Milking money from those baby coconuts

By Vatapuia Maiava and Ilia L Likou ,

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Fresh GREEN COCOnuts: Fesola’i To’alua from the village of Faleasi’u.

Fresh GREEN COCOnuts: Fesola’i To’alua from the village of Faleasi’u.

Meet Fesola’i To’alua from the village of Faleasi’u. He works hard every day to make ends meet by selling baby coconuts at the Fugalei Market and according to him; this is his family’s only source of income.

“Right now everything falls under the things I sell here,” he told the Village Voice yesterday.

“Whatever money we make goes into taking care of the family, taking care of cultural activities (fa’alavelave) and everything other thing for the family. The family relies heavily on my work here.”

According to Fesola’i, working hard is the only way to counter the expensiveness of life.

“The reason why I work so hard nowadays is because I life is so expensive,” he said.

“It is no longer easy for us to live on the little we make here. The one thing that gets my family through it all is putting God first. No matter if the day is good or bad, he gives us the strength to keep living on.”

The profit isn’t much, but Fesola’i is still happy with it.

“The way I make money is I buy baby coconuts for $1 each and then sell them to people for $2,” he said.

“Its decent profit but we have to keep in mind that I also have to buy ice to keep the coconuts cool for the people and other things like straws.”

Fesola’i does have a big dream and he tends to work his way towards it.

“My children are all adults now and they are working but the truth is, their pay isn’t enough for anything let alone looking after the family,” he said.

“These days my only dream is to be able to supply hotels or houses with these coconuts because that will be better money for my family.

“The children who are working helps out a lot with looking the family a lot, they buy little things for the business like baby coconuts to sell again.”

And at the end of the day, Fesola’I’s hard work is warranted because he does it all for his family.

“I started selling these coconuts when the market first opened here,” he said.

“Other than my children, there are no others who are employed in the family so I need to do my part and by working hard in this little business.

“We also have a small plantation we can rely on if we need it.”

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