Answers to our Questionnaire for Visitors of Solomon Islands

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previous visitor  Visitor MS1401  
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? talking to a previous visitor
Did you go alone or in company? alone
Arriving in Solomon Islands
When did you arrive in Solomon Islands? August 2014
Did you encounter any bureaucratic difficulties? Yes, the stamp in my passport was only valid for 6 Weeks. I sorted it out, but it took a lot of time. Rude immigration offs!
What was your first impression after arrival? Very different, never seen something like that before.
Living in Solomon Islands
What did positively surprise you? Everybody is very nice and helpful, it's easy to make friends.
What did negatively surprise you? I imagined the Solomon Islands to be paradise, but Honiara is very dirty and noisy. But anyway, I liked the city a lot.
What took longest to get used to? That everything works a little bit different over there.
What did you miss most in Solomon Islands? Family, friends and girlfriend.
What should you have brought along? I had everything I needed.
What did you do to prevent malaria? Malarone, mosquito spray and a mosquito net.
Place and province where you spent most of your time? Honiara, Honiara-City
Other places/provinces where you stayed? -
Where did you stay? FSM house, medical compound
How long did you stay at each location? 2 months
How much did you pay for each? SBD 120/night
Where did you usually eat? Chinese Noodles in the Hospital, in the evenings cooking or eating in a restaurant.
What did you typically pay for a normal meal? In restaurants SBD 70 to 130
What local food/beverage did you like most? Coconut Juice and all the different fish.
What local food/beverage did you like least? None.
Mobile phone services
If you brought along a mobile phone, which services did you successfully use? My phone didn't work in the Solomons.
Comments? -
Money matters
Used a debit card issued by UBS to get cash at ATMs.
Used a credit card issued by Mastercard to pay for goods/services.
Comments? Only very few places accept credit cards.
Working in Solomon Islands
How did you usually go to work? walk
Where did you work? NRH Orthopaedic department
What was your occupation? Medical Student
What were your working days and hours? Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 16:00-17:00
What was particularly difficult in regard to your work? At the beginning it was difficult to understand pidgin English.
Did you feel accepted by the locals? yes
What did you usually do in your spare time after work? Sports, going to the market, sightseeing, eating with friends, sometimes going out.
Questions for medical trainees of all levels (students to registrars)
How was the supervision? close
Comments Everybody cared a lot about me and wanted to be informed what's going on.
How was the teaching? good
Comments You have to show motivation, so everybody's keen to teach you and let you do more procedures.
Leaving Solomon Islands and looking back
When did you leave Solomon Islands? October 2014
How long was your stay? 2 months
How do you judge the length of your stay? just about right
What did you learn from the locals? You don't need so much to be happy.
Your advice to prospective visitors? Consider that communication with home can be difficult sometimes.
What did you miss most when back at home again? The sun and the relaxed atmosphere.
What did you enjoy most when back at home again? Simple things, like some kinds of food, that everything is easily available and of course my family, friends and girlfriend.
Would you go back for another stay? Anytime!
Estimated total cost of your stay (including travel costs)? CHF 4,000
Additional comments? I really enjoyed it and I learned a lot, not only in medicine. In the hospital, I was sometimes the only student, so I could participate in much more procedures than back home, and I saw much more patients and much less computers than in Swiss hospitals.

previous visitor  Visitor MS1401