Answers to our Questionnaire for Visitors of Solomon Islands

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Visitor
Sex? female
Profession/occupation? MD
Home country? Switzerland
What made you want to go to Solomon Islands? reading an article
Arriving in Solomon Islands
When did you arrive in Solomon Islands? January 2004
Did you encounter any bureaucratic difficulties? yes, delayed working permission, but they didn't put me in jail!
What was your first impression after arrival? happy and beautiful people
Living in Solomon Islands
What did positively surprise you? how content and happy people were
What did negatively surprise you? the polluted sea, lacking infrastructure
What took longest to get used to? Solomon Time (that means everybody is always very late)
What did you miss most in Solomon Islands? friends and family
What should you have brought along? laptop (computer)
What did you do to prevent malaria? Lariam
Place and province where you spent most of your time? Honiara, Honiara-City
Other places/provinces where you stayed? Taro, Choiseul
Where did you stay? I rented a house in Honiara / stayed at the RAMSI place in Taro
How long did you stay at each location? 5 months / 1 month
How much did you pay for each? SBD 2,000 per month for the house in Honiara
Where did you usually eat? at home
What did you typically pay for a normal meal? SBD 10
What local food/beverage did you like most? coconut milk, fresh fish, sweet potatoe and cooking banana
What local food/beverage did you like least? wild pig
Working in Solomon Islands
How did you usually go to work? by bus
Where did you work? NRH and Taro Hospital
What was your occupation? registrar
What were your working days and hours? 8am to 4.30pm normal day / 8am to 8pm on call, rarely late or called in at night
What was particularly difficult in regard to your work? items and specimen getting lost, Solomon Time
Did you feel accepted by the locals? yes
What did you usually do in your spare time after work? reading, sometimes meeting people and having a drink
Leaving Solomon Islands and looking back
When did you leave Solomon Islands? July 2004
How long was your stay? 6 months
How do you judge the length of your stay? too short
What did you learn from the locals? how to make the best out of everything
Your advice to prospective visitors? have an open mind and be prepared for difficulties
What did you miss most when back at home again? laughing people, spectacular diving
What did you enjoy most when back at home again? going out to cultural events in the evening!
Would you go back for another stay? yes
Estimated total cost of your stay (including travel costs)? CHF 9,000 - 10,000 (including a lot of diving)
Additional comments? I think it is a very helpful and good experience for young doctors to work in a poor country for a while. It will change your outlook on your professional as well as private life.

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