In old age people always look for a peaceful and simple way to retire.
For Taliilagi Leoomata, from the village of Leusoalii, there is no better way to spend retirement than right in the village she grew up in. Aged 70, Taliilagi spends much of her days doing light chores and keeping strong.
But there’s just one problem with her peaceful retirement. Over the years, Taliilagi says she has noticed the young people caring less about the elderly, sparing little thought in caring for them.
“One of the important messages I have for the young people of Samoa is to take good care of your elders,” she told the Village Voice.
“You will be surprised with all the blessings you will receive when you take care of the elderly. They older folk don’t have much strength and time so spend time with them as much as possible.
“Every minute you spend with them counts.”
Although in her old age, Taliilagi says that when the young don’t want to help, her and her husband just do everything through the strength they still have.
“These days I have noticed that the younger generations don’t want to spend a though for their elders,” she said.
“Right now, the old man and I just stay at home and keep our land clean. We mow the lawn and do a lot around the house.
“We have a saying that while we’re on this earth, we will keep our home clean and once we leave it will remain clean for the rest of the family. “But the young ones don’t want to help out much unless they are forced too.”
When money is needed, Taliilagi and her husband make their way to the plantation to find things to sell. She explains how much her family relies on the plantation.
“My family relies a lot on our plantation,” Taliilagi said.
“When we are in need of money then we just make some coconut strainers (kauaga) and take them to sell. We even sell some bananas when they are ready.
“We also rely a lot on the pension we get; that money is used to take care of my grandchildren’s schooling expenses and obligations to the church.
“So the bananas I have here will be sold to get some money for tomorrow Sunday obligations.”
But all in all, Taliilagi says life is just great for her.
“Life is simply just great; I can’t see any reason to complain,” she said. “I love where I stay because there are just family houses after family houses right along my road. This is a very nice village to live in.
“When I find myself getting tired of doing a lot of chores then I just stand up and go for a little stroll. Walking up and down the road is a nice way to stretch my legs before returning home for a little rest. “That’s how life is for me right now, there isn’t much to do but to weed the garden and clean the land a little.
“I am just waiting till the end of this month because I am going to visit one of my children in New Zealand. They called up telling me to come and have some fun in New Zealand.”