Nine Years of Togetherness

1st December 2005 / AISHAZ4EVER

Today we celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary. Though we are miles apart, our hearts are forever entwined with love. Any way, I will be home soon and we will celebrate together.

Honestly! I can't believe that it's been that long! I mean, I feel as if we've been married for two to three years. But our daughter is seven and our son is just two and half! It doesn't make sense!

That reminds me of an interesting conversation I had with my seven year old  the other night...(viber video call)

Maleesha: "How did you and daddy meet?"
Me: "Well...we were..."
Maleesha: "Did he think that you were the most beautiful girl in the world when he saw you?"
Me: "mmmmmmm"
My husband: (sitting afar shouted) "Of course!"
Maleesha: "So you were like the princess and daddy was the prince...right?"
Me: "Yes....and.."
Maleesha: "And now you are the queen and daddy is the king...isn't it?"
Me: "Yes...and ...."
Maleesha: "And you lived happily ever after!"
Me: "Yes!"

She had this beautiful story imprinted in her heart and I just couldn't and didn't want to spoil it. When she grows up, yes...I'll tell her our story and it's quite a romantic story too!

We may not wear a crown and a fancy gown, but our home is our little castle where I am the queen and my husband is the king. You see, you don't need millions of dollars to feel like a queen. It's all in your heart and if you are lucky...your man would make sure that you feel like a queen by treating you like one. Alhamdhulilah, I am blessed.

I think the main reason why we don't feel as if we've almost spent a decade together is (well, if we count the year and two months we dated...yes!) because no matter what life has served on our table, we've some how managed to remain happy. We didn't have that much of a fancy wedding party! We didn't have expensive furniture and a brand new room and those people who thought I was jealous because they had nicer things! Well, they were wrong. You see, it was never about money or material things the world offered that made me love him. It was his character and caring nature that attracted me to him. I married him because I loved him. And I'm glad that I did because he has been the best husband a man could ever be to any woman.

Happy 9th anniversary to my darling husband. I love you so much and I'm eagerly looking forward to spend the rest of my life with you.


Meet Adventurous Suad

Its semester break and I've been working on assignments and revising what have been taught so far. Yeah, I know...it can be a little boring especially when you don't have any means of transportation here in Brunei.

Isaac, Reem,  Nizal, Suad, Inad, Athiek, Koi and Rinchen

But, Arefa came to our rescue. She organized a trip for us to visit the museum and the Water Front. Yay, we were super excited. 

First we went to the museum. We were not allowed to take photographs and we had to leave our bags and other belongings when we went to explore the museum. We were really excited when we reached the first floor! Guess what! They had displayed some of the gifts that were given to the King of Brunei from world leaders around the globe on this floor. Oh yes, and since our group consisted of international students, we were all so happy to see gifts sent from our countries. 

There were three gifts given to the King of Brunei by our former president Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom. One was a model of a traditional fishing boat. The second one was something similar and the third one was a huge traditional vase (laqour work). 

We took some pictures on the ground floor. Yes, here we were allowed to take pictures!

And then starts our adventure! We went to the water front and there we met Arefa's friend Shavez and Bud. We hired two boats and started our excursion! We drove through the water village and its a breath taking sight. Its amazing how they have schools, hospitals and even their own police stations in their water village.



There were small mangrove islands and as we neared the first creek, the whole group fell silent. You see, we didn't want to scare the wild animals away. We saw one small python coiled up in a huge tree and nothing else. But the whole jungle and the water was so beautiful. 


We drove our boat through the water some more and entered the second creek. As we neared this creek, our guides told us about mud skippers and flying foxes! Mud skippers were fish that could swim in the water and also walk on land! Ahaa, I saw them and they are amazing little creatures. I saw lots of flying foxes from afar. According to Bud, they grew up to 5-6 feets! 

Me, Inad and Reem
                              Nizal, me, Inad and Reem                                  
And then it was just too quite! I smelt danger in the air! I turned around and to my horror, there was a python slowly crawling into our boat. I knew it was up to me to save my friends. The python looked hungry and was preparing to strike! I felt like Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider! Yeah, imagine a scene from Indiana Jones movie! Yeah, that's exactly what was happening! Without any hesitation, I jumped forward and grabbed the python with my bare hands and fell on the boat. After much struggle I was able to hold it's head in my palms and I squeezed it so hard that it died after fighting with all it's might to overpower me! When I looked up, I saw my friends looking at me with admiration and gratitude. I stood up and lifted the python up and screamed like Tarzon! My friends were all teary eyed and they all wanted to hug me. Then, they quickly took out their mobile phones and I looked at the cameras and smiled victoriously! 

Look at me! 
Yes, I'm holding a real python in my hands! 
*sign* that glorious moment!

Here is what actually happened!!!!!

As we entered the second creek, Rinchen spotted a dead python on the banks and Shavez went in and picked it up! Yeah, we all took turns taking photographs with the dead python! But hey, its not like you'll find a dead snake on the side of the road and you'll be able to pick it up, hold it and pose for the camera. I was indeed very lucky to get the opportunity to take this photo. 

Okay, you can stop laughing now! It isn't that funny!!!!

So we drove back in our boats. The sun was setting and it was magical. I mean the colours, the breeze and everything. I really did feel like I was in an adventure movie or something! 

So the whole group took one last picture together before we headed home and said goodbye to Shavez and Bud! 

Shavez, Bud, Rinchen, Athiek, Nizal, Inad, Nadheem, Isaac and Koi (standing)
Arefa, me and Reem
A big thank you goes to Arefa, for planning this awesome trip for us. You rock girl!

Arefa from Iran 


Once in a life time opportunities!

I came to Brunei on 4th August 2014 and its great here. Okay, they are times that I feel so homesick and lonely that I want to just leave all my belongings and catch the next plan and run home. When I got the scholarship I was a bit doubtful about accepting the offer. But hey, we don't get wonderful opportunities all the time. Leaving my kids behind was the hardest part, but then I know that they are in good hands and they are happy. 

Well, its been a month here and I have made wonderful friends. The best thing about all my new friends is that they come from different parts of the world. We tell each other about where we come from and have so much fun together. 

First, let me tell you about the most exciting experiences that I have had in Brunei. I would say that I am very lucky because I shook hands with the Crown Prince and took a selfie with the Sultan! YES! A selfie! 

On 16th August, Crown Prince of Brunei came to UBD. All the international students also got the opportunity to take a photo with him and shake hands too. 


These are some of the photos that I took before I shook hands with the Crown Prince. I was so happy that I got the opportunity shake hands with him. Of course I bragged about my encounter with the Crown Prince for weeks! 

And this is the photo that we took with Crown Prince. These are the international students who were present at the ceremony. 

Now, let me tell you about my grand selfie! 

6th September was UBD's graduation day. My friend Aai graduated and she invited her friend Mysara and I to the ceremony. Once the ceremony was over, on our way out, we lost each other. I wandered around and decided to go out and stand outside hoping that they would also gather there. 

When I came out there were so many people outside. People were lined up on both sides of the red carpet. I didn't realize what was going on. I tried to get close but there was no way I was getting in. 


And then, as I came down the steps I saw the King's car. I realized that they were all waiting to see the King and Crown Prince. I saw some of my friends and when I asked them, they told me that they didn't come for the graduation ceremony! They just came to see the KING! By this time I was also very excited and wanted to take his picture. We stood together and all of a sudden everyone was talking at the same time and everyone took out their mobile phones and started taking pictures. 


When I saw the King and the Crown Prince, I knew that I had to take a picture. So, I ran forward and somehow found myself inside the crowd! Seriously, I don't know how I did it....I WAS THERE! 

I took some pictures as they greeted everyone. The crowd was elated and everyone wanted a selfie with them. To my surprise, the King and the Crown Prince posed for selfies when students requested. So I patiently waited for my turn. Everyone was pushing each other to get close to them.  But I stood my ground and somehow penetrated and there I was standing next to the King! When I requested, his majesty looked straight at my phone and smiled. Since everyone was pushing each other I was going back and forth. So my face is a little blurred and I know my smile is weird! 


I don't think I would ever get an opportunity like this again to take a selfie with the Sultan of Brunei.

YAY! Here it is...  

It's amazing how much the people of Brunei loves their King. I believe it's because the people are treated the way they should be. This is a beautiful country with such warm and loving people. There is so much more to share, but this post is all about meeting the King and the Crown Prince. 

Yes, I was very lucky indeed to get the opportunity to shake hands with the Crown Prince and take a selfie with the King. 


Farewell by Hot Mums

We meet people all the time and then friendship develops between each other. Some become life long friends and others are just people we barely know. Among these people from different walks of life that we meet, good friends are the rarest and if you find such souls, you are indeed very lucky.

Yes, I'm so glad that I am blessed with such friends. I've already introduced you to "Hot Mums". Our children studied in preschool together. We did class decorations and other school and parent related work together and started hanging out. Oh and we meet up to celebrate each others birthday as well. 

And yes, all the moms are really HOT! 

Some of us are teachers, others are business tycoons. Some hold important posts in the government and others are political activists. Some are very creative and few of us were former super models! 

When they knew that I was going away for a year, they wanted to get together before I left Saushan of course was very concerned that we might go to JAZZ cafe! 

Well, if I were you, I wouldn't mention JAZZ CAFE in her presence! She will go bonkers! You know, to celebrate Niam's birthday we went to Jazz Cafe and the food was just horrible. 

Everyone ordered something new and were excited. Saushan ordered prawns and a rice dish and told everyone excited that she was going to eat prawns! Yeah, she had that star struck look in her eyes! 

When the food was brought to our table, no one could eat except me. I ordered spaghetti and when I told everyone to order spaghetti or lasagna, no one listened to me. So after that night, Jazz Cafe has been blacklisted in our list and for Saushan's sake even we won't go there.

awe went to China Garden and thank god, the food was wonderful. As as we finished eating I realised that I wouldn't be able to hangout with these wonderful friends for a long time. I would really miss them a lot. I was quiet and couldn't laugh when they joked like I use to. These ladies were quite busy and I'm sure they must have had so many important functions and meetings to attend to, but still they came to say goodbye. Having good friends who care about you and look out for you is one of the best blessings one could have and I am grateful. 

Goodbyes, shaking hands, hugs and well wishes are the sweetest gifts one could give when you know you are not going to see each other for a long time. I nearly cried and was so happy at the same time.

Thank you all the Hot Mums, you guys ROCK! 


Goodbye MNU

Saying goodbye is never easy.


Maldives National University is one of my most beloved institutes in this country. I did diploma of primary teaching and BA TEFL here. This is the place where many great lecturers taught me how to manage a class and what language  teaching was all about. Teaching is what I love doing and I can't even imagine myself in another profession. Since MNU has provided the necessary stepping stones for me to realize my dream of becoming a teacher, this institute is very special for me. 

When I did my diploma in teaching, we had so many amazing lecturers and I wanted to teach at MNU and I worked hard and joined MNU on 17th January 2012. I was so happy and I thought that I would teach here for the rest of my life. You see, I've worked in different schools and institutes because when I get a better opportunity I just move on. But when I joined MNU,  all that changed.

Yes, I always leave when I get better opportunities to prosper in my career or pursue higher education. I never felt that sad before because I was eagerly looking forward to start studying or more challenging work. Yes, I will be studying and going to a new country and all that but I've never felt this sad before. 

You might wonder what I would miss most, right? Well, I would miss my students most. I will miss my work station and the library too. I would miss the fountains and Hawwatha a lot. 

I hope that when I come back I will get the opportunity to join MNU again. Perhaps I should get pregnant!! You see, during my first pregnancy I was a student at MNU. I got the permanent associate lecturer's job during my second pregnancy! So I've spent a lot of time waddling around with my huge baby bump here!

Hahaa! I'm just kidding!

Well I wish all the students good luck and hope that you all will study hard and become successful citizens in the future. I hope that I will see you all soon working as caring nurses, architects or wonderful teachers. Of course I would brag about you all and tell everyone that I taught you on this and that year. Yes, I would be very proud of you all,

And remember, there is no dream too big or hard to accomplish. All you need to do is be strong, willing to work and have faith. Nothing is impossible.

Right now I am on my annual leave and my no pay leave starts from August 1st. Sigh. I will miss MNU so very much. 


Second Birthday!

I can't believe it but yes! My son turned 2 on July 16th. How time flies!

Of course we celebrated his birthday at home. Dhonthi was so excited! I made a special cake too. And don't forget the wonderful presents given by Thuthi, Dhonthi and Dhonbe! We love you so much Mummu. 

He loves to take selfies! 

Ithidhaadhey thoo loo! (happy birthday to you)

Yes, he sang happy birthday for himself and was so pleased because finally it was his birthday that we celebrated. 

Two years ago on July 16th we went for a little shopping spree in the afternoon. Yeah, I was 8 months pregnant and my due date was close. I had some stuff to buy and we walked from my house in maafannu to Dine More Central restaurant in Majeedheemagu! 

I wanted to walk home but my husband insisted that we take a taxi home. I came home, prayed and then lay down because I was really exhausted. And that's when my water broke. I took a quick shower because I might be in labour for hours and quickly went to the hospital. 

I was in the labour room for about an hour and delivered! Phew! After an hour I got to hold my little baby in my arms. The nurse had cleaned up my little boy and dressed him up nicely. He had such huge pretty eyes and looked straight into my eyes. Words cannot describe how happy my husband I were. Together we held his tiny little hand and his grip was so strong. We were the happiest couple in the world. 

Everything happened so quickly that no one was able to come to the hospital on time.

I just wish that we could slow down a bit and cuddle some more and tickle your tummy or simply chase you around the house. When we celebrate birthdays we realise how quickly time passes and it seems like it was just yesterday that I held the little new born Mummu in my arms and now its almost time for him to start preschool! This is not fair! I want to carry you around some more! 


We wish you all the happiness in the world and may Allah bless you my dearest little boy. 

We love you so much sweet Mummu. 


Seventh Birthday!

Happy birthday to the sweetest girl in the whole world. Yes, you are precious and the kindest soul I know and I am so proud that you are my daughter.

On 20th June 2007, when I saw you for the first time for just five minutes before they took you to NICU because you were premature, I reached a point in life where a tiny little tot was in the lime light. Yes, you became the most important little person in my life. And I would proudly say that you and my little boy are the best blessing from Allah that I have received. 

 Aw, just look at you! So beautiful. Yes, daddy took this pic when the nurses cleaned you up and before they took you to NICU.

Lets have quick  a look at the last seven years!


After coming home! 2010
Dressed up for National Day 2010

Pre-school days were fun, isn't it sweet heart. Everyday I had to take a picture after coming home in front of the house. Oh and we both loved it when you had to dress for school. Such sweet memories!

US, back in 2010
Dressed up for Children's Day 2014

Dressed up for a party! 2014
Supporting the National Team! 2014
Evening stroll 2007
First day of school 2010
At the airport 2009
Going for a walk, December 2008

Baby Maly 2007

At the park, January 2009
Dressed up as a stewardess, 2012

Just 5 months old! 

Second Birthday

Swimming time! 
My little strawberry! 

Yes, you are as fast as a cheetah! 

Fun time with Mummu, a few weeks ago! 
To be honest, I can't believe that you've turned seven today. I still feel as if I came with a little bundle (Maly of course) just yesterday. Childhood is indeed short and I pray that we enjoy these precious years and cherish zillions of sweet memories in our heart to remember for a life time.

May you love learning and be a caring friend. May you grow up to be an obedient well mannered daughter of whom both you dad and I would always be proud of. And may you grow up to be a successful, responsible citizen who would be looked up to by all around you. May Allah bless you and take good care of you. 

I love you so much and once again, HAPPY BIRTHDAY SWEET MALY. 

PS: Always be happy.