Answers to our Questionnaire for Visitors of Solomon Islands

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Sex? female
Profession/occupation? Medical Student
Medical school year or years of experience since graduation? 3
Home country? UK
What made you want to go to Solomon Islands? talking to a previous visitor
Did you go alone or in company? in company
Arriving in Solomon Islands
When did you arrive in Solomon Islands? July 2010
Did you encounter any bureaucratic difficulties? no
What was your first impression after arrival? More of a developing country than I was expecting, quite similar to parts of Africa. The people were lovely and so helpful.
Living in Solomon Islands
What did positively surprise you? I wouldn't know where to start! The number of expats was surprising!
What did negatively surprise you? Bed bugs! And it was more expensive than I thought it would be.
What took longest to get used to? No running water in Kiwi-House. Hot weather!
What did you miss most in Solomon Islands? Certain foods. Yoghurt! Showers.
What should you have brought along? a torch, more insect repellant and suncream
What did you do to prevent malaria? took malaria prophylaxis tablets, used mosquito net and bug spray
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 (hospital med student accommodation), Phoebe's Resthouse
How long did you stay at each location? 4.5 weeks and 2 weeks in Gizo
How much did you pay for each? -
Where did you usually eat? home and at restaurants
What did you typically pay for a normal meal? -
What local food/beverage did you like most? Pineapples, fish, pumpkin! Solbrew pretty good!
What local food/beverage did you like least? -
Mobile phone services
If you brought along a mobile phone, which services did you successfully use? voice and SMS
Comments? With a Solomon Telekom SIM card I could not receive SMS from UK but could send. Phonecalls were fine both ways but very expensive.
Money matters
Used a travel cash card in GBP issued by the post office to get cash at ATMs and pay for goods and services.
Comments? -
Working in Solomon Islands
How did you usually go to work? walk
Where did you work? NRH and Gizo Hospital. obs&gynae, A&E, surgery
What was your occupation? medical student
What were your working days and hours? Whatever I wanted. I went in most days at least until lunch time.
What was particularly difficult in regard to your work? The heat in the wards, especially on labour ward! Frustrating accepting the lack of equipment in the hospital.
Did you feel accepted by the locals? yes
What did you usually do in your spare time after work? Go to Honiara Hotel pool / go for dinner / into town / internet cafe. Gizo: diving, visit Sanbis/Fatboys.
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? September 2010
How long was your stay? 7 weeks
How do you judge the length of your stay? just about right
What did you learn from the locals? Lots. About Solomon Islands culture.
Your advice to prospective visitors? Make the most of the hospital - there are awesome opportunities to be had.
What did you miss most when back at home again? The weather! The friendliness of people, the chilled out lifestyle, the music!
What did you enjoy most when back at home again? Showers.
Would you go back for another stay? Anytime!
Estimated total cost of your stay (including travel costs)? GBP 1,500 (includes a lot of diving!)
Additional comments? Would strongly recommend the Solomon Islands as an elective destination, to Honiara and to Gizo. Both were very different but equally rewarding.

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