Answers to our Questionnaire for Visitors of Solomon Islands

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Sex? male
Profession/occupation? MD
Home country? Switzerland
What made you want to go to Solomon Islands? reading an article
Arriving in Solomon Islands
When did you arrive in Solomon Islands? April 2003
Did you encounter any bureaucratic difficulties? yes, getting work permit and to extend the visa
What was your first impression after arrival? heat, humidity, friendly local people, one very unfriendly volunteer worker
Living in Solomon Islands
What did positively surprise you? to deal with local people (patients and employees), they are open and friendly
What did negatively surprise you? behavior of some volunteers
What took longest to get used to? there's not really much you can do in Honiara with your big amount of sparetime
What did you miss most in Solomon Islands? certain food of my home country
What should you have brought along? a finished education as an orthopedic surgeon
What did you do to prevent malaria? mosquito net, long-sleeved clothes towards evening and after sunset
Place and province where you spent most of your time? Honiara, Honiara-City
Where did you stay? Kiwi-House and Travellers Motel
How long did you stay at each location? 4 days and 3.5 months
How much did you pay for each? Travellers Motel: SBD 1,400/month
Where did you usually eat? lunch: hospital cafeteria, dinner: cooking on our own a very simple meal
What did you typically pay for a normal meal? SBD 15 - 20 for lunch in a restaurant
What local food/beverage did you like most? fish, coconut, rice
What local food/beverage did you like least? -
Working in Solomon Islands
How did you usually go to work? walk
Where did you work? NRH
What was your occupation? registrar
What were your working days and hours? 5 days per week, most of the time only in the morning
What was particularly difficult in regard to your work? the frequent absence of e.g. drugs, oxygen, plaster, power
Did you feel accepted by the locals? yes
What did you usually do in your spare time after work? write emails or document patients on the laptop
Leaving Solomon Islands and looking back
When did you leave Solomon Islands? August 2003
How long was your stay? 4 months
How do you judge the length of your stay? just about right (at the end it's always too short)
What did you learn from the locals? smile, take it easy (it's hard to practice it in Switzerland at work)
Your advice to prospective visitors? do not expect too much
What did you miss most when back at home again? the sea (although you can't take a bath in the sea in Honiara)
What did you enjoy most when back at home again? the food we are used to
Would you go back for another stay? yes
Estimated total cost of your stay (including travel costs)? CHF 10,000 (for two persons)
Additional comments? [-]

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