Husband is the hero of this family

By Ilia L. Likou ,

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PRAYING FOR DAD’S SAFE RETURN: Maria Salati and two year-old-son; Motusaga.

PRAYING FOR DAD’S SAFE RETURN: Maria Salati and two year-old-son; Motusaga.

Everyone has a hero.

For Maria Salati from the village of Fagali’i, her hero is her husband.

He doesn’t wear a cape and he can’t fly but he can swim and with a spear, he is the savior of their family. 

“My husband is a fisherman,” the 32-year-old told the Village Voice.

“We all know that a fisherman’s life is very tough. He risks the conditions and sometimes the seas are rough but he is always out there for his family.

“That’s my husband, he’s an outdoorsman and as of today, he is still working hard to care for our family.”

Maria is a mother of four. Two of them are in Primary school and with school underway; her husband, Salati, needs to work harder.

“My husband told me that it’s better for our family to rely on the sea for a living than (for him) finding a job,” she said.

“We sell sea cucumbers and other seafood. We also sell fish everyday and we usually collect $30 per day. Now that the children are back to school, we always try to stretch the money for everything.

Asked about the challenges they face at home, she said theirs are no different from many families in Samoa.

“The cost of living is a pain,” she said.

 “Not only is the cost of living increasing to the point where hardly anyone can afford the basics of life,  we also have to deal with other obligations everyday.

“But, my first priority is my family.”

For Maria, being a fisherman’s wife gives her more time to focus on her family.

“To be honest, I’ve been through a lot of experiences, ups and downs, and different things.

“I mean, if I would have had a husband who was home from nine in the morning to five (afternoon) I would have never been able to become as independent as I am today.

“That’s my favourite part of being with a fisherman, being able to have that time, or else, I’ll sleep all day long, my focus will be on other stuff like bingo, gossiping around...but not on my children and my family.”

She said “it’s always hard when my husband is away.”

“Even though  I’m happy to have my own time when he’s away I always get lonely and worry when he’s gone for two to three days,” she said.

“When he goes out, I can never be sure he will return, but what do you do? That is the only job to provide for our family or else we’ll starve to death.

“As I’ve mentioned before, it’s hard, especially when my husband deals with long hours, hard work, uncertain weather, life risks and uncertain returns and the list goes on and on...but there’s always hope when we trust in God.

“And whenever he is home, he still has other work to do around the house... he never gets tired.

“We all know the sea is an open grave, yes, out there (sea), I know every decision he makes, contributes to his survival, so I always keep on praying.

“I know God is still with us and He is always  with us whenever our family needs Him.”

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