I was trained near Hilo in the summer of 1968 before going to Philippines – wonderful experience.
My wife, Sue and I trained in Honohina on the Big Island for the first Peace Corps group to go to Fiji in the Fall of 1967. It was a terrific experience living in an old sugar camp, waking each morning to the Ninole School in the dark for classes, hitch-hiking to see volcano eruptions in the middle of the night, or for R&R at Hapuna on the weekend. You would just stand by the side of the road, and poeple would stop and pick you up. Often they woould go out of there way to take you back, or make a detour via their home to provide you a meal. I and the dozen ag and co-op volunteers spent three wonderful weeks in Waipio with our Fijian language instructors. It was a life-changing experience.
I had the good fortune, after our two years in Fiji to work as a cross-cultural trainer in for the last year and a half of Hilo based Peace Corps Training Center (then known as the Center for Cross-Cultural Training and Research) on programs going to Fiji, Micronesia, and Korea. What was beautiful was the sense of community among all those who worked for the CCCTR, whether they were administrators, gardeners, cooks, teachers, psychologists, or trainees. We built friendships that have remained for a life-time — over 40 years at this point for me. For that reason I make every effort to attend reunions even when not living in Hawaii.