Answers to our Questionnaire for Visitors of Solomon Islands

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Sex? male
Profession/occupation? medical student
Home country? UK
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? no
What was your first impression after arrival? The heat and humidity!
Living in Solomon Islands
What did positively surprise you? How friendly all the locals were
What did negatively surprise you? How unclean Honiara was
What took longest to get used to? The heat! Pijin english was a challenge!
What did you miss most in Solomon Islands? Family and friends
What should you have brought along? More books!
What did you do to prevent malaria? Doxycycline 100mg o.d, mosquito repellent
Place and province where you spent most of your time? Gizo, Western Province
Where did you stay? Phoebe's Guest House
How long did you stay at each location? 5 weeks
How much did you pay for each? SBD 50 a night
Where did you usually eat? At home, Gizo hotel, PT 109, Gizo Nest, Curry Hut!
What did you typically pay for a normal meal? Between SBD 6 and SBD 40
What local food/beverage did you like most? SB, Solbrew, Bush Lime, fresh tuna, Ngali nuts
What local food/beverage did you like least? Chilli tuna!
Working in Solomon Islands
How did you usually go to work? walk
Where did you work? Gizo hospital, all wards and departments
What was your occupation? Medical student/honorary doctor!
What were your working days and hours? Mon-Fri: 8:30am - 4pm. Somedays until late if emergencies
What was particularly difficult in regard to your work? Being left to your own devices, limited Pijin, very few drugs to prescribe
Did you feel accepted by the locals? yes
What did you usually do in your spare time after work? Scuba diving, snorkelling, reading, cards, drinking!
Leaving Solomon Islands and looking back
When did you leave Solomon Islands? June 2003
How long was your stay? 6 weeks
How do you judge the length of your stay? just about right
What did you learn from the locals? Solomon time!! Just relax, and don't get stressed!
Your advice to prospective visitors? Do it! Just go!
What did you miss most when back at home again? The weather, scuba, the people, patients.......all of it!
What did you enjoy most when back at home again? Getting my photos developed and reliving the memories wth friends!
Would you go back for another stay? Anytime!
Estimated total cost of your stay (including travel costs)? GBP 2,000
Additional comments? I would reccommend this elective to anyone who wants more responsibility and to feel useful! You really can make a difference to peoples lives, and they are amazingly friendly towards you. Nothing unpleasant (apart from the lack of handwashing facilities at the hospital......if you go, take a bottle of Betadine or Hibiscrub!) Enjoy!

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