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Photographer's Note

For all I know, *every* day is Laundry Day in Navala. Oh well.

Navala is an "all native" village on Viti Levu. It's a little tricky getting there. I took a bus from Nadi out to the tourist-ignored city of Ba, then had to find a taxi driver who was willing to drive the hour or so each way up the unimproved roads to Navala village. The journey itself was pretty cool, though -- the buses in Fiji are easy to navigate for the most part and my taxi driver's constant commentary was hilarious.

Navala itself is maintained as an "authentic" Fijian village -- every building in it is a "bure" built by traditional means. Upon entering the village, you're greeted by a guide, a woman of the village who is your official escort for as long as you stay. We walked around the village, checked out some houses, met a lot of people (all of whom wanted their picture taken), and eventually found one of the sub-chiefs to accept my US$30 in tribute (which they supposedly use to keep the village in good shape). He was sleeping when we found him, which I hear is pretty normal.

Also, fwiw, it was interesting to observe the interactions between my Indian-Fijian cab driver and the Fijian-Fijian residents of the village. There are considerable tensions between the two ethnicities. My cab driver and my escort seemed mutually curious about one another and while their exchanges were absolutely pleasant, it was clear and understood that my cab driver wasn't allowed to enter the village (instead he waited for me outside the gate).

I don't know if the photo itself is quite there. I would've liked if the roof of one of the bures could have intersected the ridgeline maybe. And somehow I'm never excited about photos that are predominantly green and brown -- some red (or similar) in the foreground would've been good I think. It also would've been nice to get a person or two in the shot just to get some perspective.

Next time, I guess.

Thanks for checking out the photo.

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