While many wait around for money to fall out of the sky, Eseta Fesola’i Niko, from the village of Faleasiu, says that we are looking the wrong way.
She says that the money is in the dirt we sit and live on. By this she means that through the crops you grow in the ground, you can make a fortune if you work hard with it.
Aged 65, Eseta says that even though they own a village shop, they still work hard cultivating the land.
“My family lives on vegetables and other crops,” she told the Village Voice.
“When we want something sweet then we go and get some koko, pawpaw or mangoes to eat. When we need money then we also sell them to put our children through school.
“We are sitting on top of a money machines, the dirt is a good source of money and we try to use it as much as possible through the crops we grow.
“On top of that we have a small village shop on the side over there to make a little more money for our everyday needs.”
Asked how long her family has owned a shop, Eseta says it’s been in the family for about seven years now.
“I have had this business for about seven years now,” she said.
“It was actually located further inland but my family cleared this land to go overseas, I moved the shop down here.
“Having the shop here also gave us the opportunity to grow some crops and vegetables to help out with our daily lives.”
Eseta also said that if we learn how to earn a fortune through our crops, the high cost of living won’t be much of a problem for us.
“Many people complain that the cost of living has gotten too high,” she said. “For me, there are some things that are too expensive and others which are affordable. I feel that the Chinese people are coming in and helping by bringing cheaper goods for us to buy.
“It really depends on your perspective on the matter. The thing I like most about these days in Samoa is that people are starting to realize that the dirt is where the money is.
“People in previous years just sat around relying on money sent in from overseas but now I am seeing a lot of people grow crops to sell. The harder you work then the more money you will get to purchase expensive things you want.” On another note, Eseta says that although Samoa has gone through some changes, one thing remains the same; Samoa is still beautiful.
“Through the grace of the Lord, our family is doing really well these days,” she said.
“No matter what, Samoa still remains a beautiful place with beautiful people and that much hasn’t changed one bit.
“Although some things are different, I still love my Samoa. The faasamoa is still alive in a lot of the villages around the Island and I like that, I have no complaints with where we are as a country.”
According to Eseta, another thing that remains the same over time is how easy life in Samoa is.
“Speaking about life, if you don’t complain then things you will have an easy life,” she said.
“That’s why I like both the past and present, they are both easy. My family always does things with joy and that’s why we are doing well with life.
“We have enough to go around and we are able to provide all the children of the family.”