Rain or shine, work a must
Taualevao Sagato, from the village of Saleimoa, knows that life isn’t easy.
In order to survive you must be willing to work hard both under the hot sun or pouring rain.
Aged 39, through the hard work he does in his plantation, Taualevao is able to provide food and a good source of income for his family.
But it is no walk in the park. Spotted still weeding his plantation in the rain, Taualevao explains how essential hard work is in the village setting.
“This is what my life looks like; no matter if there’s rain or shine, I still come out here to tend my plantation,” he told the Village Voice.
“Crops grow whether the sun is hot or if the rain is heavy and that’s why we must still work. Even during very hot days, in order to make a living, we have to come out here.
“It’s not an easy way to live but it’s necessary in order for your family to be able to live and not go hungry. It’s a family’s own fault when they cannot provide for themselves because they don’t work.
“That’s the way life is here in the village; you work hard to live.”
Taualevao says that a lot of Samoans understand the importance of hard work, but there are always those who do not.
He says that people who don’t work hard are the ones who cause a lot of problems in the villages like crop theft.
“As you can see it’s raining right now and I am grateful to the Lord because it makes my work a little easier,” Taualevao said.
“If it was hot out today then I would still have to be out here and that’s hard. Here in Samoa, many people know that nothing comes easy.
“And if you don’t struggle to provide for yourself then that’s when problems arise. People start jumping over to other peoples plantations and stealing from their hard work.”
Being a family provider, Taualevao explains that the plantation isn’t the only place he works to earn for his family. When crops are not ready for harvest, he makes his way down to the ocean.
“I am the one who provides for the family,” he said.
“If we don’t have anything to eat for the day because we can’t harvest our crops then I make my way down to the ocean to get some fish.
“If I sit around then we won’t have anything. I have a market block down in town where we sell bananas and pawpaw to make some money.”
Asked how helpful having a plantation is in the village setting, Taualevao says the bigger the plantation, the bigger the help.
“This plantation has supported my family a lot,” he said.
“I believe that the bigger your plantation, then the more help it will be towards your family. Not only does it provide food for the family, it also provides money through crop sales.
“The money then goes to buying something nice for the family to eat as well as taking care of the different obligations we have in the village.”