Answers to our Questionnaire for Visitors of Solomon Islands

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Visitor
Sex? male
Profession/occupation? Medical student
Home country? Australia
What made you want to go to Solomon Islands? talking to a previous visitor
Arriving in Solomon Islands
When did you arrive in Solomon Islands? December 2005
Did you encounter any bureaucratic difficulties? no
What was your first impression after arrival? Very friendly
Living in Solomon Islands
What did positively surprise you? They had electricity & appliances!
What did negatively surprise you? town water & electricity stopping periodically
What took longest to get used to? heat & humidity
What did you miss most in Solomon Islands? [-]
What should you have brought along? digital camera!!
What did you do to prevent malaria? Mefloquine & repellant
Place and province where you spent most of your time? Honiara, Honiara-City
Other places/provinces where you stayed? none
Where did you stay? Seventh Day Adventist Mission compound
How long did you stay at each location? 4 weeks
How much did you pay for each? Uncertain - covered with scholarship (but heard it was not cheap)
Where did you usually eat? home (lunches in staff room)
What did you typically pay for a normal meal? about SBD 20 for fruits (most of food brought dried from home)
What local food/beverage did you like most? the fruits there are GREAT!
What local food/beverage did you like least? Open market cooked food didn't agree with my stomach
Mobile phone services
Did not use services - you need to pay big sum of money (I think more than SBD 100) to connect to Telekom
Money matters
brought cash, converted in Central Bank to Solomon Dollars
Working in Solomon Islands
How did you usually go to work? by bus
Where did you work? NRH, General surgical & orthopaedics wards
What was your occupation? student
What were your working days and hours? Monday - Friday, 7.45am till between 3 - 5pm
What was particularly difficult in regard to your work? starts early, otherwise great fun!
Did you feel accepted by the locals? yes
What did you usually do in your spare time after work? met up with local SDA church people
Leaving Solomon Islands and looking back
When did you leave Solomon Islands? January 2006
How long was your stay? 4 weeks
How do you judge the length of your stay? just about right
What did you learn from the locals? Pidgin English
Your advice to prospective visitors? Expect the best, be prepared for the worst - and be friendly!
What did you miss most when back at home again? The friends I met there, and their hospitality
What did you enjoy most when back at home again? catching up with family, celebrating birthday (belated!)
Would you go back for another stay? yes
Estimated total cost of your stay (including travel costs)? AUD 4,000
Additional comments? The hospital staff are great, so get to know them well! You get what you put in to this experience, so stick around at the hospital, and the surgeons will let you see and do things (and even show you around town!) It is a poor developing country, so don't expect first world standards.

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