Wednesday, 1 June 2016

And oh, the Sun is up again.

Our day started early with all of us having to wake up at 5.30am and assemble by 6am to begin our way to our host school, Pusat Tingkatan Enam Tutong. 

Upon arrival, we were greeted and welcomed by the friendly teachers and principal. As we began to gather at the parade square, we were really touched as many of the students smiled and waved at us. 

Our Vice President, Sharizman, giving his speech!

Our buddies performing their dance item for us!

Then, it was followed by a song item, 'Baju Kurong'!

Ms Leong presenting a token of appreciation to PTET's principal, Cikgu Hajah Murni!
The students even prepared two performances for us. One was a traditional Malay dance and the other was a song with live accompaniment by their Ethnic Club. Both performances were very well showcased and everyone was impressed. 

Soon enough, it was our turn to perform. Nervous but excited, we made our way towards the stage. Our Malay Language Elective Programme (MLEP) students began their heartfelt poem, "Melayu", about the Malay culture and race. Following that, we presented two songs, "Semoga Bahagia" and "Home". "Semoga Bahagia" is a meaningful song about friendships between youths and our journey to succeed together as one. "Home" is a popular song which Singaporeans sing during National day. 

The poem went great with everyone being immersed in their roles, expressing the poem excellently. We also managed to present the two songs to our best effort. A few teachers nodded and praised us for our efforts and we were really proud of our performance at the end!

Next, we met our friendly Brunei buddies who brought us around the school and introduced the facilities to us! The school had many facilities, such as the well-equipped Science laboratories, comfortable lecture theatres, various courts for ball games, and even a reading corner where students could donate their own books!

Some of us then attended GP lesson with a teacher who lived in Singapore 40 years ago, thus he was familiar with our culture and was very happy to have us there. We found out that in Brunei, they use 'bah' instead of our 'lah' ( Singlish)! The lesson was also different compared to Singapore in the sense that it was more fun and encouraged class participation.We started with a reading activity called 'lion hunt' where one person was supposed to read while doing actions while the rest followed suit around the classroom.

It was also very different as compared to Singapore's GP lesson as it focuses more on improving the Bruneian students' English skills, in this case through simple and fun activities. Overall, it was a great experience with the Brunei school and I got to know a lot more about the Brunei education system.


After having lunch we went to the Sago factory to learn more about sago making. The sago is traditionally cooked and eaten in various forms such as rolled into balls, mixed with boiling water to from paste or as pancake, steamed puddings called sago plum and as ground powder thickener for other dishes. In the ayuverdic system of medicines, the sago porridge can be effective and simple food to cool and balance one’s body heat, while taking strong medicine or antibiotics.

Ambulung is sago that is processed which derives from the Rumbia tree which grows in the jungle near the riverbank. It is found throughout the Borne, including Brunei. Ambuyat is then prepared by adding hot water to ambulung and stirring it until it becomes a sticky glue-like porridge. One machine in the factory produces about a tonne of sago from five rumbia tree trunks.

Other than that, we were also showed the tree trunk that was left for a month and it was rotten. When it was opened.... FAT GRUBS WERE CRAWLING EVERYWHERE! It was gross but interesting at the same time. There were also a few that already matured into beetles. EWW.... 

It was time for us to learn about the different processes to get quality sago flour. After cutting out the hard part of the bark, the wood was chopped into smaller pieces. Then, the wood will be grind using a grinder machine. The sago flour will be extracted there and mixed with water. It will be left to stand in a tank for a few days or hours, depending on the demand. The process of leaving it in the tank will be repeated many times till the sago flour is of a standard quality. We also got to try some ambuyat prepared on the spot. So, the sago flour is mixed with cold water to form a paste. Then, hot water will be poured in to obtain a sticky, transparent mixture. It was DELICIOUS!!!     


After the sago factory, we went to the coconut oil factory. There, we learnt about the process of extracting virgin coconut oil. This is a very labour-intensive process and it was really interesting! We were taught about the many products that can be produced from the virgin coconut oil. The products improved the condition of our skin and general well-being and they were generally very beneficial for us. Did you know that many products can be made with pure virgin coconut oil as its base? The factory we visited showcased 17 products, and they are seeking to develope more. After the initial explanation by the staff (together with Sharizman and Mdm Rosemah as interpreters), we went 'crazy' buying the products, as there were many health benefits that we would like our parents to enjoy. This factory started from a workshop about 7 years ago, and slowly developed more capabilities over time. In fact, there were even a series of products designed in-house, and the designers were present to explain their work to us. I think what we can learn from this is that, a lot of hard work must be put in, in order to reap success. Press on guys!! J

That's all for tonight! It was quite a long day, so we're sleeping now! Good night!

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