Earning money means sacrifices.
For Pili Lualu, of Savaia Lefaga, it means four nights away from his family.
He sleeps at the market to sell taro. When the Village Voice caught up with him, he was spent and tired. But he was happy he’d made some money.
“I’ve been a farmer for a very long time now and this is what my family depends on,” he told the Village Voice.
“As you can see, my face and my hands are all dirty. I’ve been staying at the Fugalei market for four nights to sell taro. I couldn’t bear going home with nothing.”
He had nine sacks of taro to sell.
“I went to the market early Monday thinking by Tuesday I will return home but it has been slow.”
The father of four children says the market is not what it used to be.
“There are a lot of people like me selling taro at the market. They brought twenty to thirty sacks of taro and they spend two to three weeks trying to sell it.
“It’s not the same like the market back in the day where usually eight to ten farmers selling their crops and people also buy a lot.
“It’s not the same anymore. Sometimes we also try to decrease the price in order for people to buy our crops. I sold some of mine for $10 a basket.
“I just wanted some money for it.”
The harvest is his last for a while.
“I won’t be planting anymore taro because of the virus. I guess that is another reason why people are trying to sell their taro.
“They don’t want their hard work go to waste, because this virus is actually killing farmers’ plantations.
“The Ministry of Agriculture has nothing to cure the disease, but we put so much hard work on tending our plantation.”
So how much did he make?
“For four nights of sleeping at the market, I made less than $500. I’m just happy I have some money.
“I’m looking forward to seeing my children and to get some sleep.”