Thursday, 2 June 2016

This is it!

It was an early morning for us again as we had to wake up at 5.30am today to go off for PTET again! We looked forward to a very meaningful day for us all as we were going to spend a full day with the buddies!

First up, we met our buddies at the Conference Room and then followed them to their registration. It was very interesting because during that period of time, all of them would recite verses from the Al Quran. From this, we were able to learn more about their culture which we do not find in Singapore. It was also very interesting and we're impressed and have huge respect for them as they are very devoted to their religion.

What equally amazed us was that they sing their national anthem with pride and gusto even without having a proper assembly like in Singapore. They understand that they have to stop whatever they were doing, wherever they are, when the national anthem starts playing, which is something we often do not observe strictly in Singapore.

Afterwards, we followed our buddies to attend lessons. It was mind-blowing to see how big the differences are between education in Brunei and Singapore. Brunei's education does not feel as demanding as Singapore's, but yet the standards are the same. Unlike Singapore, the students only take 4 subjects for their A levels while we take 6 subjects. As a result, we also spend more hours in school as compared to Brunei.

Today's lunch was prepared by the school teachers and it was a really scrumptious and filling meal. We also got to try Brunei's traditional dish called 'Ambuyat' which was certainly a unique dish. This time, the "masterchef" teacher demonstrated how to prepare ambuyat using very clear instructions, and the final product was a very pleasant staple food, with its smooth yet sticky texture, and a slightly sweet taste. What a great meal!

Next up, we went off to the ODGC which was 45 minutes far away from the school by bus. We were very excited as we were going with our buddies!!!

The discovery centre aims to educate the both locals and tourists about oil and gas industries which take up two-thirds of Brunei's economy!! We feel that this may be a very worthy long-term investment by the Brunei Shell Petroleum to help develop more potential employees and attract investments.

Many of the exhibitions and games displayed at the discovery centre were very interactive and we enjoyed playing many of them while learning more about production of oil and gas!

The staff at the OGDC were very interactive and engaging despite being very young .We are very thankful because we are probably not the usual target group they have been working with, yet they were so good and confident in handling our group. Thus, we can see the effort they put in to make us feel engaged even though the exhibits were more catered to primary school. OGDC definitely had a different energy level compared to Singapore's Science Centre.

And of course, we had to take our mandatory group photo before leaving!

Following that, we took our long 2-hours bus ride back to a restaurant located near our hotel to have the farewell dinner with our buddies! Despite the delicious food, we could not help but dread the inevitable separation from our buddies as it drew closer and closer.

PTET's Principal, Cikgu Hajah Murni presenting a token of appreciation to Mr Chen!

Not forgetting, Ms Leong and Mdm Rosemah!
Even though it was just a short period of time interacting with them, all of us have definitely forged sweet memories with our buddies. Through them, we have learnt much more about Brunei, and particularly its education system. In the end, we managed to suppress our dramatic emotions at the parting, for we also remembered to exchange our social media links and contact numbers with one another! Besides the many photos we took to capture our memories, we also gave out the gifts which we have prepared prior to the trip. We were delighted to see how touched our buddies were!  


Overall, we had a very positive experience here in Brunei! We got to experience the difference between Brunei and Singapore culture and interacted up close with our Bruneians peers! Amongst ourselves, regardless whether we are MLEP students or Science students, we have also bonded much closer through this meaningful trip!

As our trip is coming to an end, we would like to thank our Principal, Ms Pamela Yoong, Vice-Principals and teachers for sacrificing a lot of their time and showing their support for this successful twinning programme!  

And of course, it's time to dedicate one last post to ourselves - the team behind this blog! We have been spending a lot of time away from sleep to consistently maintain this blog throughout the 5D4N trip!

(Clockwise from top left) Syamir, Izzah, Shaine, Farhanah, Fadhli, and Sarah

As we are packing our bags late at night, we are certainly feeling sad to be leaving already. On the brighter note, we look forward to our noontime flight back to our family and friends tomorrow! Once again, thank you for reading our blog and we hope you have enjoyed this read as much as we have learnt from our Brunei trip!

Like they say, all good things must come to an end. We on the Journalists Team agree.

Thank you!

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