Solomon Islands - Gizo 2.0

Day 24

I watched everyone this morning head to church in their Sunday best. I had a lie in, woke up late and had a lazy breakfast with a coffee. I wondered to the shop to grab some washing powder to do my clothes washing which had been stacking up for a while. In the afternoon I wondered to Gizo Hotel, sat with a coke, and spoke to an Australia surfer who was also staying at the same lodge as me

A lazy day at its best. Tomorrow to talk to some ministries.

Day 25

Today I set off in search for the Ministry of Agriculture. The minister was out of the office, but I was told he would be in later that afternoon. I noticed the Ministry of Land across the street, but the door was tightly locked. I then walked across to the Gizo “cathedral”. It was a beautiful building and the stain glass windows were some of the most interesting I’ve ever seen – you could clearly see the connection with the ocean in them.

Next door to the cathedral, I noticed Red Cross. How did I miss this last time? I went in and spoke to the gentleman who ran Red Cross Gizo – he gave me some interesting information and suggested I visited “Youth for Work” who had undertaken some Hazard Mapping on Vellada Vella. I ventured in and was given the community hazard mapping – I was able to see some of the project at work.

I decided today would be the day I tried the local fish and chips – they’re stored in boxes on the side of the street and are usually between SBD$10 and 20, roughly between £1 and 2. They were delicious and a prefect size.

The afternoon was extremely hot and I spent some time writing up information before heading back to the Ministry of Agriculture – the office was empty each time I tried again.

Day 26

My first aim to go to the Ministry of Agriculture – pinning them down seemed hard! But when I was at Youth for Work I had noticed another office I had not tried. The Ministry of National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace. Bruno, who I spoke to had trained as a marine scientist and had previously worked for WWF. He gave me a lot to think about and talked about the importance of understanding the community side of climate change and sea level rise.

After this meeting, I went to the Ministry of Agriculture – the door was locked. Again, I tried this afternoon to no avail.

Tomorrow I leave, so it looks like I will leave Gizo without speaking to them.

Day 27

This morning I finished packing, put my bag in storage and went off for a tour of the hospital. I was surprised at the size of the hospital for such a small town and islands. The wards were all clean, bright and airy. I even got to see the surgical rooms! For the building being built in 2011, the hospital is still very modern, clean and they’ve looked after it well.

I didn’t fly to Honiara until 16:40, so I spent the afternoon looking at supporting documents from WWF and those I spoke to in the last few days. After a short flight back to Honiara, I got a lift to my next stop, Dolphin View. I’ve planned 1 day of relaxing next to the ocean and snorkelling the wreck off the coast. The drive took nearly 2 hours, the place itself isn’t that far from Honiara, but the roads are so bad that the journey is extremely long. I arrive and am welcomed with a huge fish dinner – it was delicious!