If you want a healthier and longer life, work the land.
That’s the opinion of 71- year-old Penina Sopi of Fagali’i.
Speaking to the Village Voice yesterday, Penina said far too many people have become sick because they sit around and do nothing all day. They don’t even get out of their houses to clean the compound as a form of exercise.
When the Village Voice caught up with her yesterday, she was working on her garden. It’s what she does every day.
“Some elderly parents when they reach this kind of age, they get sick but for me I don’t,” she said. “Working makes me stronger.”
Asked about life, Penina said times have changed.
“I’ve seen many people struggle to find food for their family, and the cost of living is very expensive compared to back in the days,” she said.
“In our day, we didn’t need much money but the economy of today all depends on money.”
She loves working and her children very much:
“Everything I do is for my kids. I want them to have a better life, have everything so when I’m gone they know how to live their lives.
“Sometimes they tell me to stop working but I love working, and I’m used to it.”
Penina said all her children work and they provide for their own families.
“Even though all of my children have their own families, their priority every day is me. They make sure I have food to eat and get whatever I want.”
She believes if people don’t have money, they can find money in the ground.
“Go and start a garden or a plantation,” she said.
“Don’t depend on others to feed you. That’s what I taught my kids, to work hard today because for the future, you will live by yourself and your kids”
Some people blame the villages and Churches for demanding too much money.
But she doesn’t have a problem with that.
“We should do it because our parents did it and this is where our blessings came from.”
As for her age, she doesn’t worry about it at all.
“Some people told me I shouldn’t be doing any work but I can’t stop working. I use my strength wisely to clean the land so that when my children grow up they will see the fruits of my work.”