Villages 'One in Spirit' for Games and country

For the villagers of Faleasi'u and Nofoali'i, preparing for the Pacific Games is more than just spending a lot of money.

It is about the spirit of giving as Samoans.

The villagers of Moamoa in Faleasiu decorated their surroundings with flags and banners, which cost more than $2,000 tala according to one of the villagers, Togiailua Fualaau Leaupepe. 

"With this amount of money we've spent on these banners is huge, enough to provide for a family, but in our belief as Samoans, it's all about giving and God does the awarding," he said. 

"We want to pitch in to our nation's main international event of the year and it's not every year we get to host an international event like this so we're very honoured to be spending whatever money we have for the sake of our country."

Some villagers of Faleasiu are also participating in the Games, which one of the driving factors behind the village's preparations. 

Nofoalii village carved a statue of Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi and weightlifting legend, Ele Opeloge, which took them months to work on.  

The statues were carved using wood by Apelu Finau, who used his artistic skills as he was one of the Fine Arts teachers at Nofoalii Primary School. 

Nofoali'i's Woman representative, Lesina Afamasaga, said the costs are quite expensive. 

But thanks to the support of their Member of Parliament for A'ana Alofi No. 3, Ili Setefano Ta'ateo, who provided more than 10 Samoan flags to decorate their statues and their family chief, Taimalie Ah Liki, for the Pacific Games billboard which was built on sea. 

The rest of the decorations were done by the women of the village (Tamaitai o le nu'u), who painted more than 600 flags and poles and put them up on the roadsides.

Some of the roadside Pacific Games flags in Faleasiu were provided by the Commissioner of Fire and Emergency Services Authority , Lelevaga Faafouina Mupo, who is also one of the villagers, according to Togiailua.

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