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Apolonia Sells Her Harvest For Church Tithe

Apolonia Sells Her Harvest For Church Tithe
Apolonia Tuikoroalau at the Suva market on May 17, 2018. Photo: Karalaini Waqanidrola
May 18
11:00 2018

Grandmother of three Apolonia Tuikoroalau only comes to sell her produce at the market for her tithe.

The last time Mrs Tuikoroalau, from Nasele Village, Waidina in the province of Naitasiri was at the Suva market was during the last Easter Thursday.

“I only come to sell at the market for my tithe, that is my contribution to church,” Mrs Tuikoroalau said.

“My plantation is just around my house so it only takes me about one hour to gather my produce to bring to the market,” she said.

“My husband helps me with the pull­ing of tavioka (cassava) to fill a bag and harvesting of bananas.”

Yesterday Mrs Tuikoroalau was sharing notes on the rare and unusual red skinned bananas with curious fel­low vendors from Waivaka Village in Namosi.

“I don’t even know the name of these bananas, they just grew in my planta­tion. I have named it damudamu (red) because of the colour of its skin,” she said.

“These women have been coming to me wanting to know about it and they want suckers.

“Not only itaukei women and men, I also had two Chinese-nations wanting suckers.

She lives with her husband and three grandchildren boy aged 11 in Year 5, a girl aged 8 in Year 3 and a 4-year-old boy who attends kindergarten.

Mrs Tuikoroalau leads an active life once seeing her grandchildren off to school does the usual housewife chore around her house and compound.

“My plantation is more like my back­yard, I plant everything and this is convenient.

“We eat from our plantation; we don’t buy a lot of things.

“As a Seven Day Adventist I only sell on Thursdays and return home the same afternoon.”

Yesterday she had caught the 4.30am bus from Waidina and by 9.30am she was at the Suva Bus stand.

“I came today (yesterday) because we have a good harvest of bananas and du­ruka,” she said.

She brought a bag of tavioka, a carton of bananas, a carton of passionfruit and a few bundles of duruka which she shredded and then sold for $4 a heap.

She returns home on the 4pm bus. Yesterday by 10.30am she only had a few heaps of duruka, two heaps of bananas and a few heaps of tavioka. Her passion­fruit heaps were sold in half an hour.

“This morning (yesterday) has been very fast and I have made more than enough from what I have sold so far.

“I give what I have left to relatives liv­ing in Suva as I do not want to take them back with me home.”

Mrs Tuikoroalau was selling bananas for $4, $3 and $2 a heap, duruka for $4 a heap, tavioka for $4 a heap and passion­fruit for $2 a heap.

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