Parents and family first for TJ
It’s a tough decision and many people in Samoa have had to make it.
It’s the question of whether one should continue to pursue education or stay back to help parents with the plantation and other chores around the house.
TJ Loatuapopo, 23, of Lotoso’a knows the feeling well.
He decided against continuing his schools.
“As far as I know, true blessings are from our parents and nothing in life could be more powerful than that,” he said.
Village Voice caught up TJ while he was fetching bananas from his plantation for his parent’s lunch. He works the plantation, cooks and cleans while he gets hand from relatives overseas with faalavelave.
“Even though it’s easy to forget at times, the family is the most important thing in the world,” he said.
“This could mean your mother, your father, and your siblings but for some, it’s simply means those with whom we share unconditional love.”
“Of course, families are complicated; – these deep relationships can carry lots of baggage and hurt as well.”
But it’s all worth it in the end.
Besides, he is an ardent believer in blessings from his elders.
“Nothing is more important to me than the wellbeing of my dear parents,” he said.
“Of course the cost of living is very expensive but for us three in the family I disagree because we’ve got everything we want. We access water and electricity and we can get most of the things we want.”
As for his views on other young people, he believes they should find what they are passionate about.
“I’ve seen some kids roaming around doing nothing but smoking, drinking and causing problems,” he said.
“It’s sad because they can use their time wisely for better things.”
TJ blames the parents for not doing their jobs to keep their children straight.
“The environment children grow up will determine how they turn out,” he said.
“For me, my family comes first. Maybe that’s what makes me different from other guys.”
“I never complain because I love my parents very much and I accept whatever struggles come my way.”
“I also know that when they are happy, they will bless me and that’s all I need.”