Still smiling despite struggles, hardship

The simple hut – Samoan fale – they call home tells a story.

And that for Samaria Afa Samoala of Pu’apu’a is a life of hardship and struggles.

The 33-year-old from Patamea moved to Pu’apu’a a year ago. 

Today, Samaria says she knows what it is like to struggle. She had seen her parents when she was growing up work so hard to raise them. They didn’t have much.

The sad part is Samaria’s path has not changed. She’s going through the same thing.

The demands of everyday life and the lack of revenue generating opportunities are among the biggest problems. She also blames the commitments to faalavelave and churches.

Samaria said a lot of people are converting to other churches in the search for brighter prospects.

She said that sometimes they have to prioritise things to do for the village and the church, to the demise of the basic necessities like food.

She said there are times when they don’t have enough budget but they give it all to the village and the church.

“I believe the government should do something about this to have Samoa free from these kinds of obligations.”

She strongly believes that it is time to discuss the issue of culture.

Samaria is caring for her 87-year-old mother at Pu’apu’a in a small Samoan fale with no electricity. 

She said water was their first priority when they moved to Pu’apu’a last year, but they are trying to save some money to connect the electricity. 

“Nowadays it’s very expensive and everything has to be properly done, especially when it comes to electricity.” 

The family relies on the sale of their crops for money. But the little they make doesn’t take them far.

 “We want a life like we see in Upolu because all they do is eat and relax.” 

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