Peni’s life of fishing
Meet Peni Na’ilai 40-year-old from the village of Toamua.
When the Village Voice caught up with him yesterday, he was selling fish around Vaitele.
Peni told the Village Voice his fishing net is their lifeblood.
The catches have helped put his children through school and pay for their basic needs.
“I started fishing when I quit working in 2000 when I also had just two children. Now I have eight children and I’m still going strong,” he said.
“This business has helped put my kids through school and now they have grown and they have families of their own and I am still doing this.”
Fishing has also kept him an active member of the community.
“I contribute and help with church and village commitments,” he said.
“We may have no electricity but it’s not necessary to me because my kid’s school expenses are more important.
“I believe this is why God has helped my daily work because he knows this is the only way we can earn money to do things for our family.”
Peni said fishing is a good way to earn a living.
“I go fishing three days a week, two times a day,” he said.
“I sell it around here and I have usual customers. So by the end of the week I make up to $200 a day.
“It’s such a blessing. I went through a lot of difficulties, but after years of hard work, I can see I am getting somewhere. My children have grown but I am still strong to do this.
“Life might be expensive but we have a way of dealing with it. We just have to work harder.”
And work he does.
“It’s hard for some people to go fishing and then come and walk around for miles to sell their catches. For me this is very simple. I think because I’m used to it.
“The sea has saved my family and we are happy.
“We can afford electricity but the problem is, our house is not a stable house to be wired.”