When the going gets tough, optimism gets you through

By Vatapuia Maiava and Ilia L. Likou ,

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IT’S NOT EASY TO BE HAPPY WHEN TAKING CARE OF MUCH WITH LITTLE: John Sefo, 26, from the village of Papauta

IT’S NOT EASY TO BE HAPPY WHEN TAKING CARE OF MUCH WITH LITTLE: John Sefo, 26, from the village of Papauta (Photo: Misiona Simo)

For John Sefo, from the village of Papauta, his family may not have much but he tries his best to smile nevertheless. His belief is simple. Be happy and be positive always. 

Aged 26, John is a father of three and although his wife is the only one in his house currently working, he makes an effort to earn whatever he can through his plantation.

But being a young father, he admits that life is far from easy for him.

“For me, I actually have three children right now,” John told the Village Voice. “My wife is currently working and I am on my way to my father in law’s to run some errands. When I think about life, I can’t help but feel that things are getting even tougher.

“That’s my honest opinion, nothing is easy but we still try our best.”

John says that with all the work they do, the family is only able to generate a small amount of money per week and stretching it down to the last cent isn’t easy.

“Whatever money my family makes, we try and stretch that to cover as much as possible,” he said.

“My wife makes $120. I admit that that money isn’t enough to cover much but I learn to try and manage what we have so we can make the most of it.

“We are only able to buy food and we don’t have enough to save.”

But on the bright side, John says that his children aren’t currently schooling so that’s one big expense out of the way.

“I am lucky that my children aren’t schooling just yet but I have to prepare for when they actually do start,” he said.

“We may not be well off like some but my small family still has happiness. That’s the main thing for my family; we try to stay happy no matter the situation.

“All my wife and I try to do is to work as hard as possible for our children.”

Asked about what motivates him most, John says his children because they are the joy of the family.

“The children give my wife and me so much joy,” he said.

“We try and tell them to always work hard because so they don’t end up in the same situation later on in life. My duty in the family is to work hard in our plantation.

“When my bananas or other crops are ready to be harvested then I bring them to the front of the road to sell for a little extra cash.

“I can make about $20 from my crops; it may be small but at least it’s something. Right now I am trying to find a job because the children will begin school next year and we will need that money.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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