A resilient lot: Making every little bit work
No matter the circumstances, we Samoans can always find a way to make it work.
Kalita Taligapi’I from the village of Manono is a single mother living with her parents and has her own personal struggles here and there.
Aged 24, Kalita explains how life is for her and her children.
“We have way too many things to do within my family,” she told the Village Voice.
“The money isn’t just used on food for the family. It’s hard to make the little we have last the week especially on Sundays.
“But we do get a lot of help here in Manono. My brother and sister are currently working and they are a big help to my family.
“They provide money for me and my children which we try and use wisely.”
The small pay she gets on a weekly basis isn’t enough but Kalita has makes every little bit count.
“I get paid $70 a week and the way I see it, it’s nowhere near enough for my family,” she said.
“We are lucky that we can also rely on the sea and the plantation to take care of the family. Although, most of the time there is no one to tend to them work those areas for the family.”
Kalita is also thrilled that her village and church don’t enforce commitments like other villages.
“We have no problem with village and church commitments here in Manono,” she said.
“It’s great because they don’t force anyone to pay anything so we have a choice. I don’t have anyone to fall back on and no one to help look after the family.
“I have three children and they need someone that will bring them happiness.”
Aside from looking after her children, Kalita also takes care of her parents.
“My daily life is pretty normal,” she said.
“I just do my usual daily chores as well as do my part in taking care of my parents. There are times when we have enough but majority of the time it’s the opposite.
“But my family works very hard to try and make ends meet every week.”
According to Kalita, her family’s main provider is their plantation.
“Right now we have a small plantation nearby,” she said.
“We are nearing the time for harvest which is very good for the family. Aside from the money I make and the money we receive from my siblings, the plantation is what the family relies on.
“The vegetables and root crops we have range from peas, cabbages, taro and so on. We make whatever we get last.”
Faced with many struggles, Kalita still feels that life in the village is great.
“All in all, everything is great,” she said.
“Our family doesn’t have many problems and we make everything we have work for us.”