Patience is a virtue for a reason and for Maupenei Finau from the village of Vaigaga, patience helps her get by on a day to day basis.
Aged 48, Maupenei runs a handicraft stall at the Fugalei market where she sells hand made products as well as elei clothing.
Running the stall is a way for Maupenei to take care of her family and she says that if you don’t have patience, you won’t make it anywhere with her line of work.
“The one reason I started a business like this was for my family,” she told the Village Voice.
“I want to provide for them to the best of my ability and I have to be patient a lot because sometimes I wouldn’t make much.”
“For people like me running market stalls like this, patience is the best thing to have because you will run into days where you won’t sell anything and other days where you sell one item.”
“If you don’t have any patience then you won’t be able to make anything to take care of your family. Patience goes with any form of work I guess.”
Without patience in her heart, Maupenei says she would have lost her mind a long time ago.
“Another example why you need a lot of patience in this line of work is because there will be a few people who come and touch the products and not buy it,” she said.
“If I didn’t have patience then I would get angry easily and that won’t help anyone. Without patience you will also lose your mind if you don’t have any sales.”
“I think that’s one of the biggest struggles for us stall owners.”
Maupenei also feels that even if you work as hard as possible, there will always be struggles.
“No matter what we do in life, there will always be struggles,” she said.
“When we work hard to look after the family, there will be problems. When you work to look take care of church and village commitments, there will be problems.
“Back then I was working in the Flea Market which burnt down. After the fire took the market I moved here to the Fugalei market straight away.”
“I have been going through so many personal struggles but I get through it all by working hard with all my strength and having faith in the Lord to pull me through.”
There will always be bad and good days according to Maupenei.
“I go through bad days and good days, but everything I make goes straight in the family’s shopping,” she said.
“Some days I would only get one customer and other days I would get many. Many times I would get people coming in from overseas to buy things like these for their families.”
“When there are many tourists then that’s when I would make good money. I rely heavily on the sales to tourists for the money to take care of my family.”