Answers to our Questionnaire for Visitors of Solomon Islands

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Sex? male
Profession/occupation? Medical Student
Medical school year or years of experience since graduation? 6
Home country? Switzerland
What made you want to go to Solomon Islands? Lecture of Hermann Oberli
Did you go alone or in company? in company
Arriving in Solomon Islands
When did you arrive in Solomon Islands? September 2009
Did you encounter any bureaucratic difficulties? no
What was your first impression after arrival? Wow, not as underdeveloped as I thought.
Living in Solomon Islands
What did positively surprise you? Amicability of the Solomon Islanders, Honiara wasn't as dangerous as I read
What did negatively surprise you? It wasn't as adventurous as imagined.
What took longest to get used to? Pijin
What did you miss most in Solomon Islands? A shower with a strong jet and a washing machine.
What should you have brought along? More pens (you always "lose" them to the docs :), netbook (for journal, photos, email), pictorial dictionary
What did you do to prevent malaria? Lariam (Mefloquin)
Place and province where you spent most of your time? Honiara, Honiara-City
Other places/provinces where you stayed? -
Where did you stay? Kiwi-House
How long did you stay at each location? 7 weeks
How much did you pay for each? SBD 200 total
Where did you usually eat? lunch at the kiosk near the hospital, dinner at the Kiwi-House
What did you typically pay for a normal meal? SBD 15 - 50
What local food/beverage did you like most? curry tuna, king fish, cocos biscuit
What local food/beverage did you like least? After several lunches: the KFC chicken and the antes toast every morning :)
Mobile phone services
If you brought along a mobile phone, which services did you successfully use? voice and SMS
Comments? Unreliable (often network breakdowns), sending SMS is ok, very uncommon to receive them form abroad
Money matters
Used Maestro debit card to get cash and to get cash at ATMs
Used Visa credit card to get cash at ATMs and pay for goods/services
Comments? Credit card to pay for goods/services only in expats' businesses (e.g. Dive Gizo, Uepi)
Working in Solomon Islands
How did you usually go to work? walk (500m)
Where did you work? NRH, Orthopedics (OT and Oberli Fracture Clinic)
What was your occupation? Assistance during minor and major surgery, questioning patients, writing reports etc.
What were your working days and hours? Monday to Friday from 8am till 2pm to 5pm
What was particularly difficult in regard to your work? Talking pijin to the patients, knowing the exact duty
Did you feel accepted by the locals? yes
What did you usually do in your spare time after work? reading, working out, playing cards, doing shopping, chilling out on the terrace of the Kiwi-House
Questions for medical trainees of all levels (students to registrars)
How was the supervision? loose
Comments Must-dos were sometimes not that clear. Often we were waiting not knowing for what or how long
How was the teaching? very good
Comments The orthopedists are brilliant, they teach you the basics and know apparently every classification and relevant paper.
Leaving Solomon Islands and looking back
When did you leave Solomon Islands? December 2009
How long was your stay? 9 weeks
How do you judge the length of your stay? just about right
What did you learn from the locals? Orthopedic knowledge, other ways to cope with diseases, happiness
Your advice to prospective visitors? -
What did you miss most when back at home again? The sea, the attitude of the locals, the island feeling
What did you enjoy most when back at home again? Cleanness, availability of everything
Would you go back for another stay? Anytime!
Estimated total cost of your stay (including travel costs)? CHF 7,000
Additional comments?

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