Marie Louis

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.

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