Chapter Six: The Ramadan Blessing
I became an intern at Bantu Services starting on 22nd January 2020 for my second Discovery Year which was under Internship. It only took me two days to change my mind and decision to change my internship placement from one of the Government offices to Bantu Services. The reason of why I changed internship placement was strong enough that the DY co-ordinator willingly placed me under Bantu without hesitation.
I started work at 8am and went home at 4pm from Mondays to Fridays every work and I was already accustomed to Bantu’s work environment and working alongside my supervisor, Mr Faiz. He asked me to lead and assist two groups of five to six students (who are also from UBD) that were taking COP at Bantu during the time. I assisted them mostly in project proposals and our main project, which was the Masjid Empowerment Project.
On early March 2020, news spread regarding the Covid-19 or Corona Virus in Brunei. Mr Faiz decided to split the two COP groups into two separate sessions as preventive measure, one came in the morning and the other in the afternoon. This was to prevent overcrowding in the office. However, on mid March 2020, Mr Faiz ordered us to work from home as the virus most likely will not stop spreading. We held online meetings via Skype every Mondays and Wednesdays, I was also asked to take notes during every meetings. Our online meetings continued until I ended my DY sometime on mid April 2020. Thus, three months of semester break was ahead of me.
I celebrated one of my four best friends’ birthday on 23rd April 2020, which was the day Ramadan will be announced. As it turned out, Ramadan will start on Saturday, 25th April 2020 in Brunei. During the birthday celebration, I ate two slices of her chocolate cake and numerous amount of cheesy macaroni. I remember that night very clearly, as I went back home to my husband’s family home in Sengkurong, I ran straight to the nearest bathroom once we arrived and vomited. Then I thought to myself, “well, there goes my dinner.”
After cleaning myself up, I stood outside the bathroom door and I realised two things were out of the ordinary…
One, the fact that I threw my dinner out the drain which was unusual and two, I realised I was actually eight days late. I was usually three to four days late, but this time I tried to not overthink again and let it slide this time because I still remember what I said last year.
In the midst of me not caring, my husband on the other hand was concerned and worried. He reminded that I never vomited after eating, ever, and I asked what is he suggesting.
The next day, I woke up seeing an empty bed on my side, so I texted my husband asking where he was. He replied “walking my way home”. When he arrived, I saw him carrying a small, clear plastic bag and he handed it to me and casually said, “try one.” It was three packets of pregnancy test strips he bought at the nearest cube store which now landed on my right hand.
I decided to try and open one of the three pregnancy tests and surprisingly at that moment, I was calm and feeling positive. Thinking that it was just a test, another negative result will not hurt me. So I took the test and placed the strip in front of me and waited five minutes. Trust me, that was the longest five minutes ever. I took the strip after five minutes have passed and checked, then I looked at it once, twice and more, with and without blinking. I could not believe my eyes, there were two visible lines and two lines mean pregnant. I found out I was pregnant on 24th April 2020, during a pandemic and Ramadan season. It was truly a blessing in disguise.