Motorcycles are not safe!
MY STORY: English language learners from Portland Adult Education share their story in their own words.
My name is Marie-Immaculee. My country is DRC Congo, Kinshasa. My tribe is Tabwa.
I have four grandparents I never met because they lived in other countries. My grandparents were farmers. My mother’s name is Justine. She is a widow and lives in Africa. My family was nine children. My brother Dieudonne is a scientist. Makcel is blind. Emmanuel is a mechanic, and Jef is in the military. My sister Micheline lives in America.
Two of my brothers were boisterous at school and home. Every day they were punished. The girls had too much work. (Cooking, cleaning the house, watching children.) Every morning all family had prayers. But the two brothers always sleeping!
I have five children, two sons and three daughters. My husband Gilbert lives in Africa. After work, my husband sat in the living room and drank juice and read the newspaper. After we ate, we watched TV to see the news of the world.
Before, in DRC Congo, I was a sewing teacher. I had 25 students. I also help the women in Human Rights. It is a good job.
I have many friends in Portland. I also have friends in DRC Congo and Burundi. Many friends I have are teachers or seamstresses. One friend I met in Portland. Her name is Diane. She lives on Deering Avenue. She is married.
When I was young I lived in Bukavu. My neighborhood had one restaurant. It was next to a big school in the city. There were too many students going for learning. There was a football stadium and the Christian church. Every Sunday, families came here to buy African food. (Rice, chicken, vegetables, and goat.) I am afraid of snakes and lions. I hate mosquitos!
My school in Goma was a boarding school for girls. I got my high school diploma and a degree in sewing. I like to learn the technology of sewing by hand and by machine. My school gave me this opportunity. Happy times!
In my country I rode a motorcycle. I took a motorcycle because no car. I had to go fast to work at 8 o’clock AM. On the first day I fell down and knocked over. Motorcycles are not safe.
On my first day in Portland, I took the bus to go to the immigration office. I took wrong number bus. I not ask the driver. I lost in Portland.
In May, the daughter of my pastor had a wedding. I sewed many, many dresses. My volunteer job in church is to alter clothing for the people at church. I sew the robes for the people in the choir.
My first goal is to get my asylum documents and to bring my family here. In my country is difficulty and insecurity. I am upset because last week my daughter gave me the news my mother is sick with diabetes. I believe her house is not good because she has no money.
I need the good job. I pay the rent and pay for my car. I wish to start a sewing business. I will buy materials and start classes for sewing. I will pay the taxes to the government.
My big wish is to make the world more beautiful and to do justice to everybody. When all work together to end nastiness and nasty actions my goal will be complete.
-Marie-Immaculee is an ELL student at Portland Adult Education.