While many people rush to build houses and settle close to the coastal areas, 52-year-old Meti of Lotoso’a Saleimoa went the other way.
He moved inland where he built a fale and started a farm, which now provides daily sustenance for him and his family.
“I believe too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunities,” he said.
“They seem more afraid of life than death. The cost of living is expensive but that shouldn’t weaken us all. It should make us work harder.”
Meti said he has learnt a lot over the years.
Part of that learning includes the fact that no one will help you if you don’t help yourself.
“After years of depending on others for food, I said enough is enough. So I went and started my own thing. Extended families are great but in the long run, you need to be on your own and survive on your own.”
At his new location where his farm is flourishing, Meti said he has learnt some amazing things about life.
“It’s about how to self develop and rely on whatever we can get our hands on. Starting my plantation has taught me a lot.”
“From the plantation, we sell stuff on the streets and we usually get $100 per day which is enough for us.”
“We budget the money to give some to teh church, buy our food and mostly and to put my one daughter through school.”
The best thing about running a plantation is the fact you are the boss.
“It’s like being a company worker: you work long hours, very hard hours, and it’s emotional, tense work but you’ve got to love it otherwise don’t bother.”
“I don’t like sitting around doing nothing. I’d rather keep developing and I thank God for all these wonderful opportunities, especially the life we have.”
He told the Village Voice that he maybe old but his spirit is strong.
Asked about some of the challenges, he highlighted electricity.
“We have access to water but not electricity which is okay for us because we can do without it. It’s also one less expense.”
Lastly, Meti encourages everyone to love what they do.
“Whatever that is,” he said.
“When you wake up every morning loving what you do, you help and inspire others around you to be better than they were yesterday. Then you know you’re doing something right in business and in life.”
“Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life.”
“I have learnt the value of hard work by working harder.”