Green coconuts and koko

By Fetalai Tuilulu’u and Aruna Lolani ,

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MONEY IS ALL AROUND US: Fetaia’i Va’auli.

MONEY IS ALL AROUND US: Fetaia’i Va’auli. (Photo: Fetalai Tuilulu’u )

While others are not using the fruit of our lands wisely, Fetaia’i Va’auli is treasuring it for a living.

The father is from the village of Faleula. 

He told us that niu and koko Samoa is all they depend on for income.

“This is all we have to support our kids in school. 

“It’s not that easy though.  

“We sell green coconuts for a living. Each coconut is $2 and this is good money because what we earn, depends on how many coconuts I can fetch. 

At the age of 52, Fetaia’i is finding it tough to climb the coconuts.

“But luckily we have an old ladder and it’s still useful. 

“Especially when the weather is challenging, it’s hard to climb the trees. 

“Sometimes, if I’m sick or not at home to collect some niu, my wife roasts some koko to sell to cover that day. 

“This is reality, we’re actually living depending on our own self-development .

“Every day I keep telling myself that if I don’t work, my family especially my children, will suffer.

“I will never let that happen. 

“I don’t ever let my kids starve while I sit around and do nothing. 

Fetaia’i, like many people, says that land is where the money hides. 

“Money is everywhere around us. 

“We are actually walking on it.”

“We are just too lazy to dig and work hard to find it. 

Both products, niu and coco had helped his family a lot. 

 “I was able to build a house and I amalso able to put our kids through school. 

“My eldest daughter is now in her first year Foundation at N.U.S. and they inspire the work I do. 

“What I’m trying to say is that never let your struggles discourage you from working.  

The father of four sells green coconuts seven days a week. 

“I even sell on Sunday because I want to make money for Monday. 

“To me personally, any father would do the same because they want to fully support their kids especially when they are at school.

 “We all need to continue developing and working together to overcome struggles. 

“The struggle is real but so are the blessings.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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