“Life’s not easy, it really isn’t” - Saipele Lam Sam
According to Saipele Lam Sam, from the village of Tuana’i, life in Samoa is tough.
Aged 23, Saipele says that he often sits around and ponders about life in Samoa and how many people are struggling.
He says that not only does the cost of living eat up people’s earnings, but we have cultural practices which force people to make ridiculously high loans to cover.
“I sometimes sit and look at my surroundings and the one thing I have noticed is that life is not easy, it really isn’t” he told the Village Voice.
“My brothers, sisters and I have to work really hard to be able to make it work in this life but it is no walk in the park. Even with life being hard, it teaches you a lot as a person.
“Not only is the cost of living increasing to the point where hardly anyone can afford the basics of life, but we also have to deal with cultural practices costing everyone an arm and a leg.”
Everyone can relate to having very large families but when only one person is working to earn the family some money, you know that something is just not right.
“Another problem is that Samoan families are very big,” Saipele said.
“It doesn’t make sense to have only a few people struggling to provide for a very large family. There are families in Samoa who have only one person working.
“So take for example a family of seven with one person providing money for all their needs. That doesn’t add up.”
Being one of the people in his family who works hard to earn a bit of money, Saipele says it’s tough but it’s necessary.
“I do my best to help out around the house whenever I can,” he said.
“I work on the family’s plantation where I grow cucumbers, peas, pumpkins and other crops to help out the family. I sell what I grow at a small market block so I can earn a bit of money to help out.
“I am actually living in Australia but every now and then I come over to Samoa to help take care of my parents through this little market business.”
Asked for a message for other young people in Samoa, Saipele says to make use of your time and don’t muck around.
“There are many people, who don’t work the land to help out their family,” he said.
“In this day and age, Samoa is not an easy place to make a living in but if you use your head then you will be able to make life just a little easier.
“I see so many youths just leave their land and go waste time in town. My advice is to get yourself grounded and work hard because you will suffer in the long run if you waste your time.”