Answers to our Questionnaire for Visitors of Solomon Islands

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Visitor
Sex? female
Profession/occupation? Medical Student
Medical school year or years of experience since graduation? 4
Home country? Northern Ireland
What made you want to go to Solomon Islands? Other elective student from my university had visited on elective.
Did you go alone or in company? in company
Arriving in Solomon Islands
When did you arrive in Solomon Islands? July 2006
Did you encounter any bureaucratic difficulties? no
What was your first impression after arrival? Much more remote than I expected and much more basic
Living in Solomon Islands
What did positively surprise you? People's love of being friendly!
What did negatively surprise you? Bureaucracy and lack of food that I like, native to me
What took longest to get used to? The weather! Very humid
What did you miss most in Solomon Islands? My foods from home and calling my family regularly
What should you have brought along? more clothes, more medical supplies, more washing powder!
What did you do to prevent malaria? took antimalarials, repellant
Place and province where you spent most of your time? Honiara, Honiara-City
Other places/provinces where you stayed? -
Where did you stay? Initially guesthouse - too small for study and then hotel at negotiated rate in staff quarters.
How long did you stay at each location? 1 month
How much did you pay for each? can't remember, approx. GBP 500? per month between 3
Where did you usually eat? fruit from market, expensive stuff from lime lounge cafe
What did you typically pay for a normal meal? GBP 0.50 to 10.00 - expensive for European/Australian food.
What local food/beverage did you like most? pancakes in the hospital! Yummy!
What local food/beverage did you like least? Solbrew! hahah
Mobile phone services
If you brought along a mobile phone, which services did you successfully use? -
Comments? Mine didn't work
Money matters
Used American Express USD Travellers Cheques to get cash
Used Visa debit card to get cash at ATMs
Comments? -
Working in Solomon Islands
How did you usually go to work? walk
Where did you work? NRH O&G
What was your occupation? medical student
What were your working days and hours? 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday
What was particularly difficult in regard to your work? heat and deliveries
Did you feel accepted by the locals? not sure
What did you usually do in your spare time after work? Sunbathe, learnt to dive, swim at Honiara Hotel pool
Questions for medical trainees of all levels (students to registrars)
How was the supervision? adequate
Comments -
How was the teaching? good
Comments -
Leaving Solomon Islands and looking back
When did you leave Solomon Islands? August 2006
How long was your stay? 1 month
How do you judge the length of your stay? just about right
What did you learn from the locals? How to be happy and friendly despite any situation!
Your advice to prospective visitors? Be prepared for difficult living conditions and not much to do in evenings but lots to learn from lovely people.
What did you miss most when back at home again? The people.
What did you enjoy most when back at home again? Food
Would you go back for another stay? yes
Estimated total cost of your stay (including travel costs)? Difficult to say as was other places also
Additional comments? Very difficult to get around with little access to cars etc. If you want to go to the provinces, arrange it in advance. Also caution walking around on your own ladies, like in any city.

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