Taliilagi Gaepu Leo’o of Leusoali’i is one of the many elderly people who is still working.
Standing on the side of the road yesterday, the 72-year-old was selling bananas (aufa’i) for $10, $15 and $20.
When the Village Voice spotted Taliilagi, she had already sold most of her bananas with only one more left.
“My husband and I have been working on getting these bananas here the whole morning,” she tells the Village Voice.
“We didn’t want these to go to waste so we’re selling them off to get a bit of money for church and also to get some lunch money for our grandchildren.”
Taliilagi stays with her husband, her daughter and her family.
According to Taliilagi, all her children work. They have a daughter who works here and one son who works overseas and it was just a few weeks ago, that they returned home from a trip paid by their son.
“My children still helping out with everything, while they stay with their own families.”
“That is why everything is going well in our family. You know, we have everything that we need but we have been working hard in our plantation ever since we got back home, so now it’s just making use of these blessings from above by selling them.”
“I know there a lot of people who are looking for bananas for Sunday’s feast.”
The 72 year old came with her grandchildren to help her out.
“We’re still strong people, despite our age and you know, only a few old people still know how to live like they’re still young.”
“Just because you’re old and your children become successful, doesn’t mean you have to forget the meaning of the word ‘work’.”
“Work can be anything as long as it requires you to move and exercise your hands.”
“My husband and I love our plantation and we want to make the most of it while we’re still very energetic.”
“Only a few old people get to have that kind of strength to work and we are blessed to be one of those people.”