Answers to our Questionnaire for Visitors of Solomon Islands

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Visitor
Sex? female
Profession/occupation? MD
Home country? Switzerland (born in Germany)
What made you want to go to Solomon Islands? talking to a previous visitor
Arriving in Solomon Islands
When did you arrive in Solomon Islands? May 1998
Did you encounter any bureaucratic difficulties? yes, but they were solved for me by helpful coworkers
What was your first impression after arrival? heat and friendly smiling people
Living in Solomon Islands
What did positively surprise you? equanimity and joie de vivre even in difficult situations
What did negatively surprise you? the widespread alcoholism especially in Honiara and its negative effects
What took longest to get used to? inactivity and resignation when activism seemed necessary (at least from my point of view)
What did you miss most in Solomon Islands? my family and friends in Europe
What should you have brought along? I didn't miss anything material
What did you do to prevent malaria? avoid being outside during twilight, repellent
Place and province where you spent most of your time? Honiara, Honiara-City
Where did you stay? Koala Ridge (house for short-time doctors)
How long did you stay at each location? 10 months
How much did you pay for each? -
Where did you usually eat? at home and in the hospital cafeteria
What did you typically pay for a normal meal? about SBD 5 (if I remember correctly)
What local food/beverage did you like most? all fruits, vegetables (cooked in coconut milk) and fish
What local food/beverage did you like least? meat
Working in Solomon Islands
How did you usually go to work? by car
Where did you work? NRH
What was your occupation? surgical registrar
What were your working days and hours? [-]
What was particularly difficult in regard to your work? the partly different attitude to work
Did you feel accepted by the locals? yes
What did you usually do in your spare time after work? jogging, going for a walk; on free weekends: Bonegi Beach or Marava
Leaving Solomon Islands and looking back
When did you leave Solomon Islands? April 1999
How long was your stay? 11 months
How do you judge the length of your stay? just about right
What did you learn from the locals? to work with minimal resources
Your advice to prospective visitors? grab this great opportunity for your professional and personal advancement
What did you miss most when back at home again? the friendliness of the people and the sea
What did you enjoy most when back at home again? family, friends and mountains
Would you go back for another stay? yes
Estimated total cost of your stay (including travel costs)? about CHF 8000
Additional comments? it was the best of my 10 years of working life and one oft the most beautiful of my life to boot

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