Life in Samoa is simple. Everything is free – if you work hard.
That is the opinion of Tomasi Tuiala from the village of Saoluafata.
The 52-year-old is a father to five kids and is a farmer.
Depending on what kind of life one wants, he said life can be pretty straight forward in Samoa.
“Farming is the main thing we rely on every day. We only work to provide food for the family and that’s all,” he said.
“There are developments within town areas but it’s good for those who don’t want to get dirty. As you can see, taro and coconuts are all I have to sell to make money.”
Three of Tomasi’s children live in Australia.
“The only time I ask them for help is when we have fa’alavelave,” he said.
“But we rely heavily on our taro plantation which is far from our home.”
Tomasi thinks that the struggle most families go through is self inflicted. “I’m so shocked that people are still struggling,” he said.
“I have been living depending on the land for a long time now, why can’t other people that don’t have jobs do the same?
“If it’s because they are lazy, then I tell you there’s no point of living.
“For us in Samoa, we can live off the land and we don’t really need to depend on money every day for food. We can get food from the land and sea.”
The father’s message to Samoan people is that “we can do anything if we set our minds to it.
“There’s no point of living if we don’t use our common sense and our surrounding wisely. There may be problems through the work we do but nothing is easy. You just have to always be strong and keep going.”
Tomasi’s wife runs their household while he is at the farm.
“We are built to survive on our own,” he said.
“We don’t need other people to do the work for us because there will always come a time when they let you down. This is why we need to work hard for ourselves.”