‘I wouldn’t trade this life for anything else’
It’s burning hot but Tanielu Ta’uai, from the village of Leusoalii, is armed with all that he needs to feed his family.
With a kili (net to catch fish), he heads out to the sea as part of his normal routine to fetch fish for his family.
Some people might say this is a tough life.
But for the 37-year-old Tanielu, he says this is what life is all about.
“I love the life out here in the village; it’s very free and peaceful,” he told the Village Voice.
“I reckon the only problem would be the many family gatherings (fa’alavelave) but generally speaking about life, everything is great.”
“You can just do your own thing and live a peaceful life in villages like this.”
Returning not long ago from his wife’s village, Tanielu says he just can’t get used to living in any other village than Leusoalii.
“I was at my wife’s family house at Faleula and I realized how different life is for villages closer to town and villagers way out here,” he said.
“I feel that it’s better to remain in the villages you have grown to know rather than try and get used to living in another person’s village.”
“That’s why I hate leaving this village, there’s no place like home.”
Asked about the differences between life in the rural and urban villages, Tanielu says the main difference is the respect people show one another.
“In my personal opinion, there are quite a few differences between urban and rural villages,” he said.
“One of the main differences is, we have a lot more respect for one another in the rural villages.” There is an unexplainable bond between people out here and it’s very nice.
“The morals we hold close to us and the way we treat one another is very important. In Apia, life is very different; it’s very mixed.”
“Yes people will know one another but it’s hard to get a bond like what we share with one another out here.”
Tanielu says that the more you know about those around you, then the fewer conflicts will arise. He explains that mutual respect is key to a lot of issues.
“A lot of conflicts start from the lack of that bond,” he said.
“In the urban villages, when you go off and talk to the wrong person or if you say the wrong thing then a fight could break out because they don’t have that bond.”
“For us out here, I understand who I can talk to and how I should treat that specific person.”
But all in all, Tanielu says he is happy with his life in the village and he will have it no other way.
“Another great thing about living out here is the freedom to do my chores in peace,” he said.
“It’s up to me what chore I would like to do; I can go inland to my plantation or I can come out to the ocean to get some food and fish to sell.”
“And the one thing I keep in mind is to always do my chores with a joyful heart. My family relies a lot on both the ocean and the land for food and money.”