The struggle is real for Tuaoi Savavau
The struggle is real. Ask 71-year-old Tuaoi Savavau of Fanua fou, Samatau and he will tell you.
The elderly father is living with his daughter and her husband and their three children. The Village Voice team met up with the family, while Tuaoi’s son-in-law was stitching up some parts of their house to ensure they are protected during the wet season.
He said they had just moved to their new land two months ago and are basically starting from scratch. He did not clarify why they had moved to their new land. But he did say it was tough.
The family does not have access to water or electricity and his son-in-law is a carpenter but lacks a stable job. They rely on their plantation and the sea for a living and live in a small incomplete shack with rocks used as flooring of their home.
Tuaoi’s son-in-law had built a small bedroom for his wife and children to sleep in while the elderly slept outside.
“Life is not easy I tell you. We used to live in the main land but we moved here two months ago to build our home here with my daughter and her husband.”
“As you can see it we are still mending our new home with what we have in our hands. My son is a carpenter and he is a very good electrician as well but he does not have a license.”
“When there is work that people need him then he goes to build that family’s house and when that is finish he no longer has work,” added Tuaoi.
The elderly father said with no access to water or electricity life is really hard for his family.
“My daughter and her husband will fetch water from other families who have access to water.”
“Our happiness reaches the heaven when it rains because this is where we take advantage of every drop of rain. But storing in gallons as well as buckets to ensure that it will last us weeks or months.”
“As for electricity, we use kerosene lights at nights and we make sure that we have dinner at around 5 o’clock because when it’s dark it is very hard to prepare and have dinner at night,” he said.
Tuaoi said life is a real struggle but he is hoping that someday it will get better for them.
“Life is hard but we are trying our best. I feel for my daughter and her husband because they are doing everything they can to ensure we survive.”
“A water tank will be nice because it will just make life so much easier for us, especially for my daughter and her husband and their children.”
“I also want my son-in-law to have a stable job, not for me but for his children so he can be able to provide for them. Electricity or not we can still survive but water is life and if there is no water then we have a problem,” he added.
Tuaoi said he wished he could assist and address some of their pressing issues but he is old and unable to intervene.
“The only thing I can do is to pray to God to bless my daughter and her husband and their children for looking after me. Even though, we don’t have much I never go hungry because of my children and for that I can only hope for a blessed life upon my children.”