Surrounded by land and sea, go work it
Falaniko Pauga from the village of Solosolo believes that working off what you can harvest from the land and the sea is the answer.
Aged 42, Falaniko works hard to provide for his family using true Samoan skills.
When his mother is hungry he goes out to sea to catch some fish and then gathers some breadfruit for dinner.
The only thing that puzzles this fisherman is why people want to live expensive lifestyles when everything is available from the land and sea.
“The way I see Samoa, is there is no such thing as poverty here,” Falaniko told the Village Voice.
“Only the lazy struggle with poverty but if you don’t just sit around and you go and do something to help your family, then you’ll be fine. The Lord will help those who help themselves.
“I am just thankful that we have crops like breadfruit growing everywhere which is a good source of food for everyone and enough for families.”
Falaniko says that village life can be as simple as you want it to be. You can catch or grow your food so that you don’t have to worry about feeding your family.
“As you can see I am just looking for some fish to cook with coconut for tonight’s meal,” he said.
“That’s how easy life is for us in the village. If we want something to eat then we can go to the land or the sea. Working hard will make life a little easier for you.
“I care for my mother by selling these fish. The money I make may not be a lot but it takes care of her needs and that’s all that matters.
“That’s what hard work will get you. We don’t live extravagantly; most of our efforts are put towards gathering ocean resources. We live off both the land and sea but mostly the sea.
According to Falaniko, he makes his way to the sea every morning because it’s the best time to catch fish to sell and to eat for that day.
“I don’t come out here every day; I measure my work out here with what I need. If we need fish for food then I’ll come out here for a little while.
“But today the tide is not so good and I’ve spent the whole morning trying to catch some fish , unfortunately nothing.
“But I have got a second option, I have some cans of herrings at home I just have to grab some cabbages to go with it.
“Everything is all right and we can focus more on making ends meet for our family.
The only time Falaniko and his family struggle and need money is when they have the occasional family gatherings which require people to dig deep into their pockets.
“This includes things like a faalavelave,” he said.
“My siblings really help us out in times of need. If we are desperate then they send me and my mom some money to take care of things.