Life is what you make it to be

By Vatapuia Maiava and Ilia L Likou ,

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LIFE IS FREE: Viliamu Olive, 51, from the village of Malie-Uta planting some eggplants for his family’s meals

LIFE IS FREE: Viliamu Olive, 51, from the village of Malie-Uta planting some eggplants for his family’s meals

Viliamu Olive from the village of Malie-Uta has a simple philosophy  on life.

He believes it can be as easy as you want it to be.

Aged 51, Viliamu’s main priorities are his parents and children; he does his best every day to make sure they are well taken care of.

With four of his children in school, Viliamu spends much of his time tending his plantation.

“Everything is great,” he tells the Village Voice.

“I just grow these crops to make food for my parents and children. Right now I’m just cutting up these eggplants so I can grow them.

“I also grow pacific spinach (lau pele) to add to the family’s food. There are no problems, maybe only the snails which ruin the plants other than that, there aren’t many problems.”

For Viliamu, he doesn’t try and complicate life with too many wants. He is alright as long as all of his family’s needs are met.

“We have one boy in the coastal area running a market block,” he said.

“There are times when we don’t have money and other times we do have enough to take care of the family. The money goes towards church and village obligations and then the rest goes into food.

“We just use the vegetables to make fried tinned fish or soup. We don’t sell our vegetables; they’re just used to take care of the family.”

According to Viliamu, he sometimes receives help from family members overseas but only when there are cultural activities (fa’alavelave) going on.

He does have problems at times but he considers them as minor setbacks; and he feels that life is only difficult if you make it so.

“Life isn’t expensive,” he said.

“It’s the people themselves who make life expensive. People are poor if they don’t go and work; there are people who live in hunger because they don’t go and work.”

Viliamu’s only message for the other fathers out there is to just get your priorities straight.

“Try and work hard, don’t roam around too much and don’t drink too much,” he said.

“Try and use the land that the Lord has blessed you with to look after you family, children and as well as the church and village activities.

“Every day I would wake up and prepare breakfast for my parents and children before going off and working  on my plantation.

“When the sun is hot I come in and rest.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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