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? England
What made you want to go to Solomon Islands? reading an article
Did you go alone or in company? in company
Arriving in Solomon Islands
When did you arrive in Solomon Islands? August 2008
Did you encounter any bureaucratic difficulties? no
What was your first impression after arrival? It's a completely different world.
Living in Solomon Islands
What did positively surprise you? how friendly the people were
What did negatively surprise you? level of corruption and crime, how expensive it was
What took longest to get used to? the food
What did you miss most in Solomon Islands? hot showers, chocolate and watching a film
What should you have brought along? lots of books and music to keep you occupied and a good pair of walking boots for the treks
What did you do to prevent malaria? Malarone, nets at night and plenty of mosquito spray
Place and province where you spent most of your time? Honiara, Honiara-City
Other places/provinces where you stayed? Gizo, Munda, Western Province
Where did you stay? Kiwi-House, Phoebe's Resthouse
How long did you stay at each location? 7 weeks, 1 week
How much did you pay for each? At Kiwi-House it is meant to be SBD 50 a night. SBD 180 a night at Phoebe's but we had three in a room and so split the cost - its a tight squeeze though!
Where did you usually eat? home and local restaurants
What did you typically pay for a normal meal? SBD 100
What local food/beverage did you like most? local fish and fruit from the market, and the cakes from the bakery
What local food/beverage did you like least? you get very fed up of noodles
Mobile phone services
If you brought along a mobile phone, which services did you successfully use? SMS
Comments? You don't get any service, need to buy a chip out there if you want to use a phone.
Money matters
Used Travellers Cheques in AUD to get cash
Used Halifax debit card to get cash at ATMs
Comments? Take more money than you think you'll need. I used my debit card the whole time, it's fine and you don't get many charges.
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? 8.30am - 4.00pm Monday to Friday, but its really flexible
What was particularly difficult in regard to your work? the language barrier at first
Did you feel accepted by the locals? yes
What did you usually do in your spare time after work? go to Honiara Hotel pool or the beach
Questions for medical trainees of all levels (students to registrars)
How was the supervision? adequate
Comments -
How was the teaching? adequate
Comments You have to get involved and make the most of it. You get out of it what you put in.
Leaving Solomon Islands and looking back
When did you leave Solomon Islands? September 2008
How long was your stay? 8 weeks
How do you judge the length of your stay? just about right
What did you learn from the locals? to be relaxed
Your advice to prospective visitors? Don't have any expectations before you go... it takes a while to settle in but if you make an effort you will love it.
What did you miss most when back at home again? the heat! the sea, the amazing people
What did you enjoy most when back at home again? being back in civilisation
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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