For Junior Atonio, from the village of Faleula, the holiday season is a time of true joy.
But it’s not the joy that usual type of joy. The 22-year-old’s joy comes with being able to help out around the house.
After a year of working, Junior finally has some time to get some quick chores out of the way and look forward to another hardworking year.
“I actually really enjoy this holiday season,” he told the Village Voice.
“Right now I am just trying to get some new year’s work out of the way. This is a time where we are given the chance to help out our family with whatever they need. We can help out around the house, help out with the meals, or even help out in the plantations.
“That’s what we are doing right now over here; we are just clearing this piece of land so we can make good use of it to plant some bananas or taro. This is how we spend our holiday season.”
Asked about how life is in Samoa, Junior says that so much has changed in the country and he’s glad that Samoa is moving forward.
“The one thing I have noticed in Samoa is the many changes,” he said.
“Much is different now with how people take care of their families, how people serve one another and so on.
“The money that people are getting and the work available to us now has really changed a lot with how life is in Samoa.”
But for a young man in the village, he is sure to have some sort of dream for the future.
“My only dream is for a great future for my family,” Junior said.
“I just want to be able to provide for those I love and to be a good role model to the young ones. That’s all I ever want right now.
“That’s why it’s good to start preparing now. Working hard while I am still young and have the strength will make me a hard worker in the future.”
But right now, his duty is to the family he already has.
“I am employed right now but what else am I supposed to do with my free time,” he said.
“Taking care of things that my family needs is more important than wasting time doing something else. That’s what I strongly believe.
“But right now in my family, we are doing really well. I get paid and that money goes towards what needs to be done around the house.”