New Member: John Penisten

John is a long-time resident of Hilo, Hawaii. He is a retired community college instructor and a published travel writer and photographer as well as Hawaii guidebook author. His travel writing interests range from Hawaii to the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

“I’ve known about BATW for some time but only recently thought it’d be good to apply for membership,” says John.  “During the last few months while waiting out the pandemic, I published my book Green Hills and Blue Lagoons: A Peace Corps Memoir.  It was something of a long- awaited project than finally got done. The book details the adventures I had while serving in the Peace Corps in the Fiji Islands, South Pacific, in 1968-69.

And I also created my own travel blog, The Hawaii TraveLog ( So, I wanted to publicize and promote my book and the blog at the same time. I thought BATW would be a good option for getting some exposure for both.  I especially want to promote my book as I have promised the Friends of Fiji organization based in Washington D.C. that I would donate all profits from the book’s sales to them. The Friends of Fiji is a group of mostly former Peace Corps Volunteers who served in Fiji.  They support ongoing community development and service projects benefiting the people of Fiji.  So, I am hoping that my membership in BATW will indirectly continue to help the people of Fiji. I am honored to accept membership in BATW.”




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2 Responses

  1. Here mai, John, from another South Pacific island, the North Island of Aotearoa.

  2. Sa bula vinaka, John.
    I just finished reading Green Hills and Blue Lagoons. Oh, the memories. I was Fiji IV, and spent three years (1970-72) teaching school on Taveuni. My first two years were at Central Indian School in Naqara, on the edge of Somosom. My final years was at the mission school at Wairiki.
    Moce mada.

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