While many young people on holiday wake up, slap gel on their hair, jump on the bus and head to town, one lad from the village of Letogo chose another direction.
The 15-year-old Mahonri Levale’s destination is the coconut farm to fetch green coconuts to sell. The money he makes feeds his family and provides for their fa’alavelave.
He explains that he wants to repay his parents for all they have done in his life.
“Right now my school is on a two week break and I am just using this time to look for some money to help out with food for the family,” Mahonri told the Village Voice.
“The money is also used for bus fare for my older siblings who are working. It feels good to be useful around the house.
“The reason I want to be helpful is to take some weight off of my parents’ shoulders. All my life they have worked hard to provide for me so this is the least I can do.
“This is how all of the young people should think.”
Mahonri is able to make quite a bit of money every day to help his family and all the work is done with a smile. “Last week Friday was when my school went on break,” he said.
“I started to bring the green coconuts to sell on that week because I had a lot of time on my hands. I make about $50 a day and it all goes to my parents.
“I get the green coconuts from our plantation just up the hill over there. There are plenty and I just husk it, put it in a cooler then come wait over here for customers.”
His message to the young people roaming and wasting time around town is to stay at home and help out around the house.
“I sometimes come out here in the morning and sometimes I start in the afternoon,” Mahonri said.
“By the end of the day, I would have sold all of the green coconuts. I think the cause for many problems with the young people in Samoa is that they muck around too much.
“They roam around instead of staying at home and helping out. My advice to my fellow young people is to stop wasting your life and help out those who have helped you while you were growing up.”
Mahonri says that the school kids mucking around in town is the cause of all the fights in the market places. “I hate hearing about fights and disputes between school kids at the market,” he said. “It’s sad and it makes me very angry. Every day after school I just jump in the bus and come straight home because I know what comes of mucking around.
“I don’t want to get involved in any of the mindless fighting, it benefits no one especially your family.”