“Life isn’t very easy for us,” 27-year-old Siole Pasifika from the village of Saleilua tells the Village Voice.
“Sometimes my husband gets his pay and it’s not enough for all our necessities. When we need clothes then our food budget drops. Our top priority is always our children, we do the best we can to take care of them.”
Where is your husband currently working?
“My Husband is currently working at Rokos to provide for the family,” Siole says.
“He has been working there for a while to look after me and my children. I have four children with three of them in school right now. “
Ok, so how long has your family been living in this area?
“We have been living here for almost two years now,” Siole says.
“I do count us as lucky because it’s just us and our children. Life was easy when we had our own cooking house but that was destroyed by the cyclone.
“Now we share the cooking house with my parents who live next door. All together we have about three employed family members which also make things a bit easier because we help one another.”
Does your small family have any other source of income?
“If we’re not counting our family next door, my husband’s pay is my small family’s only source of money,” Siole says.
“We do have a small plantation but we just recently made it. So when the crops are ready then that will be our next source of income.”
Do you have anything else you would like to share?
“Another difficult part about life out here is my husband’s job being so far away, so much money goes to transportation,” Siole says.
“My husband would sometimes go and sleep in Apia because it’s hard to pay for transportation to work.”
What about poverty, do you believe there might be poverty in Samoa?
“People are poor if they always do things like purchasing on credit (I.O.U.),” Siole says.
“I would rather go hungry than to always go and make I.O.U’s at a shop because being in debt is not worth it. When you pay off your debt then you won’t have enough money to make it further on.
“To me, poverty means to not have anything at all.”
What is the difference between life in Apia and life in the village?
“People who live in Apia are lucky,” Siole says.
“They get money almost every time. On the other hand, life out here is tough; if you do not work hard then you won’t have any money.”