You can take a man from the village but you can never completely remove the village from a man.
In the case of 66-year-old Seumanu Tili, of Vaiusu and Tapatapaõ, he has returned to the place he loves.
“This is my home,” he told the Village Voice. “My wife and I live with our kids in New Zealand. I’ve always wanted to come back. So here I am home and safe.”
Seumanu said New Zealand is great for developing his family.
But home is where his heart has always been.
“The simple life here is what I’ve been dreaming of coming back to.”
“I retired from my work in New Zealand so I got nothing else to do. So here I am at home. I’m only here for a few months and I don’t want to waste any time.”
When the Village Voice caught up with Seumanu, he was working the plantation. The land is 5 acres.
“This land belongs to my father and this is where we used to live,” he recalled.
“Every time I visit Samoa, I come and live here alone because our land is important to me.”
“I came last year in November when I first retired from my job and I’m back here again. I love it.”
The father says there is nothing more beautiful than the simple life of Samoa.
“We have everything we need and most importantly we don’t need money every time,” he said.
“I still remember that my father owned the largest plantation around here. Everyone came and asked for food from his crops.”
“We don’t need money to survive, the land provides us everything.”
“To be honest I love working at the plantation. That is also why you have found me here.”
“It’s a lot easier for me nowadays. If this was the olden times we would be working up the land about 100 meters from here.”
“We didn’t have cars and most of the villagers walked but lucky my dad and I rode the horse.”
Seumanu is also happy to avoid the cold in New Zealand.
“It’s freezing over there but I love the weather here. This is one of the reasons why I’ve come back.”
Looking around Samoa today, he notes that there have been many changes.
But he doesn’t care much about the structures.
All that matters to him is that he is back in his country where his heart will always belong.