Hard work and faith in the good Lord
There will always be people who rely only on the Lord to provide for them yet they don’t put in the work. Then we have the other set of people who have no faith in the Lord yet they are hard workers.
For Alex Solovala, 26, from Tiavi, there needs to be a balance of the two. You need to work hard and have faith in the Lord.
“This is how life is,” he told the Village Voice.
“We have taro, we have bananas and we have cabbages. If we want to eat something nice then we just open a can of tinned fish and that’s it.
“A family can really make it with a plantation. We also have to serve the Lord and be good with the church commitments.
“You see, the church commitments are for the programmes of the Lord and you will receive blessings if you are honest with what you give.
“The blessings will also pour onto your children. So in order to make things work in Samoa is to just work hard and serve the Lord.
“Those two go together because one can’t go without the other. You can’t just sit around and pray to God for money.
You also can’t work hard and have no reliance on the Lord.”
But in general, life is great for Alex up in the mountain.
“Everything is great up here; there is nothing at all that we need to worry about,” he said.
“This is the only work we do up here; we work the plantation to make money. Samoa is the sort of place where we need to work hard. The people who have been saying that there is poverty in Samoa are wrong. People only suffer if they don’t want to work.
“It’s not hard to plant banana trees or taro for food and to sell to make some money.
Once they grow you can take it straight to the market and then use the money to buy some sugar or something else for the family.”
Alex says that one of the biggest issues for Samoa is that we try to be something we’re not.
“We don’t need to try and become like overseas nations,” he said. “If we try and copy their way of life then that’s when problems will start. If we live life simply like this then we will be ok.
“We just work the plantation; we use our water tanks to catch rainwater and we live life.
“Water is great up here because it rains often and it’s nice and cold in the mountains.”
After a three year farming life, Alex says that there is no better way to make money in Samoa than to be a farmer.
“We have been working this plantation for about three years now,” he said. “We plant a very wide range of crops and it’s really good money. We make enough for everything we need in the house and to cover our different commitments.
“My only message to the people of Samoa is to stand up on your own two feet. Go cut the grass and grow some crops.”