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? Australia
What made you want to go to Solomon Islands? this website
Did you go alone or in company? in company
Arriving in Solomon Islands
When did you arrive in Solomon Islands? October 2012
Did you encounter any bureaucratic difficulties? no
What was your first impression after arrival? Humid and rainy
Living in Solomon Islands
What did positively surprise you? The fresh, great priced fish and the very welcoming people.
What did negatively surprise you? [-]
What took longest to get used to? Not having every investigation or medication available to you when needed.
What did you miss most in Solomon Islands? [-]
What should you have brought along? More books and entertainment, sunscreen and after sun spray. Hospital supplies - dressings, BP cuffs, steths etc.
What did you do to prevent malaria? Doxycycline + repellent + mosquito net
Place and province where you spent most of your time? Lata, Temotu Province
Other places/provinces where you stayed? [-]
Where did you stay? Rotary Guesthouse
How long did you stay at each location? 5 weeks
How much did you pay for each? SBD 150
Where did you usually eat? Fresh fish, local fruit and vegetable cooked ourselves or by the housegirls
What did you typically pay for a normal meal? SBD 55
What local food/beverage did you like most? Bush Lime
What local food/beverage did you like least? Santa Cruz apples
Mobile phone services
If you brought along a mobile phone, which services did you successfully use? Voice and SMS
Comments? Only have Telekom in Temotu Province
Money matters
Used a Visa debit card to get cash and cash at ATMs
Comments? It is easiest to bring cash and exchange at the airport for SBD. No ATM working at Lata, so get all cash out in Honiara.
Working in Solomon Islands
How did you usually go to work? 10 minutes walk
Where did you work? Lata Hospital
What was your occupation? Medical Student
What were your working days and hours? 4-6 hours per day
What was particularly difficult in regard to your work? [-]
Did you feel accepted by the locals? yes
What did you usually do in your spare time after work? Go to the beach, fresh water source, read books
Questions for medical trainees of all levels (students to registrars)
How was the supervision? adequate
Comments There was a change of Dr halfway through our elective and the hospital and us were doctorless for 1 week.
How was the teaching? adequate
Comments Learning was encouraged and we were invited to present a topic at the hospital's weekly clinical meeting.
Leaving Solomon Islands and looking back
When did you leave Solomon Islands? November 2012
How long was your stay? 5 weeks
How do you judge the length of your stay? just about right
What did you learn from the locals? working by Solomon Time
Your advice to prospective visitors? Expect a different kind of medicine that is very laid back,
What did you miss most when back at home again? The friendly staff and patients at the hospital.
What did you enjoy most when back at home again? Hot showers, my own bed with no mosquito net.
Would you go back for another stay? Yes.
Estimated total cost of your stay (including travel costs)? AUD 2,300
Additional comments? Keep asking to be shown around the island, a visit to the local volcano (Tinakula) was a highlight. There is some good snorkling around Luova Beach. Try and bring as many medical supplies as you can get your hands on - the nurses and Dr will be forever grateful - they are very short supplied in everything! The guesthouse I stayed in was clean, had running water and electricity. Once it was dark we would play cards or read books, listen to music on our iPods. Visit the local markets daily to find some good fruit and vegetable, it can be very variable every day to what you might find. Definitely get some fresh tuna from the local fishermen - delicious.

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