My name is Marie Louis and I am nineteen years old,, and I was born in Haiti. I lived there until I was ten years old. My dad lived in the US and he sent me a ticket and an adult helped me on the plane to get to Portland Oregon. It as summer but it felt cold because I am used to 110 degrees. In Haiti I lived in house with my mom, her sisters, grandpa, and her brothers. We lived in a small town near the ocean. I would go fishing with my uncles and cousins to catch red and pink fish. We would eat them and I love fish. I love mango and plantains and they grew on trees. When I first left Haiti I was crying because I left my mother and two brothers and two sisters. I stayed in touch with my mother. She was sad because she missed me, but she was happy that I would have a better life.
My father was working and he sold blankets and pillows. I went to Benson for three years before coming to Focus on Youth and Portland International Community School in 2009. I got tired of my other school because students were fighting every day. I think I have a better life here because I receive a free education. In Haiti you have to pay to go to school. I like it that PICS is multi-cultural and the kids get along and there is no fighting.
I like taking pictures of everything. I think I am learning to be a better photographer. I would like to be a wedding photographer. We went to the Washington Park Rose Garden and I took photos of my classmate Saida and flowers. My friend and mentors took photos of me and it was fun. The pictures turned out good and I think I look beautiful. We went on location shoot and I photographed the autumn leaves changing an lots of other things. My photographs were entered in a contest and two were selected for an exhibit at The Gresham Visual Arts Gallery.
On January 12, 2010 my cousin from Miami sent me a text message and said there was an earth quake in Haiti. I tried to call my mom and there was no reception and I I didn’t know if my mom was dead or alive. My dad talked to someone in Haiti a he told me five of my cousins were dead because they were in Port O Prince.
I am working at Arbys and I have worked there four months. I am working to support myself and I plan to graduate this year. I am thankful to be living in America. I am thankful to have a job and having food to eat. I am thankful for free education.
I thankful to be part of Focus on Youth and I like learning photography. I am proud my photographs and I like the photographs taken of my by the mentors and my classmates. This photo of me was taken by my friend Saida from Somalia.