Growing cocoa for a living

If you want anything in this world you need to work for it.

If sacrifices must be made to get it then so be it.

This is the opinion of a 49-year-old mother when she was speaking to the Village Voice yesterday.  

“We all know nothing is free in this world. 

“If you really need something, you have got to earn it. 

Speaking from experience, Fa’afaga Na’asona is a mother of three and she has sacrificed all her life to provide for her children. 

“All my life, I have worked at our cocoa plantation to be able to have food on the table for my children.

 “We sell the cocoa and get money,” she told Village Voice. 

 “This is what I do every day and it keeps me very strong to work and use my time while I can.

“And especially working on our cocoa plants, as it is the only income earner for us.”

Life is hard and tough for her but she always has faith and hope. 

“Cocoa is our life and we live off it, depending on it every day. 

“None of my kids go to school anymore because they are leaving the country after Mothers’ Day. 

“We have everything on our land for our survival.

“The only time we need money is when it comes to family fa’alavelave, and that is when we ask our overseas family for help.”

One problem is their water bill. 

“You see last month our water bill was only $13 tala but when we received our water bill this month it’s $100 tala and thirty four sene. 

“To be honest, we only use our water for washing, food, and bathing so this can’t be the bill.

“I mean, this is the first time ever it’s happened and we want to understand why our water bill has gone sky high. 

“So my husband is on his way to talk to the Water Authority and we hope this is a mistake.

“Our bill can’t be that high. 

 “We are struggling on our own to make do with what we have. 

“I don’t want this to add to our expenses because we have too many things to do this week. 

“Mothers’ Day is around the corner and it’s the only Sunday for us to at least have some nice food to eat. 

“After Mothers’ Day we will be back to our usual meal of taro and tea because we are saving up for our new proper house. 

“My kids will be leaving next week, so everything will be easy because then it will just be me and my husband at home.”

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