Answers to our Questionnaire for Visitors of Solomon Islands

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Visitor
Sex? female
Profession/occupation? kindergarten teacher
Home country? Switzerland
What made you want to go to Solomon Islands? I wanted to accompany my partner
Arriving in Solomon Islands
When did you arrive in Solomon Islands? May 2003
Did you encounter any bureaucratic difficulties? no
What was your first impression after arrival? a lot of people just standing around and waiting...
Living in Solomon Islands
What did positively surprise you? openness and warmheartedness of the locals
What did negatively surprise you? dirt and litter in Honiara
What took longest to get used to? Few things work out the way you want them to from the beginning
What did you miss most in Solomon Islands? cervelats (Swiss sausages), Bünderplatte (Swiss meat dish), Linzertorte (cake) with coffee
What should you have brought along? an ant trap and blistering ointment (Zugsalbe in German)
What did you do to prevent malaria? Lariam prophylaxis
Place and province where you spent most of your time? Honiara, Honiara-City
Where did you stay? Transitflat, Seventh-day Adventist compound
How long did you stay at each location? 6 weeks
How much did you pay for each? SBD 2,250 total
Where did you usually eat? home, hospital cafeteria, Seoul Cafeteria (restaurant)
What did you typically pay for a normal meal? SBD 10 to 15
What local food/beverage did you like most? fresh fruit and vegetables, fish
What local food/beverage did you like least? meat, I couldn't eat some of it
Working in Solomon Islands
How did you usually go to work? by bus
Where did you work? NRH, children's department
What was your occupation? teaching and working with the children
What were your working days and hours? 8 to 12 am, occasionally in the afternoon
What was particularly difficult in regard to your work? finding out what is desired; some language (Pijin) difficulties with the kids
Did you feel accepted by the locals? yes
What did you usually do in your spare time after work? nothing much, there isn't a lot you can do, often went to the Internet Cafe
Leaving Solomon Islands and looking back
When did you leave Solomon Islands? August 2003
How long was your stay? 2 months
How do you judge the length of your stay? just about right
What did you learn from the locals? to be patient
Your advice to prospective visitors? inform yourself, keep your expectations low, be flexible
What did you miss most when back at home again? the warm climate, the informal and uncomplicated way of life
What did you enjoy most when back at home again? leisure activities, food, friends, and family
Would you go back for another stay? yes
Estimated total cost of your stay (including travel costs)? CHF 10,000 (including the fixed costs at home)
Additional comments? It was an intense experience which left its mark on us. Our expectations changed during the stay: when we arrived we hoped to achieve great things, but later were simply glad for every experience we made. It was great!

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