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Judie Fein

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Photographing The Fabulous Islands Of Fiji (PHOTOS)

Posted: 11/23/11 07:00 AM ET

First, there is fantasy Fiji: azure waters, palm-speckled islands, pristine beaches and locals calling out "Bula!" meaning "Hello, blessings, hello!"

Then there is exotic Fiji: a village where the descendants of the ancient Lapita people still make pottery; another where locals wade in tidal flats to gather and boil salt; a third village where people claim they originated in Africa and a group of women dress in black to carry out ritual mourning for their deceased chief.

And, if you are open to it, there is soulful Fiji: kava ceremonies where drinkers relax and speak from their hearts; a local man who takes you to the hidden cave of his cannibal ancestors; the hypnotic singing of congregants in a church; a quiet moment when strangers confide in you and invite you into their world.

Whatever is bothering you at the moment... just put it aside. Come with me to Fiji, traveling through the photos of Paul Ross. Bon voyage, my friends, and Bula!