myself, when I was in my early twenties, sailed on a houseboat from Middelburg to Groningen with my grandfather and a cousin. Across the country, from lower left to upper right."
Later he came over twice more, once with his wife. "But she only saw Amsterdam then, so to say she knows Holland well, is a bit much..." he says, laughing. "Still, she too feels very much at home here. It is pleasant here and there is less crime than in South Africa. That was one of the reasons for us wanting to move here. That, plus the fact that you can visit many different places in Europe quite easily from the Netherlands. And that was a big wish of mine and my wife's."
Other wishes are there, too. "We plan to really stay here. So in the future I hope to expand my career, buy a house and start a family." But first on the list is a car. "Then we'll have more freedom to go out and get to know the country even better." Just like the language, although that's fine with both Brenton and his ega. "She speaks Afrikaans well and can therefore also understand Dutch. My grandparents used to speak Dutch to me, so understanding is also going well for me. It’s only the speaking of the language still that doesn’t always goes very fast, but that will come now that we can really settle down here."