Father stays positive in face of adversities

By Fetalai Tuilulu’u and Aruna Lolani ,

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SECURITY BY NIGHT FARMER BY DAY: Manuele Petelo, 55, of Tuanaimato.

SECURITY BY NIGHT FARMER BY DAY: Manuele Petelo, 55, of Tuanaimato. (Photo: Fetalai Tuilulu’u )

Today’s working fathers are struggling to balance the burden of their jobs with their home lives more than ever.

This is the view of Manuele Petelo from Tuanaimato expressed during an interview with the Village Voice team yesterday. 

 “Having no money is a very difficult situation to deal with,” he said.

“To be honest, it is very hard to work and when you come home you are required to work at the plantation.”

Manuele is a night security guard. He is often away from home because of his job.

 “My work cannot provide for my family alone.

“I know some fathers can’t do both work and plantation but working on a minimum wage is a real struggle so the plantation is your only other option. 

“To tell you the truth, my family is very poor but we still make do with whatever we have. 

“It’s hard to care for my family with my income and that’s why I also have a plantation. It really helps. 

"As you can see our house, it’s not fancy and not good looking but as long as we’re safe it’s enough for me" - Manuele

“My job is to pay our bills but we depend on the plantation for food and some extra money.”

The young father is motivated by his love for his children and family.

 “We moved here not long ago with nothing, but I am now able to build a house, put my kids to school and provide for my family with my work and the fruits of our land.  

“It’s not easy but my children and my family have always been the motivation.”

Manuele is optimistic despite the struggles.

“As you can see our house, it’s not fancy and not good looking but as long as we’re safe it’s enough for me,” he said. 

“It’s hard to save any money when you have so little and sometimes nothing. We’ve got kids at school; church contributions to make and then we have other faalavelave. That’s the life in Samoa.”

But that’s reality, he said.

“We just have to endure and persevere. It will get better.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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