Make 2017 a year to reassess some of the things we do

By Vatapuia Maiava and Ilia L Likou ,

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LIFE IN SAMOA IS FAR FROM EASY BUT GOD IS THE ANSWER: Uili Letogo, 46, from the village of Fasito’o-Uta.

LIFE IN SAMOA IS FAR FROM EASY BUT GOD IS THE ANSWER: Uili Letogo, 46, from the village of Fasito’o-Uta. (Photo: Misiona Simo)

Uili Letogo, from the village of Fasito’o-Uta, wants a simpler way of living in 2017.

With Samoans spending so much money and energy on fa’alavelave, the 46-year-old says the time has come for Samoans to reconsider the amounts spent on these things. 

Funerals for examples cost an arm and a leg, he said.

He says people have to work really hard not only to put food on the table, but to also make sure that all the Samoan obligations are dealt with too.

“I am actually making my way to work right now,” Uili told the Village Voice.

“I live in Fasito’o and this is me every day, I walk to work and then walk back right after. That’s how it is for us in Samoa, if we don’t have a plantation then go and look for a job.

“There’s that saying, if your forehead doesn’t sweat then you will go hungry, I believe in that and that’s what pushes me to work hard every day.”

Uili says that it’s wrong for people to say that life is easy because it really isn’t.

“Now that I think about it, life really isn’t as easy as many make it out to be,” he said.

“There have been many changes and one of them is the rise in costs of goods. But there’s nothing much we can do about that other than work a little harder.

“When it comes to taking care of your family, you would do anything to fight the struggles they face.”

The hardworking father continued on to say that this is the reality of Samoa and it’s almost impossible to change that.

“But at times, I feel that we are not only working for our family,” he said.

“There’s just so much to do in this country such as expensive gatherings (fa’alavelave); that’s how it is for us Samoans.

“No matter how much you try and change the way things are, there are parts of living in Samoa that will always hold families back and make things just that much harder.”

Uili finished off by saying that the best thing our people can do is just rely on God to make necessary changes.

“But the one thing all of us have in common is that we will always prioritise our families,” he said.

“The children are just about to start up school again and that will take a lot of money. On top of that, we have to deal with all the fa’alavelave’s; there is hardly anything left to feed the family after that.

“I think that the only thing we can do is rely on the Lord to provide for us. The Lord blesses us and that’s what we really need in times like these.

“No matter how smart or well off you think you are, the truth is that we are nothing without the Lord and we should all keep that in mind as we go about with 2017.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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