In the village of Tiavea, Ivoga Valai, 61, lives an independent life.
Approached by the Village Voice, she said she is happy with her lot.
Her heart will always be at Tiavea.
“This is my home. This is where I raised my children,” she says.
“It’s safe here. My children are happy here. Home is wherever or whatever place you long to be—a place where there is happiness.
“We have come a long way but we’re still one happy family.”
Ivoga misses her husband.
“The father of the family had left us for heaven five years ago. You have noticed our house is simple but my children are planning to fix it soon.
“We live with whatever we have and we’re thankful for everyday.”
She went on to say the challenges make them stronger.
“I was employed before but the pay wasn’t enough. There was just enough for the food and the family and that was it.
“Sometimes my siblings lend me some money but when we have enough I have to pay them back.”
Ivoga said raising her family has kept her strong-willed.
“I also try and tend the plantation to help out the family.
“When we run out of money then one of my children will take crops to sell to get some money.”
Most of the time, they get their food from the plantation.
But Ivoga is grateful.
“Looking back, I’m thankful,” she said.
“I’m glad that I went through the toughest part of life and look where it took me now.
“It’s the great joy of giving. I mean there’s no greater joy for most of us than being able to reap the hard work we do and share the good fortune with others and make a difference in our lives.
“The children are all working and we are just doing fine.
“They can pick up and go and create their own home anywhere and with whomever, though they remember their roots always. It stays with them forever.”