‘The plantation provides plenty for us’
Life is full of challenges for Lupe Puipui, 38, from the village of Ti’avea, but she is not complaining.
Despite struggling to make ends meet just like many people in Samoa, she believes it could be worse.
With hard work and the love of her husband, they make enough money from selling produces from their plantation to survive.
“My family is doing alright at the moment, there are no issues at all and we do our best every day,” Lupe told the Village Voice.
“We have a good source of water and everything is alright. We just live every day as it comes and try to do things to the best of our ability.
“My husband just left for town to take some crops to sell.”
Lupe explains how different life is in town and in the back villages. She says that in the village, the plantation is the goldmine that urban dwellers don’t have.
“Life here is different from life in the town areas,” she said.
“Over here we have a lot of land where we can grow food. We have the option of either eating that food or selling them at the market for some money.
“If we take the crops to the market then we can make around $300 or more a day from sales. We have a market for our village.
“We make money every day because we sell at the market and my husband goes and makes money in town.”
Lupe continued on to explain how important the humble plantation is for a Samoan family.
“My plantation is my family’s only source of income,” she said.
“For many Samoan families, their plantation is very important for them. Right now the plantation is doing well for us and we work on the land almost every day.
“We have been living off of the plantation for a while now.”
Asked if there are any problems in the village, Lupe says that they don’t have many village schools to send their children to.
“The problem we have here in the village is that there aren’t many schools,” she said.
“It’s a must for our villagers to send our children to school but if the school is located very far then there’s not much we can do about it.
“I hope that the government would set up more schools for villages far away from town.”
Another problem is there aren’t many job opportunities which are why many migrate to town areas.
“Another issue would be work opportunities,” Lupe said.
“There aren’t many jobs out here in the villages so many people migrate to town in search of jobs. It would be nice to have some tourist or other work for the people here in the village.
“It will help keep the villagers here rather than them making their way to town. Those are my only requests for the government.”