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Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost

To begin, on the final week of May, the scholars and I gathered for the RBAF's 61st Anniversary at the naval base in Muara. We rehearsed for 3 long days before this as it was extremely important that we perfect our roles for the arrival of His Majesty the Sultan. The event went well Alhamdulillah, I feel fortunate to have been able to do this a second time after our Scholarship Award Ceremony last year. 

Dr Seuss said, "If you never did, you should. These things are fun and fun is good". Trying new things can be undoubtedly daunting. The unfamiliar puts us in a vulnerable position, and leaves us with an onslaught of questions running through our heads. And then there's the rush. There's nothing quite like- or as memorable as- the thrill of a new experience. This is what I have been chasing this past year.

When I say chasing, I meant waves. One of my highlights of the year would definitely be riding jetskis and riding them fast. Riding motorcycles are one thing, but going 110km/h in the middle of the sea, speckles of cool blue water gushing to your face, drowning in the feeling of freedom and exhilaration. A jetski is a boat with an attitude and it is awesome. Oh I rode a motorcycle too. And a kayak.


One word to describe June would be: bright. June has showed us the best of summer days and we got to live it all in this tropical heat. To begin, our first training week for the month consisted of a series of beautiful sceneries from forests, hills and beaches. 



It took a couple sunrises until we finally saw the holy month of Ramadhan. From this night on, we gathered every evening right after the Taraweeh prayers to train. These evening trainings were amazing. Somehow, the nights were bright and the gym was full of life. People who we don't normally see go to the gym now greet us with gleaming smiles. We would talk about what we had for Sungkai, share the best Suhoor spots, overcoming hunger. People and PTI's would stop by and join us and some days, it keeps going and going like a chain until we have filled up the gym. These were my favorite nights. Even the most demanding of workouts (3 minute wall-sits) became enjoyable.


A week before Ramadhan ended, my brothers and I decided to check off our workout bucket lists. Every week following that we would try random sports, inviting someone new each time.

Our most memorable session was Vinyasa Flow Yoga. Now this may not be the most unordinary activity, but when you put a boxer and a Hak Saeng (Taekwondo athlete) on a pink mat and tell them to hold a bird pose with slow jingles in the background, it can not get anymore interesting. 


Another thing I have tried and now truly love is Aerobics. Miss Rose has been elected to lead an Aerobics course at the Rimba AirForce Base and every now and then, she would let us tag along. I cannot emphasize how much fun this was. Not to mention how underrated we've discovered Aerobics have been. We never expected it to be as exhausting. I think it is safe to say that if there would be a session held in the future, our shoes would be laced and ready to go. Plus considering we have learnt varieties of dances from salsa to hip-hop, I think I am ready to be thrown to any dance floor. London is not ready for me.


On another note, I am now serving soft serves! On one of those hot Ramadhan days, I thought I wanted to treat myself to some frosty dessert at Tropical Soft Surf Café. Long story short, the owner happened to be there and I scored myself an interview. Oh, and a job too. The past 2 months I have spent working there have been an absolute blast. The people and the job itself were genuinely so fun. These are the types of experiences I would have missed out on had I not ‘just went for it’. Unfortunately I will be resigning by the end of this month as I have to make time for the Scholars’ Development Programme in Singapore and its preparation. 


Would you like to know who else has been trying new things? Haziq Zharfan. One fine day he started asking around "Do you think I would look good with a perm?". I didn't quite have an answer but I did know that my little brother, Izzat was planning to get one. Before I know it, I am sitting at the back of a Korean salon watching Haziq and my baby brother get perms. They wore these matching blue Kimonos they were so adorable it was hilarious!!!!


17th May 2022, I received a text from MRS. Turned out it was the 1 year anniversary of the MRS vaccination centre. I was so excited, I always regarded volunteering there one of the best things I have ever done and until now I thought I would never return or meet the same people ever again, considering everyone were from different units and were only there for the COVID-19 taskforce. I was informed that it would be an intimate gathering. I counted down my days until it finally came. Boy it was intimate alright. Every single being from the MRS buildings, military personnel all the way from Kuala Belait, civilian volunteers, they were all in that very space. They welcomed me with so much love and I played a lot of fun games and activities, in fact I won so many prizes they had to give me a bag to carry them home!! This day had me wishing we would celebrate the anniversary every single year.


When I thought the year could not get any better, I was invited to a UBD Gala Night. I have not been in school for almost two years, of course I had to tag along on my friends' university experiences!! So I said yes. Everyone dressed up nice, suits and ties, gowns and dresses. I am thankful to be able to be part of this as I know I won't be around to watch my friends in university when I leave. To my surprise, just when I was about to go home an announcement was made. I won gala queen?? What just happened???? It was all so blurry, I blinked and before I knew it I had a crown on my head and a giant crowd applauding. You really never know what's ever going to come. I had a blast that night and I shared my awards with my friends who were the reason I was even there in the first place.


This gap year has allowed me to meet many many wonderful individuals and tried multiple new things that I would never have done had I already started university. Not all those who wander are lost indeed.



Prepared by,

Dk Fathiyah Amanina binti Pg Roslan @ Dk Hanan Syafiqah

SCRBAF Scholarship recipient 2021


Arranged by,

Aiman Abdullah Tee