Salome Ualolo is not one to just sit back and watch life go by.
The 55 year old from the village of Sa’anapu admits that life in the village is difficult but it will only get worse if you do nothing about it.
Running her small road-side stall where she sells homegrown crops from her plantation to get a little extra cash, Salome knows the value of hard work.
“It’s not easy in the villages,” she admits to the Samoa Observer.
“We have so many rules which can be good sometimes; but within each family, everyone is responsible for their own livelihood.
“Take my family for example. My children and I work the plantation to get the crops to earn a bit of extra cash to take care of the family’s needs.”
With one of her children is currently working as a teacher, Salome knows that if she just sits back and relies on her children’s pay, then they would not have enough to look after the family.
So she works hard on her plantation.
“I have a child who is working as a teacher but the pay he gets isn’t enough to do a lot of things,” she said.
“Things such as village activities and looking after the family; it takes a lot of money. There are times where we have to do a lot of things for the village but we do have times where the Village Council lets us rest.
“Life can be easy sometimes but most of the time it is very difficult.”
Salome strongly feels that there isn’t any poverty in Samoa and that there are worse off people in other countries.
“In my understanding, there is no poverty in Samoa,” she said.
“People are just poor if they are lazy and do not work. When I look at other countries then I see true poverty.
“I feel sorry for some people overseas; some are desperate to eat and others are desperate to live but here in Samoa; if you are poor then that’s your own fault. They don’t work and they just sleep.
“It doesn’t take much to go and grow your own crops. That’s what I’m doing to take care of my family; I know that if I just sleep all day then poverty will come to my family.”
“People need to stop going to Bingo and find a job or work the plantation. There is a lot of thieving going on because if people are lazy and do not want to work then they will look to other means forgetting money.
“They will steal from those who do work, because it’s easy.”
Another skill that villagers could learn is money management and Salome is a great example of that.
“Most of the times I would get about $10 and would make the most of that money,” Salome said.
“No matter how small the money is, I would stretch it to cover food for the children and their education; nothing is wasted senselessly.
“But there are days where my purse would have $50 from hard work then I buy a lot of things for the family.
“I haven’t had my stall for long but my plantation has been around for a long time. I sell taro, banana, paw paw and cucumbers.
My children help me in their free time.”