Elderly mother takes lessons from the pandemic

The Easter long weekend in Samoa is usually one of the most expensive weekends on the calendar for many families.

What with Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday feasts to prepare on top of all the other activities, it is unquestionable that money talks in public holidays like this.

But the COVID19 crisis has meant many people have had to rethink a lot of things – including spending. Hundreds of people in Samoa have already been laid off from work and have no weekly income, especially in the tourism industry.

For 79-year-old, Salaina Mataia Fuimaono, of Satuimalufilufi, she said the impact of the pandemic has meant her family having to return to the old way of living.

“It’s not always about money,” she said.

 “As parents, we have to learn how to budget and teach our children how to control income everyday. We should learn how to separate a saving for such times like these.”

Salaina said many of her children work. She is worried about them and what the crisis could mean for their jobs.

But her job, she said, is to pray.

"I just thank God for the gift of children he has given me," she said. “I pray that they are protected and that they will keep their jobs.”

For the Sunday toanai, it was a simple spread of food from the land and the sea.

She and her family stayed home and waited for their communion to be delivered by their Pastor.

"Easter to us is having patience in our souls and minds,” she said.

“It’s about getting on our knees and thanking God for another beautiful Easter we've reached.

"We don't have to think about what we've lost but what we've got and what we have been blessed with this Easter. We have to keep life simple now.”

Looking to the future, Salaina said people should use the lessons of the coronavirus to prepare for the future.

"Us Samoans, we rarely save money for the future,” she said.

“But I have learned from this experience and I will share this with my children. While they have money, they should start saving. We also need to cultivate the land and revive our old ways of living. That’s the only way.”



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