Life: Certainly not a bed of roses

Alesi Ranadi Batigai serving a costumer at her barbecue stall at the Sawani containment border. Picture: VILIAME RAVAI

If there is anyone who knows a life of struggle and how success is only achieved through determination, it would have to be Alesia Ranadi Batigai.

The Sawani villager has overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges for about two decades.

The 45-year-old mother-of-three said she struggled to make ends meet because her husband had spent time in corrections facilities.

“It is like his home most of the time and I have to take on the challenge of looking after our children on my own,” she said.

Ms Batigai said raising three kids and trying to keep them fed, housed and clothed had been very difficult.

“Because of what I went through and what I am going through right now, I emphasise the need for education at home.

“I always teach my children to do better in school and to always work hard to compete in any field they had an interest in.”

Life was certainly not a bed of roses for Ms Batigai and for 15 years she worked as a market vendor and saved money.

“After all those years of struggles, I started a small barbecue stand at the Whistling Duck night club in Nausori and that went on every night until this lockdown happened.

“I used all the money we earned to set up a cattle farm, dalo farm and to meet the education needs of our children.

“My eldest daughter is in Year 13 at Adi Cakobau School, second child is in Year 11 at Queen Victoria School and the youngest is a Year 8 student at Dilkusha High School.

“My main aim is to invest in the education of my children so that they can be good citizens, contribute to our beloved country and have a better future.”

Ms Batigai established a barbeque e stall at the Sawani containment border r in a bid to earn some money for her family.

“We sell lamb chops, chicken drumstick, sausage with eggs and salad for $8 and a combo for $10.

“We also sell steak and egg and sui with moca.”

She said COVID-19 was a reality and the only thing food vendors could do was follow COVID-safe measures.

“I always follow what the health officials tell us to do and practise social distancing all the time.”

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