Live life with bravery and optimism

By Aruna Lolani and Fetalai Tuilulu’u ,

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Always be happy: Akenese Tuitea Talavou of Tuana’i and Salua Manono.

Always be happy: Akenese Tuitea Talavou of Tuana’i and Salua Manono.

Always be happy despite the  difficult times in life.

Akenese Tuitea Talavou of Tuana’i and Salua Manono believes optimism is the key to getting through the tough times.

The 69-year-old is not only full of life but is also a courageous soul for doing everything on her own.

“I stay by myself right here where my plantation of koko Samoa (Samoan cocoa) and bananas is,” she told the Village Voice team. 

“I don’t have a husband or any children so I’m always on my own. 

“I’m not sad about it or anything, that’s life.

“I’m good with food, drinks and everything else because of God’s love.

“It’s also because of his love that I’m still alive today, stronger everyday and I know he never abandons his people.”

Akenese has 13 other siblings who have their own families and they are there to help her when needed.

“I grew up in a big family who are now living in different parts of the world and most of the time; they send over some stuff for me especially one of my brothers’ children.

“My other brother who stays just down the road from me is a chief.

“I think that’s the only family I have here.

“I do everything on my own but when there’s a time that I need help with something, I always ask my brothers but never about money though, because it’s not in my nature to depend on other people for money.

“I’m a farmer so I make my money from selling koko and bananas at the market.

“I also have my pension which I’m saving in case I get sick or need it for emergencies or fa’alavelave.

“I work to develop my own plantation but if I need help with cleaning the lands, then I pay our youth community $50 an hour to help out.”

Akenese said she has nothing to worry about because she’s strong enough to work for herself.

“I have water and electricity but I think the only problem I face sometimes is people stealing from my plantation.

“And when they do that, they always ruin my fence, it’s frustrating.

“You know before I had a fence set up, my television got stolen. 

“So my brother’s children were the ones who helped me out and they bought another t.v. for me.

“Whenever I need something besides money, I always call them and they provide for me.

“We all have bad days but I think bad days build better days.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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