Life in Samoa has improved in many respects but the standard of living among some of the poorest people has become even harder.
This is the belief of a grandfather and father, Apulu Uilisone Alauni, 69, from the village of Faleasi’u-uta. Mr. Apulu is a father of nine and he still enjoys working at his plantation three times a week.
He believes life in Samoa is harder because of everyday fa’alavelave.
“Life is not that easy here anymore in Samoa because everything in Samoa today is all about money,” he said.
“We have the kid’s schools to support, our family obligations as well as church functions and also our village’s matters that we support.”
“Sometimes we will just have to save to support all these things but not spend it on the food for the whole family.”
Mr. Apulu was doing work at his plantation when the Village Voice team caught up with him yesterday morning.
He said his family doesn’t have that much but they are still trying to cope.
“I am a father of nine children,” he said. “I have one son residing in New Zealand at the moment raising his own small family there.”
“All my daughters have families of their own and have moved out with one of my son still living with us here.”
“My eldest daughter runs a small shop here in the village and that’s where I always get help from when I have a fa’alavelave.”
Mr. Apulu is grateful for land and the ability to farm.
“My son living with me at the moment doesn’t have a job but we both work in our plantation here to support our family,” he said.
“The plantation helps our family in terms of food and also finances when we sell some crops.”
Mr. Apulu believes many Samoans will be suffering in poverty if they did not have a plantation.
“While life is really tough here in Samoa,” he said, “the plantation has been able to provide for us because my son and I work full time here.”
Mr. Apulu added that the standard of living in Samoa today is the reason why people are migrating overseas.
“Lot of Samoan people have moved overseas to seek better opportunities, especially money because life is so tough in Samoa.”