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10 years ago...


On the 30th of November 2004, 10 years ago today, the 4th Asia-Pacific Regional Scout Youth Forum kicked off in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam. The room began to fill with Scouts who had traveled from across the region, various hues of Scout uniforms and badges blending together. I had heard the delegation from Korea included a guy named Moon and a girl named Luna, which seemed pretty cool. Across the crowd I saw a tall girl glide into the room, the light bounced off her long dark hair, her eyes concealed by light-tinted sunglasses that wrapped around her face. She seemed more like a celebrity than another Scout. She was beautiful.

With trepidation, I went up to say hello. We had been advised by the Australian Scout Commissioners when coming to these events that we should be very polite and to make sure that we bring some badges to offer to others. My badge was from a major tree planting event we had in Australia and I was quite proud of our work. "Would you like my badge?" I asked, a little nervous. She looked at me. She looked at the badge. "No."

After my initial shock, I realised she had a sense of humour, so did take my badge and offered in exchange a pen and trinket for cleaning your phone. Over the next few days as all of the countries of the region came closer together, so did we. The final day of the youth forum coincided with my 25th birthday and an international night. Everyone dressed in their traditional outfits (which for the Australian delegation meant we dressed like farmers, not as elaborate as some of the other outfits!). Luna lead out the Korean girls dressed in their traditional Korean hanboks. Luna looked so elegant, her hair was braided in a grid pattern I'd never seen before. At the bottom of her long silk dress I saw glimpses of intricate red shoes with flowers curled around the toes. I asked if I could have a closer look... then ran away with her shoe. Luna hopped after me, insisting that I give it back. She was now the one chasing me... That is how I met my 'Cinderella with only one shoe', and how I began to call her Princess.

One day during the Asia-Pacific Regional Scout Conference we had a day out to visit the countryside of Brunei. Several tents were set up to host lunch and I went over to one where I saw the Korean delegation were standing. One of the Korean Commissioners noticed my Queen's Scout badge and pointed it out to Luna, saying that I must be a very good Scout. He asked me what I thought about Luna and I responded that she was very pretty and intelligent. The topic of marriage came up and I was soon down on my knee putting a ring onto her finger in a form of proposal. Luna was quite shy about the whole commotion and she dropped down to her knees as well, though she didn't mind me putting the ring on her finger and we both laughed.

I didn't know at the time that this girl I had met just days before, would actually be the girl I would marry. We would have five years of long distance relationship, emails, video calls, falling asleep on the phone late at night and getting to see each other sometimes only a couple of times a year. If someone had said to me 10 years ago, you're going to go to Brunei, meet a Korean girl, then you'll move to Switzerland and have two children, I'm not sure I would have believed them.

Thank you Princess for being the love of my life and for being such a wonderful Mum for Edward and Emma. I look forward to see what the next 10 years will bring.


Brunei proposal




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