Answers to our Questionnaire for Visitors of Solomon Islands

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Sex? female
Profession/occupation? medical student
Home country? Switzerland
What made you want to go to Solomon Islands? browsing the web
Arriving in Solomon Islands
When did you arrive in Solomon Islands? September 2002
Did you encounter any bureaucratic difficulties? yes, visa (see note)
What was your first impression after arrival? heat and humidity
Living in Solomon Islands
What did positively surprise you? friendly people
What did negatively surprise you? rubish in the streets
What took longest to get used to? to really understand Pijin-English [= Solomon Islands flavour of pidgin English]
What did you miss most in Solomon Islands? possibility to practice spare-time activities on your own as a woman
What should you have brought along? more Swiss chocolate
What did you do to prevent malaria? prophylaxis with Malarone
Place and province where you spent most of your time? Honiara, Honiara-City
Where did you stay? guesthouse and home sitting
How long did you stay at each location? 5 weeks in guesthouse and 3 weeks home sitting
How much did you pay for each? SBD 100 per night [guesthouse]
Where did you usually eat? dinner and breakfast at home, lunch in [hospital] cafeteria or in Chinatown
What did you typically pay for a normal meal? SBD 5
What local food/beverage did you like most? pineapple and tuna fish
What local food/beverage did you like least? Solbrew
Working in Solomon Islands
How did you usually go to work? on foot and by bus
Where did you work? NRH
What was your occupation? medical student [elective]
What were your working days and hours? Mon-Fri, 6-10 hours a day, and sometimes also on weekends
What was particularly difficult in regard to your work? communication with the patients
Did you feel accepted by the locals? yes
What did you usually do in your spare time after work? shopping on market, cooking at home, reading books, discussing with my colleague
Leaving Solomon Islands and looking back
When did you leave Solomon Islands? November 2002
How long was your stay? 10.5 weeks
How do you judge the length of your stay? too short
What did you learn from the locals? to be patient and cheerful even in difficult situations
Your advice to prospective visitors? to be open, curious, interested, but not naive
What did you miss most when back at home again? sun, heat, the smile of the locals, the atmosphere in the hospital
What did you enjoy most when back at home again? family and boyfriend, chocolate, shower
Would you go back for another stay? yes
Estimated total cost of your stay (including travel costs)? CHF 5000
Additional comments? It was one of the greatest experiences in my life and I am very thankfull for it. But it was a time with ups and downs and I am very lucky to have been there with my two friends from Switzerland.

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