Home is where your children are.
So says Tuli Vaetui, of Vaovai, Falealili and Leauva’a.
The 43-year-old was on his way back from getting coconuts when the Village Voice caught up with him.
“I came to the plantation, to get some coconuts to do the cream (pe’epe’e) for the children’s fa’alifu taro,” he said.
“There’s not much on the lands here (Faleula) and that is why I prefer my own plantation at Falealili.”
“But I wanted to come and see my children because they stay here with their mother.”
“So I’m here for two weeks, making the most of it and doing the best I can for my children.”
Tuli is a father of 3 children and his eldest son is only 7 years old.
“My children are still little and I’m so attached to them as they are to me.”
“So despite the fact that we don’t always stay under the same roof, I try my best to find the time to come and see them and their mom.”
The only way for Tuli to make money is from his plantation at Falealili.
“I’m not rich; I can’t afford things that other fathers buy for their children.”
“All I have to work on for the kids is my 5 acres plantation at home.”
“The money I get is for them, their schools and whatever basic need they should have.”
“I want them to grow up knowing the meaning of life and that is you use whatever you can get your hands to survive and make a living.”
“Another thing is that we should always be thankful for whatever life we have; because some people are very ungrateful when they live this kind of life.”
“But you know, everyday I wake up, my children is the first thing that came to mind and for me that’s more than enough to have as a blessing.”