It’s very easy for the well-off to look at the less fortunate among us and tell them to develop a plantation rather than complain about how hard life is.
But if you ask Mika Isamaeli, from the village of Lotoso’a-Saleimoa, it’s not that simple.
The hardworking young man says that relying on a plantation isn’t a walk in the park and the work you put into it is tough.
Aged 19, Mika spends his days in his plantation working hard to help his family out.
“Life in the village isn’t what many think it is,” he told the Village Voice. “Living here and doing the things we do isn’t easy at all, it’s actually very hard and that’s a fact. As you had seen when you drove past, I am currently working really hard on my plantation.
“My family, like many others in the village, rely a lot on our plantations for food and income and if you think that it’s easy to work like this then you’re wrong.”
He agrees that if you don’t work hard then your family won’t eat, but it’s not as easy as it seems.
“Here in the village, if you don’t work hard and put some sweat on your forehead then you and your family won’t eat,” Mika said.
“That means you have to work while you’re sick, work through bad weather, work in the hot sun and work when you’re tired.
“That’s what life is like for us living in the village. There is no time to rest because it’s not like you can take a sick leave and let your family go hungry.”
Mika admits that his family relies a lot on his plantation. It provides both a source for food and income for them to survive.
“Our plantation helps a lot with taking care of the family,” he said.
“Not only can we use it for our meals and save money from not buying store-bought products but it is also a good source of money for my family.
“We take what we grow to the market place and sell it so that we can buy some other things we need within our family.”
On the bright side, Mika says you will be blessed with your hard work and that’s all the motivation he needs to push a little harder.
“No matter how hard things get, I understand the importance of helping my family out and that’s what drives me to work hard,” he said. “Whenever I get tired I think of how much I love my family and parents so I just push a little harder. The great thing about it is that your elders will always bless you for your hard work.
“So to all the young people of Samoa, try your best to take care of your elders no matter how hard life gets.”