Life without electricity

By Vatapuia Maiava and Sarafina Sanerivi ,

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WE TRY OUR BEST TO SURVIVE: Su’e Maluina, pictured here with her house in the village of Lealaoali’i, Faleasi’u.

WE TRY OUR BEST TO SURVIVE: Su’e Maluina, pictured here with her house in the village of Lealaoali’i, Faleasi’u. (Photo: Misiona Simo)

Electricity is a basic necessity in this day and age.

For Su’e Maluina, from the village of Lealaoali’i, Faleasi’u, although her and her family don’t have electricity, she says life is not that bad at all.

When darkness falls, the family light up the old lanterns and she says they feel like they are living the true Samoan life.

She admits that her family doesn’t have much but they are still able to make it on a daily basis. Relying a lot on her plantation for food, Su’e says that she is grateful for her children for all the help they give to her and her husband.

 “With regards to water, we are fine but we don’t have electricity at my house,” Su’e told the Village Voice.

“We use lamps when it gets dark. We haven’t had any electricity for about four years now but it’s not really a big thing for us.’

“The way I see it, I want to live like a true Samoan and electricity is not really a necessity for my family. No matter the dark nights, I am still grateful for what I have.”

Asked for issues that her family might be going through, Su’e says that the only tough thing about her day is her family giving her a hard time while she tries to do her chores.

“My family and I go through so much,” she said.

“I as the mother of the family always try and keep things together but the children are so disobedient and my husband makes things so hard while I try doing my daily chores.”

Su’e Maluina’s house in the village of Lealaoali’i, Faleasi’u
Su’e Maluina’s house in the village of Lealaoali’i, Faleasi’u

“But I know that all I have to do is to continue to work hard for my family.”

Even though Su’e and her husband don’t generate much money, her children are always helping to provide what they need to survive; and for that, Su’e is grateful.

“We don’t really have much,” she said.

“In my house, there is no one working but one of my children who live just down the road provides some of the basic needs for us.

“I am grateful for my children who come over and try to help us out when we really need it. The money they send us is used to by small things like sugar and other basics for living.”

“But that’s the truth; we can’t generate much within our house.”

At the end of the day, Su’e is happy and she does her best to take care of her grandchildren while her children go off to make some money for the family.

“My children leave their children with me to look after while they go off and work,” she said.

“Whenever my children get money they come and give us a share for taking care of their kids. They also buy us some food and other things that we need.”

“But most of the food we eat is from the land. We have taro, bananas and some lemon trees to make lemon leaf tea. I just got back from the plantation and I was just about to make some food for myself and my baby grandchild.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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