Nothing in this life is perfect.
But if we keep practicing every day, we can only get better.
That is the opinion of Paula Leilua Muā’au from the village of Safune.
Aged 32, Paula owns and operates a small business selling pork-buns, German buns, pancakes, ice-cakes and chicken and rice at Safune.
Paula and his wife Vala have been operating this business for almost two years now.
And they have expanded their business by also selling hand printed elei materials to earn extra money.
Paula was spotted by the Village Voice designing and printing lavalava after selling their canteen to the school at Safune.
“In this life, you get nothing by just sitting around and waiting for others to do the work for you,” said Paula.
“You have to keep trying and work hard every day to provide for your family and children. Money doesn’t come and find you. You get up, look around, and try your best and sweat in order to feed your family.
“No one is perfect, and not all of us were born rich into this world. If you want to have a luxurious and good life then of course you have to work for it.
“But if you don’t want to work at all and just sit and wait, then it’s not going to be a good life for you obviously. So in other words-if you make your life a misery then it’s going to be a misery.
“I am not saying that I live a perfect life, no. All I’m saying is that life is better if we keep trying every day.”
Paula went on to say that life was hard for him and his wife before they started their business.
“I have to say it wasn’t easy. We were both unemployed and we are the ones looking after my parents and also our children.
“When three of our children started going to school, we decided to do something instead of just working on the plantation and also feeding the pigs to earn money for our family.
“We knew we had to do something with what God has instilled in me and my wife to earn money so that we can provide for our children and also serve our family.”
Moreover, he admitted that it was hard at first when they started their business.
“We didn’t earn much money at first, and we almost gave up as well. But we knew that practice makes perfect so we kept practicing.
“And today, I can honestly say that we have achieved a lot and earned a lot of money from this small business.”
Nevertheless, Paula truly believes in the saying that life is what we make of it.
“We all have different talents from God. And we have so many talents, but it’s up to us if we use it or waste it by sitting on it.
“The business that we operate is not an easy business to do. We go to bed at 1 am at night after we finish everything and wake up at 4:00am in the morning to prepare everything for the next day.
“But the sacrifice is all worth it because the money we get from this business helps us with feeding my children, my parents and also helps with all our fa’alavelave’s and church and village contributions.
“We hardly depend on our families overseas to send us money, because we have enough money from our business.”
Lastly, Paula wanted to encourage everyone out there who just complain and do nothing with their lives to get up and work.
“Like I said before, we are not perfect. I am not perfect. I struggle and I stumble and fall sometimes. But if we keep trying, everything will eventually fall into places.
“Hard work is the key to everything in life. And if you think that there is poverty in Samoa, then you are wrong. Keep trying and work hard.”