Answers to our Questionnaire for Visitors of Solomon Islands

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Sex? female
Profession/occupation? Medical Student
Home country? England
What made you want to go to Solomon Islands? browsing the web
Did you go alone or in company? alone
Arriving in Solomon Islands
When did you arrive in Solomon Islands? December 2006
Did you encounter any bureaucratic difficulties? no
What was your first impression after arrival? Honiara is very hot and very dusty, taxi driver was very helpful
Living in Solomon Islands
What did positively surprise you? people generally very friendly and keen to help; being invited to local events
What did negatively surprise you? levels of alcohol use and domestic violence seen in hospitals
What took longest to get used to? the heat, planning not to do things in middle of the day
What did you miss most in Solomon Islands? friends and family
What should you have brought along? more high factor suncream as expensive to buy there, penknife
What did you do to prevent malaria? Doxycycline, mosquito net
Place and province where you spent most of your time? Honiara, Honiara-City
Other places/provinces where you stayed? Gizo, Western Province
Where did you stay? Kiwi-House in Honiara, Phoebe's Resthouse in Gizo
How long did you stay at each location? 3 weeks each
How much did you pay for each? SBD 150 total for Kiwi-House, SBD 65/night for Phoebe's
Where did you usually eat? cooked at home or hotel and Chinese restaurants
What did you typically pay for a normal meal? SBD 15 at home, about SBD 70 when eating out
What local food/beverage did you like most? fresh bonito (tuna) and coconut bread
What local food/beverage did you like least? SolBrew and slippery cabbage
Mobile phone services
If you brought along a mobile phone, which services did you successfully use? -
Comments? couldn't get any mobile service
Money matters
Used American Express Travellers Cheques in AUD to get cash
Used Visa card to get cash at ATMs
Comments? -
Working in Solomon Islands
How did you usually go to work? walk
Where did you work? O&G at NRH, Gizo Hospital
What was your occupation? medical student
What were your working days and hours? Mon-Fri 8am -4pm
What was particularly difficult in regard to your work? unable to make use of resources due to lack of basic supplies e.g. ultrasound gel
Did you feel accepted by the locals? yes
What did you usually do in your spare time after work? swim at Honiara Hotel, go to the beaches, DVDs on laptop, nights out at Yacht Club
Questions for medical trainees of all levels (students to registrars)
How was the supervision? loose
Comments little supervision at Gizo due to lack of doctors at time
How was the teaching? adequate
Comments good teaching at NRH but little at Gizo due to lack of staff
Leaving Solomon Islands and looking back
When did you leave Solomon Islands? January 2007
How long was your stay? 6 weeks
How do you judge the length of your stay? just about right
What did you learn from the locals? managing patients without lots of investigations, to cook crab and dance island style
Your advice to prospective visitors? Don't panic and give yourself a few days to acclimatise. If someone invites you to something - go.
What did you miss most when back at home again? The relaxed pace of life, the view and the friends I made there.
What did you enjoy most when back at home again? Having a hot shower and wearing really clean clothes.
Would you go back for another stay? yes
Estimated total cost of your stay (including travel costs)? GBP 2,000
Additional comments? -

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