There is no place like home.
So believes 53-year-old Hene Lamositele, from the village of Falealupo, Savaii’.
Hene is a frequent traveller who goes overseas to be with family; but she says no matter how lovely or shiny the western countries are, Samoa will always be home.
“Samoans and westerners are very different when it comes to travelling,” she told the Village Voice.
“When a westerner migrates then they don’t feel like they must return. On the other hand, when a Samoan migrates, they always come back home because there’s no other place for a Samoan than Samoa.
“There are always those who complain about life in Samoa saying that there are too many things to do but the honest truth is, we have been living this way forever. We live to serve those we love no matter the cost.” Hene explained how much she tried to get accustomed to a western nation she can never take her mind away from home.
“I travel a lot but whenever I’m gone, I always think back to my family here in Samoa,” she said.
“I don’t like living overseas; my heart remains here in Samoa. I have tried to go overseas and tried my best to live there but I just can’t leave my family behind.
“The way I have lived my life, I go back and forth so that I am able to come back and do something for my loved ones because they will always be my everything.”
When asked about any struggles Samoans go through as opposed to westerners, Hene says that in Samoa only the lazy have problems.It is that mindset that set Hene on a journey to pass down her talents in sewing to the next generation of girls in her family.
“People always say that there is a lot of poverty in Samoa but I don’t agree with that,” she said.
“I believe that if people struggle, it’s because they are lazy and refuse to work hard. There is nowhere more blessed than Samoa from what I’ve seen.
“I always try and do something for my family and that’s what I am doing now with my talents in sewing. Not only do I sew but I am teaching the younger ones in the family how to sew.“I teach them everything that has to do with sewing so that when I leave again, they have something to do to take care of their families.
“Work like this is very important for us Samoans, especially for those who didn’t do well in school. I didn’t finish schooling but I have this to make money and that’s why I am trying to teach this to the young ones in the family.
“We can help them with their lives in the future.”
But all in all, Hene says that the one thing she loves about Samoa is how blessed we are. “Samoa is blessed,” she said. “We are lucky that we’re not like other nations who struggle to find food. We can make a house on land given to us by family; we can walk out of our homes into our plantation and get something to eat.
“That’s how simple it is here in Samoa. We can even earn money from our plantations which is a very big plus for us.”