Helping your family is the best way to make use of the school holidays.
Lafoia Penaia, 18, does exactly this.
The young lad from Tuana’i told the Village Voice team of what he had been doing for the school holidays yesterday.
Mr. Penaia is a Year 13 student at Sagaga College. He has five siblings.
“I have been helping my family since the school break started. I go to the plantation almost every day to provide for my family.
“I am just helping out my older brother because he is the only income earner for our family.
“We don’t have that much money and this is what we depend on for food, mostly from the plantation.”
Mr. Penaia was on his way home with his wheelbarrow of crops and coconuts when we met him.
He says he enjoys what he does for his family.
“I really enjoy my work here because it is not new to me, even when school was still going on I always do this in the weekends.
“I enjoy helping my family because this is the role of a Samoan man - to go to the bush and get food to feed his parents.
“I don’t sell any of these crops and we only use it for food because rice and bread are getting expensive, unlike the crops, they are just there for us.”
Mr. Penaia mentioned his contribution is also to show his appreciation towards his parents.
“For me, I think working like this to provide for my family is also part of thanking my parents.
“There’s a Samoan proverb the way to blessings is through service, so to me this is all part of that.
“I am working hard serving my parents because I think that’s where the blessings are from.”
Mr. Penaia also added that this will be his holiday story to tell when school begins.
“This will be a good holiday story to tell the teachers and also my friends when school starts.
“A few students will be talking about their holidays going overseas and going to the beach, but this will be something for me to talk about, my way of helping my family.”