"A lot of people rely on government aid, I try to use whatever little resources I have."
Those were the words of Taina Foss, of Nukuwatu in Lami.
The 51-year old and her 11-year old daughter are familiar faces in Lami Town. They sell roti and curry parcels on a day-to-day basis except Tuesdays, which is set aside for personal activities, because it is the slowest business day according to Mrs Foss.
On Wednesday, she was at her usual spot early, because her daughter is home for the holidays and helps her out. On normal days she is usually out to sell just before noon, to target lunch hour or even the occasional brunch.
Mrs Foss says she is normally up early at 5am to prepare her roti parcels. She usually prepares all the ingredients the night before and stores them away, so it cuts time for preparation in the morning.
What makes her story outstanding is that she has suffered from Rheumatoid arthritis for six years. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, systemic inflammatory disorder that may affect many tissues and organs, but principally attacks flexible joints. In her case one of the most important parts of her body her legs, so she uses a wheelchair to get about, even to her usual selling spot.
Her challenges not only lie in her sickness, but she also lost her husband in death and was left with four children to care for single-handedly. Today they are her handy helpers.
Besides her hawker's fee, she has to pay university fees, school fees and so forth.
She says she is often told that she qualifies for social welfare, but she prefers to use her resources and says it makes her feel stronger and in control.
She says even though she has a lot of expenses, she still manages to save for her future plans. She hopes to own a restaurant soon and will stop at nothing to get there and says she relies heavily on her prayers to God.
"You have to humble yourself to move to the top, you have to start at 1 to get to 10," she said with regards to how she is humbly selling her roti parcels to make her dream a reality.
"I get customers because they can see I am not begging. I'm on a wheelchair but I'm working still," she added.
She says some customers don't take the parcels, but will still give her money, because they realise that even though she is not begging, she has put forth that extra effort to make a living rather than living off other people.
"Life is hard, everyone is struggling, not everyone can be charitable, so I have to make my own means of living, I can't keep asking people to help me, whether it be friends, relatives or strangers," she added.
Her children have been the greatest help to her. Her eldest daughter helps her prepare the parcels and her younger daughter helps her sell on weekends and holidays.
Mrs Foss also has plans to get her elder daughter enrolled in baking and cooking classes, so she could be part of the bigger plan ahead.
She says Lami Town is a perfect location for her business, because she saves on transport and also because of her circumstance. She gets wheeled to Lami Town, only five minutes away from her home.
"It's my means of getting out of the house too, I get to meet a lot of people," she said.
Her 11-year old daughter loves helping her mum too and cheekily said, "I'm not shy, I'm very bold and I know a lot of people now".
Mrs Foss says she is comfortable in Lami Town because it's her home and she notices that the people are proud of her efforts and are willing to support her.