Being together with family the only thing that matters
The sun is high and at its hottest as young 18-year-old Iosefo makes the long walk back home to his family home in Taga Savaii.
He takes a few minutes rest under the shade of the tree to talk with the Village Voice about his day.
Iosefo was walking back from doing some work in the neighbouring village and heading home to help his family with the chores and prepare for their dinner.
“I just came back from doing some jobs and picked up some taro and banana for our family dinner tonight,” he said.
“For me I work weeding other peoples’ gardens and lands. I prefer to do it by hand rather than use chemicals. I have some cows and chickens but I don’t have pigs. I wish I had pigs though because then I would be able to use them for faalavelaves that come up for our family.”
For someone so young it was hard to believe this young man bore such a high level of responsibility but Iosefa tells the Village voice that being with family was all that mattered to him,
“Before I came back to Savai’i, I worked in Apia at the Farmer Joes but I returned to Savai’i to help take care of our family.
“I don’t know if I would be called to go to Apia to work again but I hope not - I would rather take care of my parents there are seven of us in our family and I am the third oldest child ,I have an older brother and sister and they both work in Apia.”
Despite the hardships in providing for the family and maintaining the plantation, Iosefo is content with life in Savai’i.
“Seki a le olaga i Savai’i. It’s true that we don’t have many jobs here in Savai’i and my siblings have to leave the island to find work but personally I live a happy life here because I am together with my parents and my other siblings.”
In the future, Iosefa sees himself continuing to work more in the plantation rather than going on to higher education because working on the land is a way to earn a living for his family and also a way to meet their financial commitments if faalavelaves arise.