To the east of the International Date Line lies an exquisite garland of islands known as Fiji. Dignified smiling people bid you "bula," or welcome, to their unspoiled homeland.
The bustling port town of Lautoka has a population of 44,000. It lies cradled on the western shores of Viti Levu, the largest of Fiji's 300 idyllic islands. Shop for shell jewelry, wood carvings, woven mats, basketry and masi, the traditional painted bark cloth. Or scour the market for exquisite Indian saris.
Not too far distant from our pier are field upon field of lush sugar cane, traditional villages and an orchid wonderland. As the islanders proudly claim, "Fiji is the way the world ought to be."