Forever grateful for the gift of life

By Sarafina Sanerivi ,

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STILL STRONG: Ese’ese Moafanua Si’itia, 76-year-old from the village of Faletagaloa Savaii.

STILL STRONG: Ese’ese Moafanua Si’itia, 76-year-old from the village of Faletagaloa Savaii.

Opinions may differ on what the greatest gift of all is. 

But for Ese’ese Moafanua Si’itia, she truly believes that life is the greatest gift of all.  

Meet Ese’ese Moafanua Si’itia from the village of Faletagaloa. 

She is 76-years old and stays with her husband Moafanua Si’itia and their grandson Laulala at Faletagaloa. 

She was spotted by the Village Voice scrapping coconut in their kitchen for their evening meal. 

At the age of 76, she is still healthy and strong. 

And like the saying, age is just a number; Ese’ese believes that you can still do so many things even when your hair turns grey. 

“As you can see, I am preparing our evening meal,” she told the Village Voice. 

“I am still strong and I like doing this because it helps me exercise. This is how life is for me and my husband. 

“All of my children are working in Apia and some are overseas. Our grandson goes to school and he helps us out with the chores in the evening.”

Moreover, Ese’ese said that there are no challenges living in Savaii. 

“To me, I prefer staying here and life here is great. There are no troubles and no challenges. 

“We have strong village councils here and they help maintain peace in the villages and that’s why I love the life we have here.”

She also went on to say that there have been a lot of changes in the lifestyles nowadays. 

“And it’s understandable because we are moving forward and the world is changing. Even though some of the changes are not good for us and our culture, we can’t do much about it because we can’t keep changes from happening. 

“All we have to do is adapt and get use to it and at the same time, hold on to our culture and heritage.”

However, the only problem Ese’ese said they face most of the time is sickness. 

“But that’s only natural for us who are getting old. We are not getting any younger. And although I am strong, I can still feel that it is not the same because I am getting older. 

“My husband is also bedridden and I have to look after him. 

“That is the only challenge we face. But I know that God is the best healer and that he can help us.”

Moreover, she believes that eating healthy food is what makes them strong. 

“If you eat healthy food like fish and taro, you will remain strong.”

Other than that, Ese’ese said that life is good for her and her family. 

“To me, I am happy just the way we are. 

“We have a roof over our heads, and we have food every day and a family that prays together. 

“And that’s all that matters to me, and I am grateful to God for all His blessings upon me and my family. I am also grateful to him for giving me and my husband the gift of life to enjoy and be with our children.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

Developed by Samoa Observer in Apia