Money makes the world move.
In Samoa today, that is certainly the case in the view of Va’ai Sofeni from the village of Levi Sale’imoa.
The 43-year-old Va’ai said the times have changed and people today rely on a lot more money than in the past.
“Compared to how life was back in the days, we didn’t have that many developments like we have now,” he told the Village Voice.
“I think those changes are good for our people because the whole world is moving forward and technology has been introduced to our country.”
But with the changes come a lot of problems.
When it comes to money, the lack of it has led to many social challenges.
“To tell you the truth, back in the days, we didn’t rely on goods from overseas, like the imported goods. We relied mainly on the land and the sea for food and survival.”
“So money was not a problem in those days. Most families had their own vegetable garden, chickens, pigs, taro, I mean everything.”
“But we hardly see that nowadays. People now depend on money for everything when we have our land to work and the sea is right in front of our faces every day.”
Vaai and his wife do not have formal employment.
“But I have a plantation and that is how I look after my family,” he said.
“I use the fruits of my plantation to get money to put my children through school and we are okay.”
The father of five went on to say that even with the high cost of living, Samoan people are used to it.
“We will always have people complaining about the cost of living.”
“But we are Samoans and we are used to it. Yes some things might be too expensive but it’s reality and we have to live according to what we have.”
“This is why I’m still working right now because I know complaining doesn’t give us any food.”
Vaai added that people should always be grateful for what they have.
“Everyday is a gift,” he said. “Make the most of it.”