Fau Fetau, from the village of Faleasi’u-Uta, is sure about one thing. Life was simple and a lot more affordable in the past.
He explains that back in the days, there weren’t many jobs and people never earned as much money but the cost of living was a lot more manageable than what it has become now.
Today, there are more jobs and more disposable income circulating in the economy but with the high cost of living hitting people hard, life has become more and more difficult.
“How is life in Samoa? I guess, life in Samoa is very different from what it used to be,” Fau told the Village Voice.
“Back in the days there were not many jobs and the education was very low but although not much money was made, everyone was still doing fine with life because the cost of living was low.
“You see, everything at the shops was very affordable and it was great. You could get a lot of sugar for just 50sene but now things are different.”
Fau continued on to explain the problems we’re facing with unemployment, unaffordability and the minimal pay people are making.
“Nowadays, education is getting better and so are the jobs available,” he said.
“The bad part of it all is that with education getting better, the pays for those who complete education increases and so does the cost of living.
“But there are many of our children who can’t get that level of education so the pay they get is very limited. That’s why you have youths walking around unemployed.
“Families suffer because the cost of living is now high but they can’t match it because not everyone has access to higher education.”
On top of everything, no Samoan is safe when it comes to family functions or gatherings (fa’alavelave).
“Another issue here in Samoa is the many fa’alavelave,” Fau said.
“With the Christmas holidays just passing, there were many different fa’alavelave’s everywhere that took more money than people care to admit.
“You have family reunions, funerals and other gatherings that forces people to dig deep into their pockets. It’s tough; especially with the level of pay we have in this country.”
And then there’s that issue of your entire extended family relying on the few who hold steady jobs rather than earning their own living.
“On top of it all, our people have a way of relying too much on those who have jobs,” Fau said.
“They ask for money for this and that and have the excuse of being unemployed. There are many pieces of land scattered around for families to grow crops and with that, you can earn quite a bit of money.
“Just because you didn’t finish school, it doesn’t mean it’s over. You can earn so much money through your plantations and that’s what you use to take care of your loved ones.
“Those are the only issues I can think of but in regards to our village, we are doing very well because our village council keeps order and peace in the area.”