While in Malaysia for an internship placement, I took the opportunity to contact the Persekutuan Pengakap Malaysia (Scouts Association of Malaysia) in hopes of meeting a local Rover crew and experience their way of Scouting. What I received was more than just an experience.
Back in Australia, I am a Rover Scout and one of my favourite things is meeting international scouts. The first time I met a scout overseas was in Iceland at the 15th World Scout Moot in 2017. With the free time I had here in Malaysia, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to contact a local group.
On the day I contacted Persekutuan Pengakap Malaysia, I received a phone call from an unknown number shortly after. Zonice Rovers from KL said that they were happy to welcome me and that they were all very excited to meet me since they rarely have international scouts visit or even reach out them in Malaysia.
Soon after a leader and rover went out of their own way to pick me up from my place after work. Ieka, the rover in the car with me was clearly excited due to the bombardment of questions. We drove for around 40 minutes and ended up at what looked like a typical Malaysian home. I was nervous and unsure on how I should behave, but later realised that they have prepared dinner and saved an extra spot for me. They were embarking on a 5-day expedition the day after but had postponed that evening's planning just to have a chance to meet them and for them to meet me. There were about 20 others. They asked lots of questions and we shared our Scouting stories and took dozens of photos. They showed me their den where they hold their Rover meets, provided me Scouting gifts and introduced me to their foods. Through our conversation, I realised how different their way of Scouting is. After dinner, they took me out for a drive to I-City, known for its light attraction. I was overwhelmed with their kindness and I wanted to cry.
They have shown me such kindness and embrace I honestly cannot remember the last time a group or somebody has done something this nice for me. I couldn't thank them for all they have provided me in the span of one evening. I was so grateful, I was speechless. I wanted to give them all that they have given me.
They did this all for me. All because I said hello and wanted to learn more about their way of Scouting. But I didn’t only just get to know them but made friends who are happy to show me more of their culture and country. This is what World Scouting should be all about. What the world should be all about. Zonice Rovers have shown me... no... the world, a heart-warming example of The Messengers of Peace.