Photographer's Note

"BULA!" is the first word that you'll hear, coming to the Fijis.

BULA means altogether, hello, welcome, cheers and even "Life" sometimes.

Through my trips I haven't met a better, more welcoming or more heart warming people than the fijians. The once cannibalistic big guys from the Pacific are probably some of the last people still living through the remainings of a Rousseau-ist society.

Every night they gather and drink kava from a single communal half coconut shell. Kava is a dirty water tasting, mild narcotic, squeezed drink from a pepper root : they familialy call it the "grog".
Everybody has to taste kava in the Fijis, you're not in the Fijis until you've emptied a few shells of kava. While softly paralyzing your tongue, kava provides its consumer some relaxation that will favor more social behavior... like talking (although not that fluently because of the tongue stiffness) or playing the guitar. In a way, Fijians invented daily psychiatry.

Now imagine what these fearsome warriors do to their offenders : crush their bones? or probably squash their head until the brains come out from the ears? or let them rot a long time into a dark humid jail?

Nope, none of these... The offenders are invited to a kava party, they're trialed and whenever found guilty, as for their punishment, they will be forced to drink a bowl of kava twice the normal size... a way of saying "Yeah, well... we know it can happen to anyone : get totally pissed, my friend, and tomorrow will be a better day". Isn't that human comprehension...

These people are so sadistic that on every place you might stay for a couple of days, they'll sing you a heartbreaking Isa Lei farewell song on your departure. Causing you to lose your honor while lamely shedding some tears behind your Ray Ban sunglasses. After the song, the odd fijian woman, typically 1.85m and 100 kg on average, will hug you like a bear, give you a big slap on your shoulder, rugby lock style, and send you back to your home.

I didn't shoot many photos from my Fiji trip... why would you waste your time shooting in paradise?
How vain appears the urge of uploading photos on the Internet while the real life is at your hand, the kingfisher song wakes you up every morning, the sea is endlessly turquoise.

Back to this photo on Nacula, probably one of the best beaches known on earth : after we spent some time in his village and went to see his Grandma's home, I asked Rocky : "Rocky, do me a favor, hit me with your best Bula."

So here's the occasion to put some BULA in your life, people of Trekearth. All the vitamins in one word.

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Additional Photos by Luko G R (Luko) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2424 W: 490 N: 2900] (14000)
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