Samoa might be improved from a least developing country to a developing country, but life for many people is a daily struggle.
Meet Leala Aloese, 37, a father from Taga Savai’i and Nu’u Fou.
“There’s nothing to hide about the fact that we struggle every day to make ends meet,” he told the Village Voice.
“The only person who works to support my family is my wife and that’s why I have ended up selling bananas to help her out.
“That is how life it is for me and I know any parents will do the same for their children and families.
Leala said his wife is a babysitter to a couple at Vaitele and the money she gets helps their family in a lot of ways.
He understands that they are struggling when it comes to money but they are doing it for their family especially their son.
“We put our son’s education first and then everything else after that.
“So no matter how many things there are to budget money for, I make sure our son’s school support is fully covered.
“Usually my wife only gets $100 a week which is enough for the three of us.
“The thing is, we can afford our basic needs but when we have to contribute to village and church matters, that when it’s hard to stretch the $100.
“And it’s the main issue why I sell bananas, vegies and sometimes (tauaga) to help out.
“For my family, money is always an issue for us that’s why the plantation helps us a lot by selling.”
He went on to say no matter how tired or sick he gets, spending the whole day selling his produce he keeps on going because of his love for his family.
“It’s not easy to find money but we have to face it.
As for the cost of living, he say only the Chinese shops have mercy on people.
“You see, Chinese shops in Samoa have given us opportunities in life. People complain about the Chinese owning most our lands but guess what? Without the development of China we wouldn’t be eating cheap rice and many other goods.
“Thanks to Chinese shops for helping out with the cost of living because the way I see it, we kill our own selves. (toe fasi oti a e tatou ia tatou).
“This is why I admire the Chinese for coming in to Samoa because they play an important role in our lives.
“You see, food is life and China helps us live life.
“That is the whole truth.
Leala is inspired by his son’s future to seek more. He believes that without hard work and patience and love, nothing is accomplished.