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!
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.
Marine Theatre exploration is a 7 weeks projects that learning and researching about marine life in Cambodia. The goal of the exploration is to create a final plays that show about the problems that threaten to marine life and how it affects the country as well as the humans.
In order to create a play or a performance, we’ve learned a lot about marine life, the impact on marine life as well as learning about performance skills. We also learn about how to do snorkeling. Then we went on a trip to Koh Seh to an organization called Marine Conservation Cambodia(MCC) to snorkel around and see different creatures. We also talked to the MCC staff and ask some questions about the problem that is happening now and the goal of the MCC and the last section that we did on Koh Seh was cleaning up the beach.
When we come back from Koh Seh we started to brainstorm the ideas to create which we have to find the main problem that the play could help to convince people to help and protect the ocean. Throughout the process of creating a play, we also divided into different roles such as director, director assistant, stage designer, costume designers, actor, tour management, script writer and media communication. As I am a director assistant, I need to be responsible in helping each roles when they needed something and I had to check in and out with the team make sure everything was okay. Also, I need to look at the actor make sure they have everything they need for the play. After the plays has created we had performed the play for Monkey School and the Kep Garden school.
Last, I think this could really impacted on the country especially Cambodia. It’s really helpful to young learner to know about what’s happening in our country and how people trying to help Cambodia. Also, to learn about marine life is really important because most of the people don’t really know about marine which is something that they saw everyday. I hope to share more about marine life more to the people in Cambodia as well as other countries.
Observing nature is always one of the pleasurable things I ever had. Seeing blue birds that I never expect that they exist in Cambodia. I really like all the detail colors that one their feathers. It’s looks very colorful. When I observe nature I start to feel relax, joyul, excited.
Throughout this trip, I feel that I learn a lot about nature. One of the most interest me is I got to learn about life in the forest. I’m really grateful to learn about people’s lives in the forest, the way they cook food, the different kind of food that they eat. I got to eat Prong food which one of indigenous food. I saw that all the vegetables came from the tree in the forest. I also learn how to put meat in the bamboo to roast. I hope to experience more.
Birds are very beautiful, birds help to decorate nature. I’m very disappointed to see the deforestation. All the trees was cut down, the forest was burn and make the weather there very hot. When the weather is too hot, not a lot of birds come out and that make me sad. I hope to see more trees grow in the future.
The most challenging things to me is hiking. I feel very exhausted and tired but because of the happiness we built together like joking, singing around, it help me to reduce the tiredness a lot. Also I drank a lot of water throughout the hike and it helped to release my tiredness. Moreover, even we was very tired but we never give on our hike and I think I’ve learn a lot from this trip and it’s one of the unforgettable memory to me.
Indigenous Community exploration is a seven weeks project to research and learn about some indigenous groups in Cambodia. For this round we only focus on two indigenous group which are Kui ( Preah Vihear) and Steing ( Kratie). There are 9 theme to focus on and learn about. They are ceremony, food, geography, norm/belief, education/ healthcare, economy/daily life, language, music/art and people/ environment. The goals of this exploration help to promote and preserve indigenous groups. Throughout this exploration we also want to improve our interview skills, writing skills, photography skills, designing skill and video skills. At the end of this exploration we publish a book of Kui community and video of Steing community.
In order to achieve this we also went on trip to those two provinces which are Preah Vihear and Kratie to interview those indigenous group to get the information to put in our book and video. After the trips, we gather all the information and put it in the book and video. Each students have their own responsibility to responsible for own research theme. After we gather the information and out in the book and check with our facilitator , we also went back to the community to verify the information with the community people.
Overall, I have learned a lot from this exploration, not just skills but also how we can work as team, problem solver and how to adapt to situation which sometime we don’t have bathroom to take shower and we have only well so we have to adapt to that kind of situation. That’s just one situation that we facing but there are more problem that need to solve. Also, I have impacted a lot to this country by help to promote indigenous group. I hope to help the country more.
This is the link to our blog
Traditional food in Cambodia exploration is a seven weeks project which basically focuses on Khmer food and helps to promoted Khmer food back. In this exploration, I’ve learned a lot such as skills, to know my goals clearer, interview skills, etc….. In the first few weeks we research and find a restaurant that serves Khmer food and we try to contact them and go visit their restaurant. We’ve sent email to a lot of restaurants but there is only three restaurant that response us back which are Mahob restaurant, Cuisine Wat Domnak, and Sugar Palm. All of those restaurants are located in Siem Reap. Then, we decided to take a trip to Siem Reap for 4 days. On the first day, we stop at Skun market which is on the way to Siem Reap and stop there to interview some the seller in that market. One of my favorite seller in the market was the sticky rice with coconut milk seller which is Cambodian snack that was created the seller’s creative ideas.
On the second day, we went to two places which we went to a house that make Khmer rice noodle and we went to Mahob restaurant which is the first restaurant that we went to. I’ve learned a lot about how to make Khmer rice noodle it has a lot of step of making that Khmer rice noodle. Also, I’m happy to see people making it and conserve because it is a very traditional food in Cambodia. After I see people making it I feel that it’s very hard to make to earn money from that. After that, we went to Mahob restaurant which Mahob mean Food in English. When we went we have talked to two chef which is the chef Sothea, the owner of the restaurant and the chef Seav Inh, the sous chef. Chef Sothea had share very inspirational stories to us before eh becoming the owner of the restaurant. Chef Seav Inh has a very inspirational story as well. After I talk to them I feel that the chef is very important to the country because if the chef cooks the food without their love or like to cook the food won’t be delicious. Also if the chef cooks the vegetable that is unclean that could also make customers sick. So being a chef is hard so we shouldn’t look down at them.
On the third day, we went to Cuisine Wat Domnak which the owner of the restaurant is French. Chef Joannès Rivière is French but he decided to open the restaurant in Cambodia because he loves this country. Also even though he came from French but the taste of the food in the restaurant is all in Cambodian Flavor. When I went to his restaurant I learned that in his opinion the Cambodian food and Khmer food is different which Cambodian food means not the originally Khmer food but it comes from other countries since a long time and for Khmer food is an traditional food that found by Cambodian and all the flavor was Khmer flavor.
On the fourth day, we went to sugar palm which is the last day and the last restaurant that we went to. The owner of the restaurant was chef Kethana. In her restaurant was decorate most from palm tree such as the table, bowl, plate, door and more. In this restaurant also serve the food. The most special menu or food in her restaurant is Fish Amok. Chef Kethana also has a very inspirational life story which is a lucky girl who escapes from the Khmer Rouge period and went to live in New Zeland. She loves being a chef so she decided to open the restaurant serve Khmer food because she wants to help to promote Cambodian culture and food.
Overall, I feel that I have learned a lot from this exploration and it teach me to feel in love with my country more and more. Especially, I have changed my mindset that being chef is easy. A chef is really important to the country and if we don’t give value to the chef the country won’t be developed because when the visitor comes to the country the first thing they look for is food. So, if the food is unclean the visitor wouldn’t want to come to visit and that makes the country has low tourist site. I encourage everyone to stop looking down the chef. We also create a website that has all of our work which of my and my team. Here is the link
No plastic at Liger exploration is a seven weeks project. We’ve done a lot of things such as collected data about how many types of single-use plastic in Liger?, what are they? And how many of them are there?.
We had been collected all the trash around Liger as a group for four days. The first day which is on September, 4th, 2018 we got around 500 trash in Liger. The second day we collect around 300 trashes. The third day and fourth we collect around 200 trash. As you can see all the data there are 500 in Liger. Can you imagine how many are they around the world? There is trillion of trash around the world. Why should we care about all of those problems??? We all should care about these problems because it can cause many problems to the environment including us. It can harm the animal’s life, human, pollute the ocean or ozone. So, What we are trying to do is to help our school from single-use plastic to stop using plastic. We also have trip to go and talk to the Better U company which is a company that use grass for their customer.
The goal of our exploration is just to eliminate plastic straw and single-use plastic bags but the most that we focus on is to eliminate plastic straw. So, we trying to find some alternative tools that can replace it and we decide to give out straw and bags everyone including staff and facilitator. We’ve also have created a facebook page where people can take a picture of when they using metal straw or reusable bags instead of plastic. A page was called No Plastic Cambodia. Please go and help to like, follow and post pictures in our page.
I think this is a very wonderful project that many people around the world trying to do. I like this a lot because it not just to help our environment but it is very helpful to human too. I’ve learned a lot from this exploration such as what is the causes of the plastic, how to work as a group and come up with a great solution. I think the most challenge is to convince people to use all that alternative tools instead of plastic. We don’t want to make them feel bad about using it but we want to see them willing to do it by themselves. I think it would be a good idea if we can continue it not just in Liger but also in Cambodia which really help our country to be a wonderful country.