No other choice than to work on a Sabbath

By Vatapuia Maiava and Ilia L Likou ,

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26-year-old Opetaia Opetaia from Aleisa.

26-year-old Opetaia Opetaia from Aleisa.

We all know the Bible speaks about how we should rest on a Sabbath but for some families, it’s the only way they can make ends meet.

It’s never easy to work on a holy day especially when Samoa is said to be founded on God, but what choice do many families have?

For the past four months, 26-year-old Opetaia Opetaia is one of a growing number of street food sellers in the country selling cooked breadfruits, bananas and palusami.

Every Sunday morning, the young seller from the village of Aleisa can be spotted in front of Maota Samoa supermarket.

“Selling every Sunday makes a living for my family of four, hoping that by doing this would offer better future for us,” he told the Village Voice.

“I choose Sunday because it’s a good day for sales comparing to other days of the week.

“Life is just too hard to live everyday…we didn’t have enough money to survive.

Opetaia’s family is his single motivation.

“I am the oldest of my parents’ siblings, my youngest sisters are still in school, my parents are still alive and there’s no one to provide for us financially.

“That’s when I decided to do this, there’s no one I could turn to help us.

“It was quite hard when I first started selling these cooked breadfruits in front of the Supermarket, especially Sunday is the day that I should stay home and go to church.

“I thought to myself, I’d rather do this (selling) than seeing my parents and sisters starved to death, I’m sure God understands.”

Opetaia said that in Samoa, there is always a daily struggle.

“Just like that, if you don’t work then don’t expect others to do it for you, you need to fight in prayers and put that faith into action,” he said.

“Sometimes I feel like just giving it all up and going back home but I am happy that I am able to help in providing my family’s needs…the income that I get from selling these cooked food helps.

Opetaia collect $100 to $150 every Sunday from selling.

“This amount really helps my family throughout the week,” he said.

“That covers food and other small stuff like sugar, salt, rice for the family in three days, then that $150 is all gone.

His dream is to look for local shops to sell his cooked breadfruits and palusami every Sunday.

“I have no knowledge in doing that but it would be great if someone or local shops would give me an open door to sell cooked breadfruits and palusami every Sunday.

“I think it would save time for me to go to the church and be with my family the whole day. 

 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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