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? 5
Home country? UK
What made you want to go to Solomon Islands? browsing the web
Did you go alone or in company? in company
Arriving in Solomon Islands
When did you arrive in Solomon Islands? August 2010
Did you encounter any bureaucratic difficulties? no
What was your first impression after arrival? beautiful place, friendly people
Living in Solomon Islands
What did positively surprise you? everyone waves! it's lovely, only 1 doc on the island that I went to - Lata. Utupua - no electricity, toilets, nothing!
What did negatively surprise you? not much! maybe cost of living as a student was much but not too bad!
What took longest to get used to? having lots of responsibility on ward as a medical student! the wake up call from the rooster!
What did you miss most in Solomon Islands? hot shower!
What should you have brought along? extension lead with more plugs sockets!
What did you do to prevent malaria? doxycycline, net
Place and province where you spent most of your time? Lata, Temotu Province
Other places/provinces where you stayed? Utupua, Temotu Province
Where did you stay? guesthouse
How long did you stay at each location? Lata - 3 weeks, Utupua - 1 week
How much did you pay for each? GBP 450
Where did you usually eat? fish, noodles, crackers with 3 in 1 coffee mix!! cabbage.
What did you typically pay for a normal meal? GBP 2.00
What local food/beverage did you like most? coconut juice, kumera(sweet potato), fresh fish!!
What local food/beverage did you like least? taro
Mobile phone services
If you brought along a mobile phone, which services did you successfully use? -
Comments? -
Money matters
Used a debit card issued by NatWest to get cash at ATMs.
Comments? -
Working in Solomon Islands
How did you usually go to work? walk
Where did you work? Lata Hospital
What was your occupation? medical student
What were your working days and hours? flexible - most days 8am to 5pm
What was particularly difficult in regard to your work? feeling out of depth sometimes as no doctor would be around
Did you feel accepted by the locals? yes
What did you usually do in your spare time after work? lots - fishing, visiting local areas, beach, wharf chill out time, making friends
Questions for medical trainees of all levels (students to registrars)
How was the supervision? loose
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? just over 4 weeks
How do you judge the length of your stay? too short
What did you learn from the locals? lots of local practices, pidgin, making an oven, tree names!
Your advice to prospective visitors? definitely go! it is unbelievable - best experience of my life so far!
What did you miss most when back at home again? the people, waving at everyone, local food, fish! the weather!
What did you enjoy most when back at home again? hot showers! not sweating so much!
Would you go back for another stay? Anytime!
Estimated total cost of your stay (including travel costs)? GBP 1,400
Additional comments? Truly the best experience - got to see some beautiful things - the boat journey to Utupua in the night was unforgettable - the stars, saw the moon rise! fantastic and Utupua - slept in a leaf hut, treated patients, taught in the school, swam in waterfalls, travelled in canoes! spectacular!!

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