TAVELLING through Korovatu settlement outside Labasa Town last week, I noticed how many Fijians of Indian descent families continue to work hard late into the afternoons at their homes.
Women were a common sight, busily tending to their vegetable gardens after preparing dinner for their families, while their children rode their bicycles along the pathways, or just strolled around with friends or family.
One hardworking lady in particular caught my eye.
She was busy watering plants and pulling weeds from her family's vegetable garden.
I stopped to say hello.
And so I met her - 79 year-old Raj Kumar, a widow who lived with her eldest son after her husband passed away more than 10 years ago.
The elderly woman said, while their livelihood was not dependent entirely on vegetable farming, the food crops brought in much needed income during the rainy season.
"My son works at a local timber industry here in Labasa and apart from his wages, we also sell vegetables to our neighbours and other interested buyers in the area," Ms Kumar said.
"During my spare time, I usually spend it in the garden because I don't want the birds, insects and animals to disturb the vegetables.
"I plant beans, chinese cabbage, tomatoes and cucumber. This is a great help to the family because we don't have to buy vegetables again from the market," she said.
Reminiscing about her young days, the mother of six said the cost of living was cheap back then.
But, when she got married at the age of 15, Mrs Kumar and her husband had to struggle because farming was their only source of income.
"Even though the cost of things were cheap, we had to struggle to plant rice and sugarcane for our source of income.
"It wasn't easy because I had to carry out house chores and cook for the family as well," she said.
Mrs Kumar said such hardships did not deter her spirit to raise her children well because she wanted the best for them in future.
Her struggles paid off when all her children managed to find good jobs and move on with their own lives in other parts of the country.
"I am a happy widow because I don't have to worry about my children anymore. They have their own families and enjoy a more luxurious life.
"All the difficulties I encountered have now ended and I am really appreciative of my children's support now that I am slowly growing old," she said.
Ms Kumar said she would continue to plant more vegetables in their garden because it was a form of saving extra money for her family.