The Last 2 Weeks



SELAMAT ARI GAWAI! Gayu Guru Gerai Nyamai!

…hw ur gawai will b dis year?..y u so silent since last week? bz kah?

– my BFF via sms early last week.

Yes, I owe everyone an explanation why I dropped off the radar after my birthday…but where do I begin? Well, if you want to know the details…read on. Be warn, it’s very very long! πŸ™‚ Otherwise, skip to the “FINALLY” part at the bottom…

Indeed, the past 2 weeks have been very busy! Let’s just say I have an alter-ego, 2 separate lives, a secret identity…Career woman by day, an active member of the COLA’s Young Adult by night! πŸ˜‰

My usual weekdays (apart from the “career woman” part) would be somewhat like this…

After work, I would head straight to COLA for daily mass and spend the remainder of the night there, usually arriving home 10pm (earliest!)…After mass, Monday nights, we have Bible Study. Tuesday, Holy Hour. Wednesday, Adult Faith Formation. Thursday is usually “free” (my 1 night in a week which I usually spend at home doing chores). And on Friday, I would take the 1hr drive back to Seria for the weekend and come back up on Monday morning…and that cycle begins.

But the past 2 weeks was a lot MORE than my usual weekdays…

Week 1: 18th May-24th May

That Thursday, I was NOT “free”. We had to go shopping for food for the young adult activity that we were having on Sunday. So after mass, we went shopping (Part 1) and had a late dinner at the newly-opened branch of Escapade (a popular chain of Japanese Restaurant in Brunei) in Kiulap before calling it a night.

Friday, after work, I did not attend mass (and also missed the 1st day of the 9-day Novena to the Holy Spirit in preparation for Pentecost) as I had to go to for the Firm’s badminton session and after that, went for dinner with colleagues. This was the FIRST weekend whereby I did NOT go back to Seria for the weekend.

Saturday, spent the day doing chores (in place of Thursday) and in the afternoon, after some minor hiccups, went shopping (Part 2) and late lunch. Another mini shopping spree (Part 2.5) and just enough time to get home and bath, attended the 2nd day of Novena – a few seconds late at that. After Novena, went for the final shopping session (Part 3) before 5 of us went to tapau some late dinner from WYWY (another well-known chain of eatery in Brunei) and went to A’s house where we would be preparing the food for the following day. More like the next few hours actually as it was almost midnight when we actually began our “preparation”…

Sunday, midnight. In the midst of the “preparation”, we took a few minutes to surprise one among us with a birthday cake for it was her birthday on Sunday! “At least this is better than spending my 28th birthday alone in my bedroom” she said gratefully, not realising that she would perhaps regret saying so in a few hours! πŸ˜‰ Anyways, we were finally done with the food around 2am and after bathing/washing up, all retired to bed. Between 2am-3am, the 4 of us (1 slept in a different room) were far from asleep. We were talking and laughing and joking around and at one point, well TWICE actually!, 2 of them decided to form a human pile crushing the birthday girl, fulfilling her birthday wish? Haha! However, I was beside the birthday girl so I was partly crushed as well. LOL! It was only at 3am that we actually slept…

And we woke up at 4am!!! Only 1 hour of sleep! Why so early? Because our Sunday activity was “Easter SUNRISE Beach Party”…meaning we had to be at the beach to watch the sunrise! I know, we are one crazy bunch of young adults! πŸ˜‰

So yeah, we left for the beach when it was still dark and rays of the sun gradually crept from beyond the horizon as we made the half-hour drive to the beach. And we were the first to arrive in time to watch the sunrise. Only about half of the people managed to catch the sunrise as the others only arrived when the sun was well up. I admit though, I was kinda dissapointed that the “beach” wasn’t quite as I expected. This was my first time to Serasa Beach and well, it had a lot less sand and a little more grass than you’d expect at a beach. It was more like the side of an isle(?) rather than a beach beach if you know what I mean…but that didn’t prevent all 20-odd people of us of having a great time all day!!! πŸ˜€

The eating (there was lots and lots and lots of food!), the company and the activities were super AWESOME! Bishop even came to join us for a while after he was done with the Sunday Mass!

Some had to leave earlier as they had other activities to attend to in church, but the rest of us left around 2pm. I reached home at around 3pm, washed the pots and etc from the BBQ, bathed and freshen up and managed to take a 1-hr nap before it was time for Mass. During Mass, most of us were well exhausted and had body aches from all our physical exertions that day. After mass, a quick dinner at the nearby stalls and then its the 3rd day of Novena. After that, I immediately went home and slept. It was 9pm.

Week 2: 25th May-31st May

Only about 9 hours’ of sleep later did I wake up (more grudgingly than usual!) and spent a torturous Monday at work trying to stay awake! Gosh~ After work, I immediately went home to grab a quick 1-hr nap as I still have not recovered from the previous weekend. Then after bathing, went for the 4th day of Novena and began work on the activity for this weekend – “The 43rd World Social Communication Day”. A contest had been run for the Friday and Sunday School children and the COLA Youth and we needed to shortlist the entries to be passed to the judges. Imagine this: There was 3 of us, all exhausted, and it was late (and we still needed sleep!!!)…we resorted to judging ala American Idol, “YES!”, “NO!”, “THAT’S A DISASTER!”, and shortlisted 6/40 essays and 10/40 posters.

Tuesday, I intended to go to mass but missed it as I had to buy paper for the contest certificates – for ALL 80 participants and the winners. So I went home to bath and then left for Novena. After Novena, printed participation certs for those that were not shortlisted but had to stop as the printer ink ran out on us. Also, it was already 10pm+…and we still needed sleep!!!

Wednesday, finally managed to attend mass and before Novena managed to print the participation certs for the shortlisted entries. However, we still had the winning certs to print which we could only do the following day after they had been judged. But that was minor considering we already printed MOST of them already…and it was only on Wednesday that I felt I had fully recovered from the previous weekend…

Thursday, after mass before Novena, we obtained the winners for the essays and posters and after Novena printed all the winning certs. But there was 1 more category which have not been judged – video making by the COLA Youth, and that was the following night. On top of that, the full preparation for the weekend began…setting up the venue, etc etc…

Friday, after mass before Novena, we got the winners for the videos and after Novena printed all the certs and finally we were done with the certs! However, we still hadn’t secured the prizes – to be done the next night but on this night, the setting up was in full-swing and almost everything was in place for the weekend! – THIS being my 2nd weekend in Bandar…

Saturday, took the opportunity to sleep-in and spent the day doing chores (in place of Thursday) and in the evening, went to COLA to help out with the gift-wrapping. It was also the beginning of the “The 43rd World Social Communication Day” and we had the exhibits going on as well and our special edition magazine was off the press! My first article in print! πŸ™‚ and it was the final night, the 9th day of the Novena to the Holy Spirit. Only after Novena managed to continue with the gift-wrapping – which unexpectedly took a really long time as I had to make 45 small paper bags to keep the small indiviual prizes for the members of the winning videos as the entries were by class…we ended up staying till past midnight! That was a first!

Sunday, woke up at 7am and got ready for the big event. Went to COLA a little early to set up the prizes and certs before making it in time for the 9.30am Mass, after which the event was in full-swing up until noon. Main item for the event was the LIVE Video Conference between the 3 parishes in Brunei. This was the theme of “Communication” and it is the first time such a big-scale link-up was tried, and it was successfully accomplished!!! We were thrilled! And of course, all our hard work paid of and all our winners got their certs and prizes…


Finally, after the most exhausting-but-fun 2 weeks of my life after I started working in Brunei, I could go home for the weekend (since today is a public hol here)…it might be shorter than my normal 3 nights weekends but at least I am with family. Furthermore, when I reached Seria yesterday afternoon, it was a nice surprise that my MOM and BRO had arrived from SIBU!!! They arrived Saturday and didn’t tell us earlier cos they wanted to “pay back” for our surprise

All in all, the past 2 weeks have been very busy indeed huh? Now, its time to go to bed and hibernate…


One response to “The Last 2 Weeks

  1. Such a long post!!! Anyway, counld’t read all (being honest)…

    but happy Gawai.. *drinks a can of Heiniken*… UUoohhhhh AAaaahhhhhhh!!

    Haha…yeah…haven’t gotten round to updating my blog (or even bloghopping) this week…oh so busy me… πŸ˜‰

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