We often look down on people from rural villages, but according to 53-year-old Simeona Lavea, from the village of Mulifanua, village life teaches you helpful lessons for the soul.
“Running this vegetable stall is where I get my strength from,” he tells the Village Voice.
“What is the point of wasting time in town, fighting and causing trouble? While out here is where our mind is taught. This sort of life is where you learn how to help your soul and how to look after your family.”
“You learn discipline. My advice is to plant what needs to be planted on your land and in your soul.”
Aside from the discipline learnt, Simeona makes a hefty profit from his stall.
“I make about $500 a week which is $100 each day I am out here,” he said. “No one in my family is employed; this is where we make our living. My family is small; it’s just me, my wife and my children.”
“This helps me take care of my children well, and with the money I am getting, it is more than enough.”
And of course, money management is of utmost importance.
“After a hard weeks work, I try and manage my money properly,” Simeona said.
“I put money aside for the church and village obligations and I will always have enough left over for the family. All my seven children are in school.”
Simeona also advises Samoa to start plantations in order to counter the expensiveness of life.
“The cost of living is very high so I advise everyone in Samoa to try and plant crops as a way to earn money if you don’t have a job,” he said.
“If I were to be an employed worker, my pay would go towards buying vegetables and root crops, but with a plantation; not only can you make money but you can also eat what you grow so you don’t spend extra money.”
“All I need to buy is some chicken because I have eggplants, tomatoes, cucumbers, peas and taro.”
What about the leaders of this country?
“The government is alright at the moment,” Simeona said.
“Yes the cost of living is a bit high but it’s still ok, we can afford things if we work hard. Everything is well out here.”