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Family lives without electricity

Gasio Tapua'i's family is only an hour's walk from the Apia township but they have been without electricity for the last two years.

Fifty-three-year-old Gasio Tapua'i and his 54-year-old wife Leasino Faaifo live at the Papaseea Sliding Rocks, their house not far from the popular tourist attraction of the same name.

They have lived without power since they moved into the area, and due to the lack of electricity, the couple ensure they complete their house chores including dinner and devotion before sunset. 

Mr. Tapua'i said tap water was recently connected to their home and its the only form of service they get. 

The couple has five children – four sons and one daughter – who live with their in laws and work on the plantations and farms. 

"We thank the Lord for his grace that we have things around us, sustaining our lives and grown on land," he said. 

"We don't even have electricity. There is no power, so dinner is always cooked while the sun is still high and by the time the sun is set, evening devotion and beds have already been made."

Inside the house, you can notice a plug for electricity, which Mr Tapua'i says he hopes they can use when they can afford to pay for power to be connected. 

"After this house was built, my brother from Savai'i offered to still wire the house, that way when electricity can be connected readily," he said.

"Does not matter what I want to do, money is the only thing that can make things happen."

The couple's small home is surrounded by a garden and crops planted not far from the house.

Their house was slightly tilted to the side as it stands on thin wood posts, with a wall separating the front from a small room in the back.

"Sometimes we get visitors and we always feel bad because of the state of our home," he said.

"To tell you straight, we do not have a proper bathroom and we are pleading for a blessing from the Lord and praying that something comes our way."

One day while running errands in town, Mr. Tapua'i came across a young man sleeping in front of a shop, whom he invited home.

"We Samoans are like that, we love our neighbours and it's good because they get their separate little shack, and I get someone who can help me around with the chores," he said. 

He calls the young man "son" and he brought over his wife and three children to spend time with them at  Papaseea, which Mr. Tapua'i said he is grateful for as they enjoy their company.

As the 53-year-old father got up to attend to his home chores, his disability became noticeable as he walked with a limp, which was the result of a stroke he suffered from a few years ago. 

If you are willing to help, you may call 7750832 and ask for Gasio Tapua'i.

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