My parents were having trouble finding work and earning money to help us pay for our bills, school fees, let alone pay for our bus fare to attend school. So my father had to work hard to provide what he could to help us and our family. However, even though we were poor, we were happy. We loved each other and helped each other including our neighbours. We would share whatever we had and we were happy. Sometimes we didn’t have enough food to eat but we always had to share and they would share what they had, so it didn’t matter. Our parents taught us to love our neighbours according to the teachings of Jesus, and they would love us back. That’s how life was back in the islands.
I remembered my last day in Samoa. All my family, relatives, and some of my good neighbours came to my house and spent the last night with me and my family. They brought different kinds of food just because they wanted to show us how much they loved us and how important it is to work and look after each other as neighbours and family. It was also important for them to show how much they loved me and how they will miss me.
After our little celebration, we didn’t want to sleep because we needed to get ready and leave for the airport. We lived far away from the airport so therefore we had to make sure we left hours before my flight incase there was an accident on the road. I walked to my little fale at the back of my parents’ house and looked around. Tears started to fall like a tap dripping uncontrollably. This was my life, this is where my fenua is buried, this is where my roots are. I wanted to just say to my parents that I didn’t want to leave, that I didn’t want to move to New Zealand and stay with my older sister, and that I didn’t want to study. But the reality is, my parents and the entire village, if I must say so, were relying on me to do well, so I could return someday soon and help them financially like a son that went to war and returned home unscarthed. It’s a big achievement to receive a scholarship from the government. For my village I was the first ever to accomplish this. It was then that I felt a heavy load sitting on my back as if a tonne of coconuts were placed on my back by someone or