Love sees no barrier

Lui Kaveni and his wife Paulini Tuba return from gathering coconuts, ota (edible fiddlehead ferns) and rourou (taro leaves) at Namado in Namosi. Picture: ANA MADIGIBULI

AFTER 42 years of marriage and 11 children, Lui Kaveni and Paulina Tuba of Nakavika Village still continue to enjoy their lives together in the remote highland of Namosi.

We met the cheerful couple as they returned from collecting coconuts, ota (edible fiddlehead ferns) and rourou (taro leaves) from the family farm to take to the school and they shared how they have lived well and happy together in the village after many years.

What caught our attention while greeting the couple beside the famous Namado cliff was the big smiles they had on their faces after a busy morning of gathering food supplies.

The couple carried a sack of coconuts and a sack of ota and rourou on their backs while slowly walking up the steep Namado hill, returning to the village which was a few kilometres away.

The couple, like many parents in the district, prepare daily meals for students who attend the district school.

The couple first met when Lui was 30 and Paulina was just 18 and the age difference wasn’t a barrier to true love like their’s.

Even after 11 children the couple still spend quality time together, believing it is one of the reasons why they have a healthy and long relationship with humour being one of the key ingredient.

“We met when I was just 18 and we have lived together since and raised our children in the village,” Paulina said with a smile on her face.

Lui still goes to the farm without ever getting tired and says farming has been his source of livelihood since he started farming back in 1972.

“I’m a yaqona (kava) farmer and I’m into root crop farming too. Yaqona is used as a source of livelihood while root crops and vegetables are never sold because it’s for my family consumption,” he said.

At the age of 72, Lui looks and feels good because he never eats unhealthy food.

“The good thing about living in Namosi is that we have a good supply of healthy food and we don’t eat a lot of unhealthy food like in Suva,” he said.

“We know how important it is to stay healthy and we work hard every day to keep us fit. I think it’s important that people maintain the good old village living standards because it keeps us happy and healthy.”

He said he usually transports his yaqona to Navua by bilibili (bamboo raft) and by fibre boats through the Navua River.

He said with farming he has been able to put all his children through school and provide for his family’s daily expenses too.

More Stories