Aso’au Lolesio, 52, and his wife, Tautitina Peala of Lotofaga, Safata, have nine children.
For them, life is tough.
They do not have electricity in their home but that’s not all. Aso’au says they never have enough money to pay for their basic needs, whcih means they struggle all the time to keep their family fed.
Aso’au has been living at Lotofagā with his family for some ten years now.
“We have lived here for 10 years. I used to live with my family at Fusi, Safata, but we moved here when my parents passed away.”
And for 10 years, they have been living at Lotofagā without electricity.
“At the moment, we don’t have enough money to get electricity to our home.
“But in terms of water, we have access to it.”
He told the Sunday Samoan that life in the village is not always easy but he’s gotten used go it.
“It’s not the same every day,” says Aso’au.
“Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it gets really tough. But then that’s life.
“What I mean is that, life back here is good in the sense that people live on their own land and are free to do what they want to do with it. Our lives here depend on the land - our plantation for a living.”
But he also says that a lot of families also struggle in the village.
“Some families do not earn enough money to raise their family. That’s why we look for other jobs back here in the village like helping out with the building of houses to earn extra money.”
But Aso’au said the plantation is their main source of income.
“Aside from that, we also sell salulima (brooms), Samoan oil, tauaga (coconut fibre sinnet) and other items to earn money.”
Having no access to some of the basic things we need in life is a sign of poverty says Aso’au..
“The thing is, some people don’t have enough money to satisfy the needs and wants of their family,” says Aso’au.
“And that’s why they say that they are poor. And that’s why we look at other things to earn money with for a living.
“But other than that, life here is easy and simple.”