Fighting spirit prevails
People take pride in different things.
For Lauvao Kelimite, from the village of Satitoa, his pride and joy is his plantation.
Aged 51, Lauvao’s family was affected by the 2009 tsunami but he did not let that get in the way of rebuilding his life.
“The place I was staying before was hit by the tsunami and that’s why we have moved all the way inland,” he told the Village Voice.
“Life here is better for my family now. I am a farmer and I measure the size of the plantation and the work I do against the family I have to take care of.”
“This whole plantation covers about 50 acres and I have been working as a farmer for about 30 years now.”
“I make a lot of money from doing what I do. I have crops and livestock which is a great way of making money. I love what I do.”
According to Lauvao, his family relies heavily on his hard work in the farm.
“My family has only one employed person,” he said.
“My eldest son works and my younger children are currently in school. Right now taro is what’s paying for the younger ones education.”
“I work hard because I need to take good care of my family and there are also other obligations with the church and village takes a bit of money.”
Lauvao says that every person is responsible for their own fates therefore people are only poor if they don’t work.
“Right now the cost of living is a bit high,” he said.
“But if a person doesn’t work hard then it will definitely affect them greatly. There is no poverty in Samoa; there are too many lazy people and that’s why they are poor. If you don’t work hard then you won’t make any money. You can become a farmer if you can’t find a job and then provide for your family that way.”
“No one is poor if they use the land.”
According to Lauvao, farming is easy so anybody can do it.
“Farming is easy,” he said.
“You can either throw seeds on the land and let them grow or you can add a bit of fertilizer to help it grow a little faster.”
“There are many farmers out there who don’t want to use fertilizer and that’s fine. But fertilizers can help grow your crops better and faster.”
But even hard working people run into problems every now and then.
“One of the struggles I face is the Samoan life style,” he said.
“We have many obligations but I guess that’s how we are as Samoans; we are a people who serve. I guess another problem our people face is complaining.”
“Many of us complain and then we don’t end up doing anything; and when we don’t do anything then we get angry and complain again.”
“In all seriousness we are also facing another problem here. The court has decided that the land here at Satitoa-Uta will be divided and given to Fagaloa which means we will lose our land.
Other than that everything is ok.”