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? browsing the web
Arriving in Solomon Islands
When did you arrive in Solomon Islands? July 2006
Did you encounter any bureaucratic difficulties? no
What was your first impression after arrival? It was a very big culture shock.
Living in Solomon Islands
What did positively surprise you? How welcoming all the locals are. They will go out of their way for you.
What did negatively surprise you? How dirty the streets of Honiara were
What took longest to get used to? Epic walks around the town.
What did you miss most in Solomon Islands? Television. Even the little huts usually have a TV, but not Kiwi-House.
What should you have brought along? More clothes, as some got stolen.
What did you do to prevent malaria? Lariam, that was all. I had a net and spray but didn't bother using it. [Please see note.]
Place and province where you spent most of your time? Honiara, Honiara-City
Other places/provinces where you stayed? Gizo, Western Province
Where did you stay? Kiwi-House and Gizo Hotel
How long did you stay at each location? 7 weeks in Honiara and 2 in Gizo
How much did you pay for each? SBD 150 for the whole stay in Kiwi-House, and SBD 500 for 2 weeks in Gizo
Where did you usually eat? Cooked in Kiwi-House but tried out all the restaurants
What did you typically pay for a normal meal? SBD 60
What local food/beverage did you like most? the mangos from the market
What local food/beverage did you like least? betel nut
Mobile phone services
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Money matters
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Working in Solomon Islands
How did you usually go to work? walk
Where did you work? NRH in surgical department and also in A&E
What was your occupation? medical student
What were your working days and hours? Most days at least until lunchtime, A&E was busiest in the evenings.
What was particularly difficult in regard to your work? Language barrier with locals.
Did you feel accepted by the locals? yes
What did you usually do in your spare time after work? Long walks around the town. Became friends with many people in the villages.
Questions for medical trainees of all levels (students to registrars)
How was the supervision? adequate
How was the teaching? very good
Leaving Solomon Islands and looking back
When did you leave Solomon Islands? September 2006
How long was your stay? 9 weeks
How do you judge the length of your stay? too long
What did you learn from the locals? How to skim rocks across the river!
Your advice to prospective visitors? You only need to go just out of the centre to meet awesome people in clean villages.
What did you miss most when back at home again? The friends we made
What did you enjoy most when back at home again? Hot shower
Would you go back for another stay? yes
Estimated total cost of your stay (including travel costs)? AU$ 3,000
Additional comments?

Note: To each his own, but not using a net and spray is highly inadvisable! No prophylaxis will give you 100% protection except not being bitten by a mosquito!

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