For Mele Vaima’a, from the village of Nu’u, she doesn’t wait around for anything to be handed to her, she gets all she needs from by the sweat of her brow.
Aged 54, Mele is a hard working woman who loves working in her plantation to provide for her family. Despite her family now venturing into the business world, Mele says she still loves to work hard.
Growing pineapples, taro and all sorts of produce, Mele does it with a joyful heart.
“One thing I hold true in this life is that if we keep our bodies active then there will be less sickness,” she told the Village Voice.
“That’s why work like this is very good. Not only does it provide money and food for the family, it also strengthens the body.
“Working in my plantation is like my exercise, this is how I keep myself strong. Rest is for the weak.”
Asked about her daily schedule, Mele says this is what she does every day of the week.
“Every day I come here and plant some pineapples to sell for money, food for our meals and flowers to decorate the church,” she said.
“Many parents just sit around waiting for money from their family members or their children but I don’t wait, I just do my own work to make money.
“Many members of my family are currently starting up their own businesses and I am happy for them. I may not have a job but I can still earn money from my own strength.”
Mele says there is much we can gain from the land if we know how to treat it.
“There is so much the land can offer us if we use it properly,” she said.
“We can grow pawpaw, bananas, taro, and pineapples and so on. Those can be used for our meals or to sell for some money.
“That’s why I love what I do, I earn a lot from it and I can provide some food for my family. I work with my hands and I mind my own business, that’s how life in Samoa works.
“There’s no point in wishing for what others have, just work for it.”
Furthermore, Mele says that it’s the duty of women in the family to make sure that life goes by smoothly for those they love, and that’s why she works her hardest.
“The role of women in a family is to keep everything together,” she said.
“Mothers keep their houses and family clean, they work to make sure everything is going smoothly and they make sure that their family doesn’t suffer at all.
“A family suffers if the mother of the house doesn’t do her work. Another important factor is relying on the Lord because that is where we get all our blessings from.”