Mother sets example for her family

By Fetalai Tuilulu’u and Aruna Lolani ,

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My family lives on planting cabbages, cucumbers, beans and other crops for sale and for our meals.

For many families in Samoa, the humble plantation is their only response to the cost of life.

That’s how it is for Telesia Isaia from the village of Faleasiu.

The mother runs a small roadside market and she says that her farm provides everything for her family.

She stresses the importance of farming when you have nothing else to depend on. 

But of course she says there are still issues. 

“What I’m doing is what every hard working mother should do to try and put their children into school,” she said.

“Farming has been in my family for a very long time. 

“My family lives on planting cabbages, cucumbers, beans and other crops for sale and for our meals.

PLANTATION IS LIFE: Telesia Isaia, 57, of Faleasiu. Photo / Misiona Simo
PLANTATION IS LIFE: Telesia Isaia, 57, of Faleasiu. Photo / Misiona Simo
The burst water pipes opposite the family’s home at Faleasi’u-uta.
The burst water pipes opposite the family’s home at Faleasi’u-uta.

“We don’t have any other plans to change that because I’m a mother of six kids with no one with a job. All we depend on is the fruits of our land.” 

One of the constant challenges, she pointed out, is the lack of water. 

 “As you can see these gallons here are used to collect our water.

“We can’t afford water. We don’t have a lot of money and even a hundred tala is hard to come by.

“So to get water, we have to try and catch it when it rains. It is a blessing for us when it rains.”

Getting back to farming, she said it is hard work but it is worth it. She said her family wouldn’t know what to do without farming.

“We are blessed with fertile soil so we have to make the most of what we have,” she said.

“This is what I’m doing and it’s a lesson I want to teach my children. No matter what the circumstances, just get on with life and do your best.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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