How I Changed Cambodia 2016-2017

Over the course of the 5th school year of 2016 and 2017 at the Liger Learning Center, I have participated in a lot of projects and events that I think have made an impact to Cambodia. Most importantly, these experiences have been very incredible very comprehensive and especially it has affected other people beyond just myself. To have the agency to be able to make changes happen, it is honored and proud; and very significant as a person of change agent characteristics.  

On the first seven weeks project on a course of learning called Exploration, I worked with a group of 12 students on the topic of Iron Deficiency the main health issue in Cambodia under the type of anemia. It’s very interesting to learn why is this the main health issue in Cambodia, specifically in the rural area. Globally, 3.5 billion people suffer

from iron deficiency anemia. In fact, it is the most common micronutrient issue in the world. First of all, the cause of Iron Deficiency is that you don’t have enough iron in your body. The human body needs iron because iron produces red blood cells that carry healthy oxygen. If a person doesn’t have enough iron, it means they are not healthy enough. The human need to consume red meat, leafy greens and all those food that contains a lot of iron, in order to maintain healthily. The condition predominantly affects women and children, especially those living in poverty. Women are more likely to have the iron deficiency because women have monthly loss of iron due to their period and they feel dizzy and weak. For years, relief agencies have been struggling to find simple and cost-effective solutions to the iron deficiency economic and human challenge. Luckily there is a solution to this problem which is The Lucky Iron Fish (LIF) an organization found by Gavin Armstrong. Lucky Iron Fish is a simple solution to the complex iron deficiency anemia problem. This product is made of iron ingot cast in the shape of a fish and is clinically shown to safely reduce iron deficiency anemia. In Cambodia, the little fish is already making a big impact. So in this seven-week course project, we are collaborating with LIF organization to have a deeper study into this topic but also helping to spread out the words and educated people about this health issue. We spend over a fair amount of time to research and understanding the science the issue with help from Davuth Ham, Lucky Iron Fish, Manager in Cambodia. After researching, we went on a field trip to Siem Reap with Davuth in the purpose to give workshops to villages people and children in school about this topic. We create a performance and presentations and we present to them in Khmer in such way that they can understand. We also got to distribute the little iron fish to those people and hopefully, they will use the fish daily to sustain their health. By creating and simulating this workshop, it has already been a part of changes to Cambodia because we have educated and encourage them to take care of their health and the words will spread from people to people, generations to generations. In another part of changes, this topic was to be presented in the STEM Festival, the biggest STEM event in Cambodia. It was mostly displayed to students from Cambodia who attend the festival and it was very affected for them to realize that iron deficiency is one of the main health problems in Cambodia and that we the young cohort can try to help to prevent it.

The global climate has constantly been changing over the period of time. Evidence shows that human activities are releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The atmosphere is trapping heat and warming the earth. The land is warming faster than the ocean. To slow or eliminate this rapid change, greenhouse emissions must be reduced. This is another seven-week project, Exploration that I involved in it and our main topic is about Climate Change specifically in Cambodia. The 10 of the students in the group, including myself were introduced to a concept which is Carbon Footprint. A carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide a person releases due to their individual action. After that, our group was split into a mini-grouping of three groups working on a small different project. Those projects were based on international website program that every school and students from around the world can participate. The three projects were International Students Carbon Footprint Challenge (ISCFC), Project Polar Bear Competition and lastly Green School Project. I was a part of ISCFC project but everyone in the group understands each project goals and objectives. So the goal of the ISCFC project is to calculate each individual student’s carbon footprint and then we compare our data to other students around the world and interacted with them by the website program. As we all had calculated our own carbon footprint using the International Student Carbon Footprint calculator, we can see that the range of it is between 4,000 kg to 9,000 kg and the average is around 6,000kg, which is way higher than the average in our country, it is around 1,000 kg. Compare to other countries like United State and China, our average is lower since we’re living in a developing country. While interacting with other students from all around the world, we were discussing rationale on why our carbon footprint are divergent. We analyze that, in some developed regions, most of the people travel a lot and for some developing regions, most people can’t afford to travel. To sum it all up, we can say that traveling using plane had caused a huge amount of carbon emission. For Project Polar Bear Competition, my fellow classmates have been working on a solution to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and so they have come up with an idea which is Focused on Food Waste. This group was responsible for calculating the amount of food that our school wasted every day. They try to separate meat, vegetable, and carbohydrates then weighed them, and find the amount carbon dioxide release in the production of this food. They then made two videos to educate Cambodian people not to waste food under the title of CO2 Emissions and Food Waste Message. The messages in these two video are very educational and people in Cambodia should be aware of it. These are what called changes, we have raised awareness so people can understand what we’re trying to accomplish. For the third group which is the Green School Project, the three students have worked really hard on their Green School experiment. In this green school team, they’re trying to find out our school’s carbon footprint and if we are carbon neutral or not. Being carbon neutral means we balance the amount of CO2 we released to how much can our trees absorb as a school. The team has found out that our all three types of trees (Santol, Mango, and Areca palm) can absorb 41,359 lbs which equal to about 18,760 kg of carbon per year. For the total CO2 that we released as a school, it was calculated that electricity released most of the CO2, over 87% in total. The total amount of CO2 that our school released is 283,496 lbs which are equal to 128,592 kg. This is almost seven times bigger than the CO2 that our tree absorbs which concluded that, our school isn’t carbon neutral. It is very important for us as a Cambodian to understand this concept because not many people are aware of climate change. We are the first Cambodian students to enter and participate in this program. We have shared our knowledge through videos and presentations to other Cambodian too. Even Though this is a small part of change but it’s very important that at least we’ve done something as a change agent.

   Filming has become something that I’ve been passionate for these past few years. I don’t even like filming that much, I don’t like the technicality and formality of it. But I like to share stories and experiences and filming is my favorite media to show and express my creativity and ideas of it. This year, I was engaged with six passionate filmmaker students and we’ve work on an Exploration relating to filmmaking. The objective of this project was to educate young students in government, in our community about how to make films in general including creating a story and learning about the technicality of it. Fewer Cambodians were introduced to filmmaking and very little amount of them are actually interested in it. So in this seven week, we have planned to organize two full weeks workshop with the government school from two different schools in our community. We took a trip every day to their school in order to give them the lessons but also we are going to create films together. We were hoping that their films could enter in the Phnom Penh Youth Film Festival (PPYFF). This exploration was a little uneasy when we’ve come to the teaching part. The students participated well but they were pretty shy to share their ideas and that’s quite a problem because in filming, everything is about ideas. We’ve faced many challenges but in the end, there was always a success. It turns out that the students finished two films of their own and they entered it in the PPYFF. I hope this was a great change for them and I hope they will still keep doing it in the future and passed their knowledge to other students. Everything started with a small change and I think this is a great model for it.

Waste management provides industry-leading disposal and recyclings solution for business and residence. It is also a way to help the environment. In this exploration, I worked with ten students under the topic of waste management, composting. Together we were researching about composts but in that, we also learn about how can we make a business out of composting. The goal is to find a convenient composting business or residence way to introduce to the people in our community. We started off by researching on three different type of compost which are cold compost, hot compost, and vermicompost. We also did a research on NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) on its benefit. After having background knowledge, we went on a small trip to interviewed villagers in our community. There were interesting comments and feedbacks when we talked to them. Most of them do know what organic compost is but they’ve never tried it before. Most of the farmer said that they would rather use fertilizer since it helps their plants to grow faster so they can be in the market competition like others. Most of them also said that making compost takes times so it might be difficult for them to make it since they’re farmers and they’re really busy. It was very interesting to talk to them but this also help us to improve our ideas and how can we convince to do it. The second time that we went and interview them, we’ve received a better news than before. We have met two household that was interested in doing this business. It was very exciting for us to know that there are at least people who support this idea. We then come up with a design and ways that are suitable for them. In this process, we’ve faced a lot of challenges. Our project lasted only for seven weeks and so we were running up late on our plan. We’ve tried to design an inexpensive compost bin since the farmer doesn’t have a lot of money to start of with this business. Another goal for this exploration is to give a workshop about composting to the whole community. We’ve contacted the school director in the village and finally, they’ve allowed us to give the workshop in their school. This is a big success for us since our information is going to spread out even more. Waste management is such an important issue in Cambodia and not a lot of people are aware of it. The organic and plastic wastes are mixed. Raising public awareness of the benefits of separating wastes is a significant challenge for the country. Studies say Cambodia has almost no recycling infrastructure. Some of its recyclable waste goes to Thailand and Vietnam for reprocessing. To be able to get this to accomplish in a small step, sooner or later it will become a big impact by the effect of the small process of the young generation.

Cambodia is one of South East Asia countries who has the long coast about 443 km at the south and southwest of the country in the Gulf of Thailand. There are over 50 islands in Cambodia’s waters area. Further than that, the recent estimation, there are 435 of marine fish species, 70 of hard corals species, 30 of mangroves species, and ten of seagrasses species present in Cambodia’s coast. Currently, Cambodia faced many bad environmental situations due to illegal fishing like trawling and using electrical supplies. Generally, illegal fishing is one of the most impactive ways to the environment, especially for the biodiversity that is living in water. In details, there are some animals who are living in the injurious situation and become endangered animals like the eight species of sea turtle, corals, and sea birds. So in order to help to solve this conflict, my friend and I teamed up to create an investigation project which is relating to the restoration of coral reef population using artificial reefs. First of all, an artificial reef is a human-made underwater structure, typically built to promote marine life in areas with a generally featureless bottom and block ship passage. To come up with this project idea, I was inspired by Marine Conservation Cambodia (MCC) an organization that is trying to conserve Cambodian ocean from all the threats, for instance, illegal fishing. The goals of our project are to be a small part of helping the sea biodiversity like fish and others, due to the real life situation, there is climate change and pollution are happening so far in Cambodia because of those human activities. Our details objectives are:  

  • Provide a complex habitat for marine ecosystem within an increased diversity and density of species
  • Establish and implement an effective project for the artificial shellfish/ anti-trawling reef.  
  • Restoration of population of  marine species
  • Increase in the knowledge of understanding the marine ecosystem, ecology, and habitat, marine species, artificial reef/ anti-trawling reef design, construction, and deployment.

This is one of our biggest ways to study all the situations about sea organism and the changing of the environment of marine life in Cambodia. We took three months to study about the basic marine ecosystem, knowledge in an artificial reef and reading reports about successful artificial reef project around the world. After studying some background information we started to sketch our designs of our own artificial reef. In the part of the whole project, it required a lot of time to think through all the designs and draw it out on the paper. Finally, we choose one design and decided to build it using cement. Unfortunately, while we were building, there were problems to be found so we change our design immediately by using our ingenuity. We worked closely with MCC in order to receive positive feedback and to get permission to deployed our reefs block into their protection area. The construction/deployment of our first artificial shellfish reefs was taking place on Marine Conservation Cambodia’s current base island; Koh Seh, Kep Province, Cambodia. The deployment of concrete blocks was assembled in the area inside Marine Conservation Cambodia’s conservation and research zone. There is also another artificial reef site that was built by Pannasastra University students in Phnom Penh. They have also conducted a research and studied about marine biology and they’re the first Cambodian students to get degrees in marine biology. We conducted our research in this area because it’s a conversation location and there are also other projects that controlled within the area like, bivalve restoration of shellfish and anti-trawling reefs, artificial reefs and algae farming project. We believe that our project can be part of the restoration for shellfish within other projects around it. We are very excited for our first reef to be installed there and it is slowly starting to make small effect out of it. A group of students went down to Koh Seh again and they have collected us some data. They told us that, our reef is providing a shelter for fish to lay their eggs in. Since our reef is pretty small, it is secure for fish to lay their eggs in their and it won’t affect anything. For a further experiment, we are going to deploy our original idea down to Koh Seh again for the second time. This design is completely different from the other project at Koh Seh, especially the ideas from the students from Pannasastra University and MCC originally Restoration of Bivalve Artificial Reef. The cube block will be implemented next to the old artificial reef, estimated in 5 meters away, and 25 meters away from the natural reef. If the blocks successfully deploy, we can compare the impact of different design and see which one fits the environment. Cambodia has lacks of people who understand how important our ocean is and how our citizens should try to protect it. Our research proposed anti-trawling artificial reefs as a possible solution. We are highly passionate about marine science, researching, protecting and monitoring our ocean and we believe that we can be the change agents of our country.

The ocean is the oxygen we breath. Trashes found everywhere around the beaches and the ocean. The flow of trashes floating on the water, traveling around the ocean world that can affect many things in the ocean. I think trashes can affect the environment of the ocean because of many reasons. The ocean is the air we breath, so if there trashes floating around the ocean then it can affect the human health too (pollution).  The ocean is also the place where people can find food to eat. If humans throw trashes into the ocean then the creatures that live in the ocean will eat those plastics and they will die. Once they die, people will take them to eat and then it will effect on our health too. On the 17th of September,2016, My friend and I volunteered to organize an event call International Coastal CleanUp (IIC) in Kep, Cambodia. The purpose of this event is to gather everyone to clean up the beach in Kep. This event happens all around the world and our country, Cambodia has never joined before. So we’re the first ever Cambodian groups to do the beach cleanup at Kep. The participants were involving 80 students, citizens and a few foreigners from MCC who are interested in marine conservation. There was two location that we have cleaned. The first location was the Fishing Village which has a lot of trashes around the shore because the people in that village is living along the shore and they’ve been throwing trashes around their environment. This event has impacted a lot of the people that are living there because they have seen our actions and we hope they’ll try to keep their surrounding clean. This can show them that they should care about the environment and shouldn’t throwing trashes around the home like that. The second places that were cleaned up are the Crap Market area, which is the marketplace. By looking at the word market, imagine that there are a lot of trashes and since it is near the beach, it is very effective to the tourism site. We registered our event into Ocean Conservancy. globe, Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup engages people to remove trash from the world’s beaches and waterways, identify the sources of debris and change the behaviors that cause marine debris in the first place. We entered our data into their international database. We’ve collected over 680 pounds which equal to 309 kilograms along the coast within 3 kilometers and the total items that we’ve collected are 9,895. I’m very proud of myself to be able to make this event happen and get people to involved. I think this event will create a great impacted to Cambodia and a good model to people to take actions to save their environment.

On the 24th of January 2017, I got the greatest opportunity ever to attend the ASEAN Astronomy Camp 2017 that was held in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I got this opportunity because, in November, I applied for in the competition in order to get this amazing experience. First I was passed only on the waiting list and I was proud of myself because out of everyone in the school that applied, I was the only one who got my name on the waiting list. After a few weeks later, I got accepted to attend the camp and I was very thrilled. Unfortunately, I have to travel abroad alone for the first time without any of my friend nor teachers and I was the only one representing Liger. But there were also some of the other Cambodian students who came from different schools and so I have to travel with them and it was really fun and I feel more comfortable knowing that there are other people I can travel with. So ASEAN Astronomy Camp is an event organized by National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT) public organization. The Camp welcomed 37 high-school students and 9 teachers from a wide range of schools across Southeast Asia. It comprises of 7 national representatives from Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, The Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam respectively. I represent Cambodia, obviously and there were 10 other Cambodian students too. So the idea of this camp was to introduce students to the science of Astronomy, technology and also give the students the greatest opportunity to experience the reality of astronomy. The rest of the program was conducted at Doi Inthanon National Park, whether at its headquarters, the summit and Thai National Observatory (TNO), where the state-of-the-art 2.4-metres and a soon-to-be robotic telescope is located. To name a few of NARIT workshops began with the basic talk ‘Introduction to Astronomy’, ‘Basic Stargazing’, ‘Planet Walk’, ‘Make a Comet’, ‘Solar Observation’, ‘Dobsonian Telescope’ to hands-on deep sky observation during both days and nights. Besides all of the above-mentioned curriculum, AAC 2017 took the advantage of the best location possible on top of the highest mountain in the country to expose young students and their advisors to local culture, food, and language. This is a very memorable journey of all success to inspire our young ASEAN citizens to have much more anticipation to be exposed and educated to Astronomy and its related fields of science and technology at a larger scale. To be honest, this wasn’t my kind of passion but it is a really great experience for me. To be able to explore this field, it was astonishing. I’m very pleased to be in one of the 11th Cambodian students to experience in this ASEAN Astronomy Camp.

 

MAD Scholarship Competition to Australia

Last summer, I have applied for an art scholarship to Australia. The competition was asked to do four pieces of art; two of the art piece has to be drawing and painting and the other two could be anything including multi-media and sculpture. 

Art is very important to me because it’s one of the ways that I can express my creativity, my originality, and innovation. Art has always been something I always wanted to explore and be better at it. I remembered my first time to hold brushes and paints, it was very nerve-racking because every single time, I consistently thought I was going to ruin everything and make mistakes and I hate making mistakes. But I realize that arts are not something I should worry about making errors because I can get very creative with it very easily and I will always value it even though it’s not the profession. The more I experience arts, the more I get used to love doing it and the more I can demonstrate my creativity. I love to visualize things in a different perspective from others and arts is one of those unique ways that allowed an idea or stories to indicate. I want to tell stories and that’s what I love the most in life. My creativity and imagination have always been something I’ve kept to myself and I really want to communicate those ideas to other people beyond just myself.  “Having ideas is not just having it in your mind, you want your idea to reach to other people. Show them so they can enjoy it too!” My influences are everything I see, all of my experiences and emotions and I formed all those things into one big picture or intention and then create something fascinating with my imagination and ability. Despite the fact that my dream isn’t exactly about arts but at least it is a part of it and a part of me. I will always have the creative commitment.

My goal for my artwork is to inspire and motivate those people who see it and I want them to discover their own beauty and appreciation. In the future, my artwork should be seen as an allegory so that people can pay attention more to what they’re seeing.

By joining this opportunity, I have learned so much and experience so many new things that I have thought it was very challenging. For examples, learning how to use photoshop, a new style of film and amazing arts techniques from artists on online. This opportunity is truly phenomenal for me to fulfill my future, revamp my art skills to another level and especially being able to communicate my stories to those professional artists. Lastly, I can’t express how much I love arts and how much I admire the beauty of it but I’m still self-taught and my dream is to experience it with the reality artists. 

These are my four pieces with a little statement to it. 

Soliday Yon,

My Bucket List,

acrylics painting,

80 cm × 58 cm, canvas,
Link to my painting video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5nBkyjRSm0

Description: My bucket list shows not the possibilities of today, but what I want my future to look like. This is a painting of a bucket list as my dream career of being a filmmaker, and a bucket list as a dream of me as that person. This was an interesting painting to look at because what I painted on the canvas can be seen in a different meaning from what I expected, and that’s why I love art because people can see a painting from a completely different perspective than the artist. The girl in floating hair represents me dreaming about things I want to do before I die and the camera on the left represents my future. This theme is very spiritual for me because it’s about a girl who has big dreams and desperately wants them to come true before she dies.

Soliday Yon,

Living in Internal,

Mixed media,

Description:  What I meant to show in this picture is about being myself internally. Half of my face with colorful paints and stars represents what people see on the outside of me. The other is half black and white with stars represents what I see in myself that other people can’t see.  Those stars represent my dreams. It’s such an important thing for me because what people think or see about me isn’t always the same of what I see in myself. What I am like isn’t always shown in my actions. Some ideas people have of me are because of my talents, but for the dreams I’ve dreamed of, I need to reach it and it doesn’t come to me easily. Another word to describe this is “secrets”. Sooner or later, secrets will be revealed, but I really hate being judged when my secrets are exposed and it hurts a lot because my emotions and feelings are very easily to outburst. That’s why this is an important theme for me to mentioned, “What you see in yourself is YOU. You understand yourself, you know yourself. What they see in you isn’t always true.” – Soliday

Soliday Yon,

The Beauty of Passion,

Photography,

Photoshop Adobe,

Description: Every person has a passion that they appreciate the most. Growing up, I’m starting to understand who I really am and what I really like. It’s so amazing and beautiful when you’re starting to know your true passionate because it helps to define who you really are. I have many passions that I discovered throughout my lifetime. So this picture describes my passion for photography and how much I appreciate and in love with it. But it’s not just about photography, it’s about the bright colorful beauty of all my passion and photography represented it. I love what I do because it’s a true passion and it is something I really believe in.

Soliday Yon,

To My Beloved Father,

Video,

Premiere Pro CC 2017,

Link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paYc3sd_WaM

 

Description: The reason I chose this topic is my love because I find it a very emotional thing for me and difficult to express. All I’m trying to show in this video is, even though I’m not close to my father like I’m close to my mother, he will always be a part of me and I will always care for him. My actions might not show that on the outside, but I truly love him deep in my heart.

This i Believe

 

I come from a pretty simple background family. I grew up in a big family with five siblings including myself and my parents. My siblings are all married and have family which left only me and I feel like I’m left alone. Now it’s been 15 years that I’ve continuosly growing and things are starting to change. Some changes are hard to take in and some changes are easy to accept. I’m 15 years old, I’m not a child anymore. I believe: in opportunity to make the most important decision to become who I am.

Five years ago, my life was drastically different than it is today. Every single thing that’s happened to me has since impacted who I am and where I am now. That life-changing decisions I was trying to make, I should have go with my gut. Never should have ignore my instinct again because, it won’t fail myself now. Sometimes it’s really hard to either follow my heart or follow my brain. It’s hard for my mind to explain it self. Knowing that sometime things that I do isn’t always right but I just did it because I was lose in myself. I didn’t know the right path and I couldn’t see a light to follow. This reminds me of something that I used to say before, “Pay more attention to your thoughts, what you’re thinking is what you’re attracting to doing it.”

When it comes to making decisions, I couldn’t stay focused because the negativity will always try to drag me down. For example, some best friend forever aren’t really forever but I will never forget or regret the time I’ve spend with them. They’ve all impacted my life no matter how long they were with me for, eventhough they’re not a true friend now.

This was when I was 10 years old. My sister had to leave me. She is the greatest sister and I always called her “Mom” because she has been taking care of me since I was a baby. She decied to leave us in a happy way so she could find a family of her own. She had to go very far away. I was crying so hard for a week before she leaved. I don’t want her to go because I love her so much. I always thought she’s not going to come back and she don’t love me anymore. At that time she explained to me, “This is for the best of me and for the best of you too. You’re going to be a great daughter and I trusted you for taking care of yourself and the family. This was a hard decisions for me but you’ll understand why I make this decisions when you’re older. I love you so much Soliday! I promise I’ll visit you and maybe one day, I’ll take you with me.” I was hugging her so tightly I don’t want to let go but then I realize, I need to understand her happiness too. I respect her decision and I should be happy for her. So I decided to learn to accept it. This was my sister life changing decisions and she was right, it has changed her now. It was my first lesson.  

Some decisions are really hurt in the end. It’s like the end of the world when I’ve regreted it. Like when I experince heartbreak, I’ve told myself to not wasting so much time on emotions and energy just to think about him because he’s not worth it anymore.

Each decisions that I’ve made, it at least teaches me something afterward. So far I’m still happy with what I’m doing. Life making decisions isn’t always easy and in fact it will get a lot harder, it’s going to try and break me but I will get through it. Don’t pause or it will be a lot more painful.  

 

ASEAN Astronomy Camp 2017

On the 24th of January 2017, I got the greatest opportunity ever to attend the ASEAN Astronomy Camp 2017 that was held in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I got this opportunity because in November, I enter this competition in order to get this amazing experience. Unfortunately, I have to travel abroad alone for the first time without any of my friend nor teacher and I was the only one represent Liger. But there were also some of the other Cambodian students who came from different schools and so I have to travel with them and it was really fun and I feel more comfortable knowing that there’s other people I can travel with.

So ASEAN Astronomy Camp is an event organize by NARIT (National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand) public organization. The Camp welcomed 37 high-school students and 9 teachers from a wide range of schools across Southeast Asia. It comprises of 7 national representatives from Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, The Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam respectively. I represent Cambodia, obviously and there were 10 other Cambodian students too. So the idea of this camp was to introduce students to the science of Astronomy, technology and also give the students the greatest opportunity to experience with the reality.

This camp was held for 4 days, each and everyday is always busy. There were always loads of fun activities and loads of exciting presentation from scientist, astronomers and telescope experts. We were divided into 5 groups and we were always worked with the group for the rest of the camp. There are 5 big activities which were:

1. Make a sextant – We got to listen to a scientist and he talk about the stars attitude and directions of stars. And then he instructed us on how to make a handmade sextant so that we can use our sextant to measure stars attitude at night when we go star gazing.

2. Planet Walk – We have another talk from another scientist to present us about our solar system. Then we start our activity by calculating the distance between each planet (example from Earth to the sun) with a demonstration model.

3. Making a comet – This is my personal favorite activity because we got to make our own model comet using real equipment and ingredient.

4. Solar observation – For this activity, we use the reflecting telescope to see the sun. If we put a paper through the reflecting telescope, it will actually burn the paper because the sunlight is really strong. In order to observe the sun, we need to put a paper, not too close to the telescope, and then we will see some dotting point on it.

5. Using Dobsonian Telescope – The most challenging activity. We got to listen to a real telescope experts and he told us how the telescope works and different function of it. We then learn how to use the telescope with help from experts but at night, we were using the telescope at night to see the stars without helps from experts at all. It was challenging because the function of the telescope is complicated.

Talking about stargazing at night and in the morning was fabulously. First time in my life that I got to identify stars by naked eyes and also looking at different planets, stars, constellation, galaxies through strong telescope. And first time I got to experience with telescope too. It was so cold up on the mountain but I still make it through because I was curious and I want to talk and learn from the astronomers, scientists and everyone who’s there with me.

My first impression for this event was getting to exchange culture with other people from Asia that participate in the event. I’m so delightful to make friends with them and there’s nothing better than creating a new friendly relationship with other people. These students that join the event are talented and smart and very interesting to communicate with because of their cultures. The food in Thailand are so spicy but so delicious. I miss the food there a lot because whenever I think of it, it makes me hungry.

Talking about the other 10 Cambodian students that went with me, they’re very intelligent too. At first I was scared traveling with them because they all know each other and I’m left alone knowing no one. But it turn out that they’re very pleasure to be with, very kind, generous and funny for sure. I’m so pleased to be friends with them and I hope we will still be connected in the future or maybe we will go back to the camp next year together.

What I notice from this camp was, most of the people that join the ACC events are very passionate about astronomy and now I can see why they like to learn and explore the topic of astronomy because the idea of astronomy is very fascinating. It makes people wonder and want to discover more and more about it and it’ll never end.

This has been one of the best experience that I’ve got in life so far.

ASEAN Astronomy Camp Website

NARIT ASEAN Astronomy Camp 2017 Video

Khmer Rouge Exploration Description

This is the second exploration of the school year which I found a really interesting topic to investigate about. We took this exploration to learn about our history which is Khmer Rouge or Khmer Red as we call.

For me, it was a little bit difficult and painful to learn about this history because whenever I’ve heard new information or learn new things, I always wish I hadn’t hear that. This class took a lot of my imagination about the past. My mother has experienced that time and I never had the courage to ask her what happen because I knew that it would hurt her even more when she think about it.

Khmer Rouge was formed in 1968 by the leader Salot Sor aka Pol Pot. Khmer Rouge enter Phnom Penh in 17th April, 1975. It ends on the 7th January 1979 from the help of Vietnam soldiers. People in the city were evacuated and forbidden to move out from their city to the rural area. A few days after Khmer Rouge enter Phnom Penh, the city became quiet and no one live in the city. At that period, the city was called a “ghost city”. People were forced to do hard working and some people die because of illness and starvation from not receiving enough nutrients.

There are loads of information that I’m sure you’ll be surprised when you hear it but there’s too much to describe how awful it was.

We also went to Siem Reap and Odor Meanchey province in order to explore more about the history back then. We went to Anlong Veng mountain and that’s where Khmer Rouge soldiers were hidden after the period ends. We get to interview some people back there about their experience and perspective and there were also some new information to compare to when we learn in class. While we were in Siem Reap, we also explore many different museum that relates to Khmer Rouge like, War Museum and Landmine Museum. It’s really interesting to see all of those big tanks, bombs, mines, and others dangerous weapons that they use in Khmer Rouge.

I also create a documentary about Khmer Rouge while on trip but unfortunately I haven’t upload in Youtube yet.

What Does It Means To Be A Person?

WHO AM I? That is always the first question I ask myself before I decide to do something. And this should be the first question that you should ask yourself before you make any decisions. WHO AM I?

What does it means to be a person? This question comes up into my mind when I was so stressed and I thought I was going to give up on myself. What does it mean though?
Here is my perspective on what I think the meaning of a person is.

Everyone in the world have one life. You born and then you die, without knowing when or where. Every human-being in the world have different personality, and only yourself can describe who you are and your own characteristic. Everyone has their own identity, external and internal.

First of all, to be a person, you have to know who you are. And trust me, everyone knows who they are. And don’t ever say “I don’t know myself! I don’t know how to describe myself.” because you know what, that can be the biggest lie to yourself. Every person have a talent, and it doesn’t matter whether it unique or not. Believe it or not, your talent is what makes you stands out.

In life, you need to take risk and go for it, try it and experience it! Take opportunities! Opportunities don’t come for you. You need to take initiative to find it by yourself in order to reach success. Everyone makes mistakes and gives up. Don’t make your mistakes bordered you. Your mistake is the path to reach your goals. I have experience giving up on myself but at the end, I feel regret and I never wanted to give up again because I learn from my mistake. That’s why I always be very careful with my decisions because some decisions can affect you in the end. And I’m sure everyone feels that when they choose the wrong decisions because in the end they would feel regret. You don’t want it to happen, but who knows, sometimes it’s a miracle and sometimes it’s like going to hell. Everything happens for a reasons.

There’s also one big thing that you can never forgotten to talk about it. LOVE! Gives out loves to people around you. Your family, is your biggest support. Support each other and gives respects. Appreciate the environment you’re in. Value yours and other people work. Everyone has the power to change things. Speak UP! Stands UP! Be brave! Tell yourself, You Can Do It and there’s nothing that’s going to stop you. Do something that helps your country or the world. Don’t destroy yourself or the other because everything is valuable.

I just wanted to say that, I learn from myself a lot. And now, I think I know the direction that I’m going to be heading to. Sometimes people don’t appreciate my works, but I don’t care because all I know is that I did it and I will continue until the end point comes. Appreciate yourself and follow the path that is given or create your own path and go for it!

Life is a gift, and you should treasure it! – Soliday

Impact Stroll – Event

On the 20th of November, 2016, I get to attend an event organize by Impact Hub called Impact Stroll. Impact Stroll event purpose is tour students around Phnom Penh to see different Entrepreneurship and study from them. Eight of the Liger students attend the event. We start the event around 9 a.m in the morning until 5 p.m in the evening. We walk around Phnom Penh to see five different business. I forget the names of their business already. Most of the business that we went to are Eco-friendly business.
Anyway, the event was really fun. As usual, I learn a lot from those business man and got a lot of good advice.

Kampot Writers Readers Festival – 2016

On the 3rd of November 2016, twelve of our Liger students including me, attend an event in Kampot called Kampot Writers and Readers Festival.

Overview
Kampot Writers & Readers Festival (KWRF) is held annually in November in Kampot, Cambodia. The KWRF takes place in over 36 venues around Kampot, Kep and Phnom Penh, featuring a mixture of ticketed and free events, all upholding the festival’s objectives.
Literacy & Education
Culture & History
Global Issues
Community The KWRF is a major project of the not-for-profit foundation Kampot Arts & Music Association (KAMA). The idea for a Kampot Writers Festival was conceived of by Julien Poulson in consultation with Ubud Writers & Readers Festival founder Janet de Neefe, and in Kampot with Wayne McCallum as co founder, as a vision to bring good will, promote literacy and share stories in Cambodia.Kampot Writers & Readers Festival has quickly become Cambodia’s largest and most renowned cultural and literary event. The mission of Kampot Writers & Readers Festival is to create a well-programmed international festival that acts locally, thinks globally, explores extraordinary stories, promotes literacy, emerging writers, brave voices, bold ideas and global issues.The successful launch of our 2015 debut amply demonstrated the concept of bringing together Cambodian and international writers on a shared stage in a vibrant and celebrated way – creating a space for conversation and connection across cultural divides, vastly different backgrounds and experience levels.
KWRF 2016
The 2016 Kampot Writers & Readers Festival explores themes of ‘Peace, Freedom, and Prosperity’ (Santiphap, Seripheap, Pheap Roungrueng) and marks the 25th anniversary of the Paris Peace Accords. The Paris Peace Accords were signed on October 23, 1991 and marked the official end of the Cambodian–Vietnamese War.
This year’s festival take place in Kampot, Cambodia, from 3-6 November with a final closing event in Phnom Penh on Monday 7 at The Exchange.

After going to the event, I’ve learn and experience a lot of things. I obviously didn’t go to all the venues but at least most of the venues that I went to are really educated. Some of the themes that I went to were also related to what I learn currently and I thought that was really helpful. My favorite theme out of the event was the Fairy Tales. The theme was about imagining about the one of the fairy tales and we get to change the story of the fairy tales by writing and drawing. At the end we get to share our story and it was quite funny at the end. At the end of our last day, we get to go on a boat cruise along the Kampot river side and listening to a book presentation from Laura Jean McKay, the author of the book call Holiday In Cambodia. We also get to see fireflies and it was really beautiful. At that point, some of our Liger students got an opportunity to presents to all the people on the cruise about their book, Wildlife In Cambodia.

Basically, in this event I get to network with a lot of people. I’m proud of myself and all the people that went with me because I feel like we take a lot of opportunity in this event, we ask questions we answers questions and it was really amazed. I hope to join this event again next year.

I also took some pictures and videos in the event and I’ve created a short video about it.
Have a look at the video.

Visit the Kampot Writers Website.

Literacry – Pgymalion

For the past few weeks, in literacy, we’ve been learning a lot about advanced writing. Our teacher taught us how to write an essay, write a response using evidence and using quote sandwich. She’ve picked a play for us to read, and it called Pygmalion, My Fair Lady. She would tell to read a section and then she would ask questions by using the text-dependent questions, we would write a summarize/main idea using quote sandwich. Right now, we’ve already finish the play and we’ve write an argument essay about the characters.

This class include a lot of hard work then last year. Mainly, we focus on improving our writing skills. For this past few weeks, what I see for my improvement is that when I write a response, I always cite the evidence and explain my evidence really well. What I need to work on is my grammar and to that I need to practice writing more and more.

Class Lessons: 

A Presentation From Green Camp

On the 10/26/2016, three visitors from Green Camp came to visit at our school and also given us a presentation about their organization. Gren Camp is a really amazing organization. Mostly, it relates to nature. Green camp have 4 pillars of learning such as sustainability, cultural appreciation, leadership, experiential education. They work with Green school, one of the most incredible school in the world to teach students and help them to understand about green camp and what it’s like to be a part of the nature. I thought this was a really interesting project and I was really inspire by this project. I think it’s really important to learn about nature and the interaction between human and nauture. The word “explore” is what I always think about.

Visit Green Camp website.
Visit Green School website.