There’s no denying that Samoa is a beautiful country; and I guess there is nowhere anyone would rather face their struggles than right here at home.
For Petaia Petaia from the village of Aleisa, this is how he sees life; he enjoys life here in Samoa despite his daily struggles.
Aged 26, Petaia runs a small stall in front of the supermarkets selling cooked items which helps his family get by on a day to day basis.
“Samoa is a nice place and life is nice here,” he tells the Village Voice.
“Things are just too expensive and we can’t afford to buy a lot of the things we need because we struggle to make money. Those are the problems I go through personally.”
Petaia admits that life is not easy and he faces his own share of problems.
“This is what I do to make money; I sell cooked items in front of the supermarkets,” he said.
“I admit that my family is struggling to make ends meet, but I still work hard. There are also so many businesses around which I see as tough competition. That creates problems for me.”
According to Petaia, one of the main causes of struggles for many families in Samoa is our culture.
“We have way too many cultural activities (fa’alavelave) nowadays which eats up a lot of money,” he said.
“It wasn’t like this back in the days. There has been so much change in the way we live life here in Samoa.”
Despite the hardships everyone goes through here in Samoa, Pataia says that it doesn’t mean that Samoa is poverty stricken.
“There are a lot of struggling families in Samoa but there is no poverty,” he said.
“You can always work hard to get away from poverty. You only live in poverty if you choose to; it’s your own fault if you go hungry.
“For me, we struggle but I still work hard to bring these cooked items out here to sell so I can provide for my family.
“You can always find ways to make money and if all else fails, then you can start a plantation to get food and money.”