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Fiji Time: 11:27 PM on Saturday 23 August

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Age fails to deter elderly couple

Serafina Silaitoga
Wednesday, April 09, 2014

THE wrinkles on their faces showed no sign of exhaustion but sheer determination to survive.

And for the elderly couple of Vuinadi Village in Koroalau, Cakaudrove, their old age has not deterred them from cutting copra every week as they search for an income to buy sugar.

Savubale Gonelevu, 85, and his wife Vasemaca Meresiana, 82, sat under the shades of a raintree by the dusty Koroalau main road with their knives, cutting copra and packing it in bags.

When approached the couple joked about how they had never been pictured in a newspaper. They said such an opportunity was a blessing.

While Mr Gonelevu collected coconuts, his wife shared how they sold copra once a week to earn some money for them.

She said they only had one son who is married and lives in Nadi.

Ms Meresiana said cutting copra was not difficult.

In fact, it was a hobby and every Friday, she looked forward to sitting by the road attending to her weekly job of cutting copra.

She added that because of their old age, they don't cut a lot of copra.

But the little they cut and sold to the mill in Savusavu helped them buy sugar and other basic food items.

A carrier collects their copra every Friday.

Most of their money is used to buy basic food items from nearby village canteens.


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