Meet 46-year-old Afuvai Tasi of Salelesi.
The father of two is unemployed.
But he relies on his plantation and remittances from his brothers and sisters overseas to look after his family.
The Village Voice met Tasi yesterday when he had returned from his plantation up on the mountains with some taro and other things to prepare for his family’s Sunday to’ana’i.
He also said all his life being a farmer is all he can remember doing.
“I am 46 years old and this has been my work ever since I can remember,” he said.
“I believe that whether you work in an office or hold a high position at your workplace you ought to know how to be a farmer too.”
“You have to know how to do both work because there will come a day where that kind of work will no longer be there but at least you know how to grow taro and banana.”
Mr. Tasi said he knows the struggle that everyone goes through because of the cost of living.
“It’s so hard trying to get by every day and in our country everything is so expensive,” he said.
“Look at the chicken prices, this was the only thing that was cheap and people could afford and now the government has increased it as well.”
“Everything is expensive and we can barely afford it and it’s very hard trying to get by every day, but there is nothing we can do, the government is in control of their own decision making.”
“All we can do is to follow it.”
“We are in those times of hardship we have to do whatever we can to make sure we survive.”
“I think the only thing I am worried about and actually spend money on is my children’s education because they are the future of our country.”
“But even with that it’s a struggle, because there’s the tuition as well as the registration fee and all other things which is a real struggle.”
“Everything nowadays is all about money and as a father I have to do whatever it takes to ensure that my children are in school.”
“I always tell my children that in this life if they want to become successful they have to work hard and do well in school and that is the only way they will succeed.”
“Life is hard and as a father I don’t want my children to live the life that I am living I want them to know that nothing comes easy in life and that is why I am working very hard to put them through school even with just taro and a bottle of tea for their lunch.”
“They have to learn it the hard way so that it encourages them to do well in school and be successful in life.”
Mr. Tasi said no matter how hard life is as a father his family and children will always be his top priority and he will do everything to make sure his family survives.