As you might know, last year I and a group of students went down to Kirirom National Park and Mondulkiri for hiking in an exploration called Outdoor Leadership. It was a great experience for me to really observe the beauty of nature and see all different types of species. Throughout this project, I’ve learned a lot from nature and I’ve changed a lot of my perspective towards nature. Not a lot of Cambodian youth had experienced living in nature as us and not a lot of them knew how much humans had a negative impact on nature.
In addition, this year for round 2 I and a group of students are working on designing a program for Cambodian youths to learn more about nature outdoors which consists mainly of workshops and a short trip. For this round, we just only focus on designing the workshop plan which we divide into four sections. Those are Nature Appreciation, Leadership Skill, Medical and Risk Management and the last one is Wilderness. With these four sections, we believe we can take away a lot and can deeply understand what nature is and how they can help protect nature as well as how they can be more aware of their behaviour towards nature.
After we’ve done many workshop practices with our team, we actually went down to Kampong Cham to try our first official Workshop with KAPE but we couldn’t go on a trip with them since we have some timing issues. However, the workshop went very well. We all were engaged and active. We did our four-sections workshop and it was very cool.
During the round, we also went to Oral, which is the highest mountain in Kampong Speu, to practice our leadership skills. Our facilitators had to act as our participants which they gave us a lot of simulations for us to counter. As a leader, it’s not easy but one important key to a good leader is how you work and communicate well. We did really well on communicating which we all worked closely together and we did it. It was a great experience to be a leader of the team. I feel like I’ve learned a lot from my team and a whole trip.
Overall, it was a great process so far, and I desire to work more on it and actually make it real. I can’t wait to work more with students out there around Cambodia!
Still, math is my favorite class but it’s also the most challenging class for me. Math never sounds bored to me. It’s always an active activity for my brain. This year we mainly focus on algebra which is the lesson I love the most. Algebra is very cool and tricky at the same time. However, the more I do it, the easier it gets. I never get tired of the lesson. It always pushes me forward and thinks critically. Even though I always make silly mistakes on it, I feel like it’s really fun. I love it! For this first round of year 4, we are working really close to Khan academy which is a website where students can independently work on their own. This website is very cool, without a facilitator you can learn it on your own by either looking at the hint or watching and it’s really helpful. However, there are still some cases that require teamwork. We also did some exercises in the textbook which we really need to work as a team in order to solve those problems. I’m a person who is most likely to work independently but when it comes to the complicated problems I couldn’t do myself. I think it’s a great experience and learning which sometimes working alone makes you go faster but it also requires teamwork and complicated word problems too.
It was a great experience for me. It’s such an interesting lesson. I’m going to continue pushing forward no matter how challenging it is but I aspire to get more experiences and new lessons throughout the year!
On 12th, September 2019 we went to a village in Saang district located in Kandal province. It’s a village where most people depend on farming. It’s one of the main vegetable importers in Phnom Penh city. Surprisingly all the vegetable imports from Saang are all using chemicals. Therefore, we want to interview the farmers about their perspective on using the chemical as well as the strategy of growing vegetables. We expect to really understand deeply about their perspective on using chemicals. Furthermore, we also prepared lists of questions to ensure that we on the spot of our expectations.
After we interviewed 26 farmers, we found that almost all farmers use chemical fertilizers and there are many reasons behind that. However, the most common two that I heard from most farmers are because it helps their plant to grow faster, it helps them to find money faster to support their living standard as well as they’re very convenient to use. The other one is about market demand which most customers are looking for strong and fresh vegetables. They don’t prefer vegetables with insects or leaves scorching. Thus, they have to satisfy the customers in order to find the suitable money for their family. In addition, I also heard some farmers said that if they don’t use chemical it will affect the hold gardens because when other farms use chemicals all the pests and insects will come to ruin their farms and plants that’s why they have to use the chemical in order to protect their farm. One interesting highlight is when I interview farmers I observed that at each of the farmer’s houses have small garden behind their house which they grow variety of plants. As I interviewed, all those small garden grows organically which for the consumption of their family. This really caught me that they never eat the vegetables from the farms. Another interesting highlight is I usually heard about a rumor that said there are the chemicals that could turn the small vegetable into a big and fresh vegetable for only one night and that rumor is actually true. It surprise me because I never think it would become true.
As a change agent of Cambodia, this is one of the most unforgettable experiences and memories that I had. It is really important to really understand deeply about people’s minds and feelings just like a quote says “put yourself in other people’s shoes.” This really show that family’s demand is really important which people even kill their own citizen just to support the living but do those farmers really want to do it? No, but they have no choice. It the only options they can do. As a younger generation, it is an big condition that I need to really consider and to make the real action. Although, I anticipate that in the future this would become a better situation.