Answers to our Questionnaire for Visitors of Solomon Islands

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Sex? male
Profession/occupation? medical student
Home country? Germany
What made you want to go to Solomon Islands? browsing the web
Arriving in Solomon Islands
When did you arrive in Solomon Islands? July 2005
Did you encounter any bureaucratic difficulties? no
What was your first impression after arrival? This is a safe place.
Living in Solomon Islands
What did positively surprise you? The hospital is doing your laundry! Everything you need is available in Solomon Islands.
What did negatively surprise you? hardly opportunities for doing any kind of sports
What took longest to get used to? nothing
What did you miss most in Solomon Islands? being able to drink tap water (Tap water should be boiled before use!)
What should you have brought along? I brought too much because I thought it would be difficult to buy things in Honiara.
What did you do to prevent malaria? 100 mg Doxycyclin daily
Place and province where you spent most of your time? Honiara, Honiara-City
Other places/provinces where you stayed? [-]
Where did you stay? United Church Resthouse, Kiwi-House
How long did you stay at each location? 2 weeks, 3 months
How much did you pay for each? Resthouse SBD 65/night, Kiwi-House SBD 150 once
Where did you usually eat? home, operating theatre, hospital cafeteria
What did you typically pay for a normal meal? SBD 15
What local food/beverage did you like most? pineapples (fantastically sweet), coconut juice
What local food/beverage did you like least? -
Mobile phone services
If you brought along a mobile phone, which services did you successfully use? none
Comments? Before I went to Solomon Islands I called my mobile phone company. They affirmed my cell phone would work but - at least while I was there - it did not. The cell phones of all my British colleagues did not work either. I don´t know why.
Money matters
What did you use to get cash at banks and/or automatic teller machines (ATMs)? Have you been able to make cashless payments for certain goods/services?
Bank Card issued by my German bank to get cash at ATMs
Credit Card issued by Mastercard to get cash and pay for goods/services
Working in Solomon Islands
How did you usually go to work? walk
Where did you work? NRH, Department of General Surgery
What was your occupation? I&Ds [Incision and Drainage], removal of dermoid cysts and lipomas, split skin grafts...
What were your working days and hours? 7:45am until 1pm on Monday and Wednesday, and until 4pm to 6pm on the other days
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? reading about what the doctors told me, shopping, going out
Leaving Solomon Islands and looking back
When did you leave Solomon Islands? September 2005
How long was your stay? 14 weeks
How do you judge the length of your stay? just about right
What did you learn from the locals? fantastic teaching during the ward rounds with the consultants, doing operations
Your advice to prospective visitors? Do it!
What did you miss most when back at home again? The doctors I have been working with.
What did you enjoy most when back at home again? pavements are not so crowded, possibility of doing sports
Would you go back for another stay? Maybe.
Estimated total cost of your stay (including travel costs)? EUR 3,400
Additional comments?

Medicine: If you want to do and learn surgery: I think the NRH is one of the best places in the world for it. Stay at least 3 months. The longer you stay the more you will be accepted by the locals and the more things you will learn to do.

General: Honiara is a safe place. It´s not more dangerous than any European city of the same size.

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