Beloved Son is enrolled with the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at the International School of Brunei. Azim is a laid-back surburban kid who needs motivation, so as a parent one of the main reasons why I encouraged him to undertake IB is the CAS or Creativity, Action Service, which is an "extracurricular aspect of the IB Diploma involves student engagement in social work or community service (Service), participation in sports (Action), and initiative in creative activity (Creativity)".
One of the compulsory CAS activity in ISB is a 3-day stint at the Outward Bound Brunei Darussalam (OBBD). The Outward Bound is an organisation that encourages personal growth and social skills by of participants by using challenging expeditions in the outdoors. In Brunei what better outdoors is there than that of the jungle interiors of Temburong.
So last Friday, a boat full of suburban teenagers left the dock at Kampung Ayer for Brunei's 4th district none the wiser to what was in store for their pampered lil' bums. The same morning Azim said his goodbyes with hair all gelled and wearing trendy board shorts. I kissed him on the cheeks, got gel all over my fingers as I ruffled his hair and told him to read the salawat before peeing behind a bush.
We had no news from him until he came home on Sunday evening rather hysterical.
Me: So how was your trip to Temburong? Did you have fun?
Beloved Son, gesticulating madly: Oh my God Ma!! Fun?? Did I have fun?!? Are you joking?!? We had to trek through the jungle, the jungle Ma, you know J-U-N-G-L-E, for half a day! In the rain Ma, in the effin RAIN! Carrying a backpack twice as heavy as Mimi! And Mimi's heavy you know Ma! AND we had to climb up hills and the hills were like at an 80 degrees angle! In the rain!
Me: Mimi's not heavy, she's big boned.
Beloved Son: We had to clear some jungle with a parang Ma, a PARANG and then pitched our tents in the dark. We got a fire going with some wood and spirits and then cooked noodles. In the dark and everything was covered in mud. And then I couldn't sleep Ma. I had to share a tent with one big boy and one very big boy. It was like a hotdog in a tent! And then we had red ants, see I got bitten Ma! I missed my room. I missed my laptop!
Me, finding Beloved Son's hysterics quite amusing: So how did you go to the toilet? Heh heh.
Beloved Son the Suburban Teen: Mama are you laughing at me? We have to dig a HOLE in the ground with a small shovel, do your business and clean up with whatever is lying around, then cover the hole up! I gotta go Ma, I haven't pooed in 3 days and now I'm constipated.
Me, with no sympathy whatsoever: Good. It'll put some hairs on your chest.
Contact the Outward Bound Brunei Darussalam @
Ministry of Culture,Youth and Sports
Simpang 336 Jalan Kebangsaan
Bandar Seri Begawan BS4415
Tel: 673 (2) 382970/1
Fax: 673 (2) 382972
Camping strip grabbed from here.