Your Story, Our Story

Haitian wooden Sculpture

Derick Gaetan, Student Writer

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In 1994, just one year before the birth of my older brother, Morel and Evelyne were taking their family to New Jersey, U.S.A. Having two children already in Haiti, they both knew there was a better life and opportunity in America. By 1995, they had established themselves in Trenton, New Jersey. The struggle was real in New Jersey, as they lived in a terrible neighborhood with occasional robbery and violence. They knew it was not a good place to raise their family, so they ended up moving to Philadelphia for a little while. In 1999, a year before their second son was born, Morel decided to take the family to Minneapolis, Minnesota. After battling the options of Atlanta and Minneapolis, he knew that Minnesota was best fit for his children’s future. I was finally born August 17, 2000, and the family rejoiced. Morel declared me, “the golden child,” as I was his last child. They took me to Haiti for the first time at age 2, and the second time at age 5. Fast-forward to summer 2017, Morel went to Haiti. When he came back, he gave me a gift from Haiti. It was a wooden object shaped into the country that had all the cities in Haiti. I keep it in my bedroom as a reminder of my ethnicity, and the battle my parents had to face moving to America.

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