One of the Most Complicated Languages

I’m not surprise if most of Cambodian young generation do not know how to greet important people (king, monk and officials) by using formal words in Khmer. In my opinion, it is one of the hardest languages to learn as well as to use. One of the reasons that it is very complicated is the words usage in Khmer where they different words will be used for different status. It might make some confusion, but if you are a very determined person, I promise you, you’ll get it!

In Khmer literacy class, we learnt to be MC for a special event. I’ve learnt tons of new Khmer words even though it is my first language. Here are some general information that I would like to share about being a Khmer MC:

  • During greeting, you greet the monk before you greet the king/queen. It is very confused, because some people greet the king/queen first. 
  • To become a good speaker, eye contact, body and the tone are very important.
  • Singing national anthem is very important, but it doesn’t required to every event. Example of one event where singing national anthem is required: Khmer Literature Festival.

I was fascinated by the news vocabulary that I’ve learnt. It was a very great opportunity for me to know all of these because you’ll never know when you will be put on this spot one day!

Make the Earth Green Again

Source: Google

Another exploration, another workshop! If you’ve read through my exploration portfolio, you would have noticed that I’ve worked with people from outside a lot, particularly giving workshops. I just love working with people, and raising awareness about a particular issue in society as well as the country. Here I am giving another workshop with the theme of education about the environment. 

Trash is a huge problem in Cambodia. I’m sure that this is also a huge problem for other countries. We cannot stop the trash, but what we can do is change people’s behavior. This is one of the solutions that me and other students been working on. 

Me and my teammates are going to give a workshop to people about this problem. There are 7 unique stations that offer a variety of knowledge to the participants. I lead one of the stations which the participants will be given a chance to speak up about the environmental crisis, plastics pollution in particular through a round discussion. The goal of this discussion is to also enhance their environmental awareness as well as encourage others to take this as a critical community issue by knowing the amount of plastics that are thrown each year. The other topic that will be brought to the participants in my station is “technology”. Introducing three technology inventions (robot, satellite and 3D printing) to these Cambodia youth will be fascinating and helpful, because currently a lot of impact comes from technology and it helps us expand our knowledge through researching on the internet.

The most important lesson that I’ve learnt from this exploration is to learn how to manage my time wisely, in order to achieve your goal. Last but not least, I will not underestimate time again; 7 weeks is not short at all!

Cambodian Youth Outdoor Leadership Program (Continued)

In the past 7 weeks, I was continuing my journey of Cambodia Youth Program which we were getting to meet our participants for the first time. They are from KAPE, Kampong Cham province. We were getting to know each other by having a few activities and introducing them to the definition of Outdoor Leadership afterward. 

Here are some photos of our first workshop:

Introduction to Outdoor Leadership
Meet the Tree Activity
Group Photo of Participants and Leaders

In order to bring our potential participants into the forest, we needed to take Pre-trip and assessed the safety first. Therefore, we took a pre-trip to Aural Mountain, the highest mountain in Cambodia, Kampong Speu province. I would say that the terrain was very steep and it was quite challenging for me, since height is one of my biggest fears. However, we made it! 

Here are some photos of the Pre-trip:

Aural Mountain, the highest mountain in Cambodia

We’ve made a lot of progress so far! I’m looking forward to see this project being executed as part of the hope of change for the Kingdom of Cambodia. 

Universal food for life

Coming to Liger Leadership Academy, I get a massive opportunity to take a look at literature, outside world issues, and travel, yet I forgot to pay attention to what forms and gives me energy. Fortunately, I got to take a deeper understanding about it in my Life Science class. Did you know that all living things require energy? Well, that’s right life runs on chemical energy. But the question is where does this chemical energy come from? Glucose.

Glucose is a simple carbohydrate that have a molecule formula of C6H12O6. It is basically sugar. But what make Glucose? Glucose is made using energy in light through a process called Photosynthesis

Photo Source:

To elaborate on the picture above, photosynthesis requires Sunlight, Carbon dioxide, and water in order to run through this process. There are two stages of photosynthesis; Light Reaction and Calvin Cycle. Light Reaction is the stage where oxygen are produced for the next step; Calvin Cycle. Calvin Cycle is the stage where Glucose (sugars) are produced. 

To me, this is a new and fascinating topic to look through because I’ve never studied such these little things in our body and life before. This also teaches me the importance of trees and those plants out there who are doing photosynthesis in order to produce glucose to carry out our life processes.

Memorizing or Understanding?

Would you choose to learn through memorizing or understanding? This is a critical question for every student out there. I used to be very hesitant to answer this question, probably because of what I’ve experienced. However, as I grow and learn, I could find an answer to this question. Learn through understanding. 

I’ve been learning through memories for the whole life of my 6 school years ;grade 1 to 6. Even though I got good grades, I could feel that it is not an efficient way for me to learn. When I study in my government school, memorizing is the main key to get a good grade. However, they should’ve thought about the students understanding as well.

When I came to Liger Leadership Academy, I really enjoy how my learning is being progressed. Specifically in math class, well first of all, math is not a subject that I’m very good at, however my facilitators helps me to grow my understanding and thinking of each math problem. 

If our learning were to depend on our memorization only, we’re not going to get to our goal. Like in math, if we only remember the formula, but we don’t know how to do and interpret the formula, you won’t get to the answer. This school year is tough for me, but also interesting. I am introduced to a lot of new things. This year in math class, this is the first time where I work with algebra a lot. Something that is very cool about algebra, or math in general is that it doesn’t only about getting the answer right, but it also teaches us how to think outside the box and being strategic about each problem because in every math problems, there are a lot of strategies that we could have for each problem.

Cambodian Youth Outdoor Leadership Program

Last year, I was in one of the 7 weeks-project based learning where I and other 11 students went to Mondulkiri and Kirirom to seek the beauty of nature and observe each little piece inside the wilderness. I’ve learnt and changed a lot about my perspective toward nature. I also start to aware about impact from human factors toward our environment. Thus, as a change agent, we implement what we learn by creating a year long project where we’re on a mission to empower Cambodian youth to be outdoor leaders and environmental stewards by introducing them to natural spaces, raising awareness of conservation threats, and nurturing the passion and skills needed to positively impact their communities. 

Moreover, this project inspires, especially breaking the stereotype, “women belong to kitchen only”, for those young Cambodian women out there by providing them access to more sports;hiking. Many Cambodia women didn’t get the opportunity to be exposed to sports and outdoor activities, therefore it is very important to create this project and create empowerment. 

We are going to give the participants workshop and going on trip after. So far, we’re finalizing our workshop that consists of four categories; Leadership, Nature Appreciation, Medical & Risk Management and Wilderness Skills.

Additionally, this project based learning is not only teaches me about working and brainstorming, but also teaching me to be a good leader, because I’m always shy when it comes to leading someone, especially in the big group of unfamiliar faces. This exploration also enhances my critical thinking and creativity, which means I need to put myself into participants shoes to try to make this workshop as efficient as possible, because they are very new to this type of topic. 

Overall, I’m very excited to implement my knowledge and share it to Cambodia youth to become an outdoor leaders and see the impact we work together to change the Kingdom of Cambodia. 

The Indigenous Community in Cambodia

After we published a book that helps to promote geographical features of Cambodia, we found another gem that were hidden at the corner of the country. They are the “The Indigenous Community of Cambodia”.

According to OpenDevelopment Cambodia, The 1998 Cambodian population census identified 17 different indigenous peoples, but the consensus today is that there are 24 groups spread across 15 provinces, with the highest populations by far in Ratanakiri, Mondulkiri, and Kratie. They are estimated to number around 200,000 or around 1.2% of the population. Groups are often identified by their language. They broadly fall into two linguistic families: Austronesian, which includes the Jarai people, and Mon-Khmer, which includes the Brao, Kreung, Tumpoun, Bunong, and Kui.

Unfortunately, most of them are being unknown. I would say “Pnong” is the most well-known indigenous group. Other than that, we people have no idea if we’re mentioning the other indigenous group beside Pnong. Did you know that they have an amazing tradition that they deserved to be known? That’s why a project-based-learning called “Indigenous Community” existed. We are trying and working so hard to promote and bring back their tradition and culture.

However, we only have 7 weeks to accomplish this project, therefore we couldn’t help to promote 24 groups at once. We decided to choose two specific groups and make it nice and polish and the two indigenous groups are “Kui and Stieng”.

The population of Stieng indigenous community is mostly in Steung Treng province. Kui population is mostly in Bangkerng pal village, Preah Vihear province. We did a lot of research about this community on a variety of topics and there is not much information about them. We decided to take a trip to both communities for 2 nights and 3 days. The topics that we researched are ceremony, language, norms and belief, language, music, art, education, healthcare, food economy, geography, people and environment.

First off, I would like to write what the outcomes of this project are. We would like to make videos about each topic that listed above for Stieng community and we publish a book that included all of the topics listed above for Kui Community.

As you know that we only have 7 weeks to finish it up so again, lacking time is the main challenge that we’ve faced. 3 weeks took us to go on a trip and conducted the interview, we have 4 weeks remained to design this book. However, our passion would never end. We used our time wisely and worked so hard toward achieving this remarkable book.

We finally finished putting things together into a book! However, we went there again because we have to verified the information with the villagers as well as the village chief if the words are appropriate to use and also are the information that we are putting about them is true or not. It’s been a great journey throughout the exploration and I can see how ecstatic Kui people are seeing us as change agent doing such an important project that give a lot of impacts.

I really appreciate how hard our team had been working on to accomplish this project. Now the videos are done and the book is published. Being a change maker is hard, but our passion keeps us to continue what we are doing and here we are with our lovely book and videos. Here’s the link to our website if you’re interested to see more about indigenous community: Remember it’s just our first step to make the change!

2 Years Worth 420 Pages

Imagine that there are numerous gems that your country has, but no one knows how prepossessing they are. They were hidden in the corner of the country. How would you feel as a citizen of the country?

As a result, this crucial problem had lead us into an idea where we are trying to promote those treasures that Cambodian ancestors offered to us as a next generation. Book is the outcome of this project.

Making an impact on something requires a strenuous effort. However, I believe that small step does matter. Most people wouldn’t believe that it is possible for a 14-year-old girl to change her country. However, Liger Leadership Academy provides a project-based learning program for the students to become a change agent for the country. This year, cohort 2 finally finished a huge project that they have been working on. The project is called “The Geography Book of Cambodia” and guess what? We’ve been working on this project for 2 years and spending our time designing this book fo 3,150 hours which is not that easy.

It has been through innumerable steps to get this book polish. The cohort 2 of Liger Leadership Academy spent 4 rounds of the project-based learning traveling to 24 provinces including 1 city in Cambodia. We interviewed the villagers, visited the geographical places and enjoyed the marvelous view there. The photographs that are in our book are originally taken by our students. There are a few pictures that we took from Google Image, but we credited them in the caption underneath the picture. We conducted the information that after we came back from the trip. Some of the information that we got in our book are from research as well. After we wrote and organized those text (in both languages) into a google docs, the facilitators introduced us into a fancy way to credit the author of the data. It is called “APA citation”. Obviously, we don’t want to take the information from others and do not credit for them. That is called “plagiarism”. After we organized the information, checked the words and credited the authors, we started to the exciting stage which is “designing”.

There are ten designers in our team. We started off with conducting the designs/templates and chose which template will we design in the book. First of all, we would like to say that we were very new to the software. It is called “Adobe InDesign”. Therefore we also had to take time to learn how to get familiar with this software. We had two people from cohort 1 taught us how to insert texts, images, shapes, etc. After we chose the final design, we started to divide the designs to our lovely designers. There are four sections which is 4 regions that we designed in our book. We tried our best to finish this book even though the homework had stopped us from having free time. After a long journey, we finally did it! The only thing that needed to be done was finalizing it.

Adobe InDesign Software That We Used To Design

However, something had happened. As we’re reading through our book, we feel that we should input more of students voices into the book. That’s why our team came up with the add-ons which are Traditional Belief, Did you know?, Student Observation and Watch out. These add-ons are written from our students who have visited those places. We will include those in the part of the book because we want the reader to understand the Liger students’ perspective of visiting those places.

Moreover, everyone agreed that The Geography of Cambodia book had too much-written texts which might lose the reader’s interest. Therefore, the idea of creating more visuals for the text came to our minds. This meant inserting more graphics in the book. We discovered, researched different ways to do this and made a lot of graphic design through Photoshop and other software and websites. “Self-belief and hard work always earn you success” is quoted by unknown. We finally saw how our book turns out and looks like!

After we finished the design, the other main challenge for us was to get the sign from the minister of culture and fine art. We did really hope that they did sign for this amazing Geography Book of Cambodia. Three of the designers went to the Ministry and we presented this book for them. It was a great experience for me to speak formally in front of important people. Actually the minister was in France at that time, so we presented to the deputy director. It was a little bit scary because we need to be careful with our words, but I did it! Finally, we got the sign from the minister and we finally get this book the the very final stage!

Presented to the Deputy Directors

We were at our final stage in which we went through every single word in both languages (English and Khmer) and check if there are any writing mistakes in the book. There are some mistakes in our book, so we corrected it. After a long journey, I can’t believe that it is now in my hands. Was I dreaming? This book is very beautiful and I am very honored to be a part of making this book.

Comparing our very first design and the final design now, it had been a huge improvement. I couldn’t believe how we did it! We started off with a very boring book that was full of text, but now it is an amazing and creative textbook! I still can’t believe it!

Front & Back Cover of The Geography of Cambodia Book

Can’t Believe It’s In My Hand Now!

One of the goals publishing this book is to distribute them to the government school in Cambodia. As you know that the students at Liger Leadership Academy come from different provinces in Cambodia. During the Khmer New Year break, some of our students went to their hometown and distributing the book to the government school that they studied before coming to Liger or the school that is close to their house. We’re planning to put the book in the curriculum and right now we’re in progress of approving from the minister. When I was talking with school principals, they couldn’t believe how young kids making this huge project to change the world. They showed me the appreciation to the book and I’m proud that I accomplished this for my country!

I’m super excited for people to read this book and understand more about the Kingdom of Cambodia. Accomplishing this project might be the proudest moment in my life. I am so excited about what I can do more to give impacts to my country.

Escape the Ordinary

Photo by: Chanda Cheng

It is rare for a person that lives in the city that is surrounded by electricity, modern infrastructure and technology to have a chance to look at beautiful nature. To me, nature is something that occurs by itself and it is our friends. Since technology has been exposed to us, we forget about what nature has offered to us. I never went hiking in my life until I came to Liger Leadership Academy. At the end of year 1, everyone went hiking for 8 km at Kep province. I was pretty exhausted, however, the beauty of nature didn’t make me feel that way. In fact, it pushed me to get involved in hiking more. I really hope that I will have this splendid time again. Fortunately, my wish came true. It was the second hike of my life. Me and other 11 students went to two provinces in Cambodia (Kampong Speu & Mondulkiri). I got this second chance through project-based learning called “Outdoor Leadership”. 

I had three main goals for these trips. They were learning more about the environment there, seeing new animals/plants and taking risks & overcoming fears. Keeping myself hydrated is also important because health is one of life’s priorities. After I learned about the 4 leadership styles & roles, I was also interested in using at least one of them during the trip. 

During the Kirirom trip, I had a lot of fun and I did a very good job of being an active follower. However, we didn’t really engage much during trekking. Therefore, my plan for the next trip was to be engaging and showing as much enthusiasm as I can to make this journey more fun. 

Like one of our group members said, Mondulkiri was a very challenging trip. It really was because there are a lot of challenges and risks that we had to go through together as a team. Moreover, everything about this Mondulkiri trip went beyond my expectations. 

Photo by: Chornson Sum

First things first, I had to overcome my fear of heights. I feel a sense of panic and anxiety when I am at a high place. However, staying at a high place with beauty didn’t give me a sense of fear at all. After I had overcome my fear of heights, there was still an obstacle which is the leeches. It was my first time seeing leeches. Seeing them bite one of the teammates, I started shaking. I almost couldn’t continue the journey because it scared and creeped me out. At the end, I won’t give up on what I’m doing because we almost reached our destination. I believe that we have to assess the risk and understand about it first before starting to feel panic. Soon after, one of our teammates got bitten by the leech. I was close to her, but I was also afraid of it, but I couldn’t ignore it and left her like that. That’s why I had to step up and become comfortable with the uncomfortable. I hesitated to pick that leech with my bare hands, but that’s what I had to do to achieve this goal to “take risks and overcome fears” which I’ve mentioned before. After the fear of leeches was over, we encountered the steep way. It might be the steepest way that I’ve ever walked on. We had to be very cautious to avoid injuries. To me, I’m very proud of the teammates on our collaboration and communication. We used the sign called “Red Light, Yellow Light, and Green Light” that we used to determine our trekking speed. Red Light means to stop. Yellow Light means to trek slowly and Green Light means to continue. Everyone did a great job with listening and understanding each other even though they were good to continue while there was one person or people who wouldn’t be able to. Talking about communication, it happened to not only me, but other students as well about speak up for ourselves which we called “self-advocate”. There were challenges that will make us stop and take our packs off such as being exhausted, dehydrated, injured, etc. If we don’t speak up and let our teammates continue, our problems would keep going. That’s why it is very important to speak up before the problem gets worse. 

After a long journey of hiking with steep and leeches, we came back along with the rain. When we came back to the campsite, I was disappointed because the tents were wet and most of our clothes got wet and we had two days more to go. But this exploration taught me to have hope. Instead of focusing on problems, we worked on the solution instead. We decided to sleep at the tour guide’s house and hoped it would not rain tomorrow. At the end of the day, we were happy with what we had and what we did. 

I believe that those leeches, thunder storms, going through the steep way are worth it. Like a quote says “There is a light at the end of the tunnel”. We got to see the beautiful waterfalls, birds, plants and elephant. That might be the most rewarding part of this trip. 

One specific thing that I could have done more is to be more curious about nature. I could have asked more questions and learned more about the environment there. The trees, creatures, waterfall, and everything is so perfect that they deserve to be known and visited. 

Overall, the journey with these amazing people gave me one of the best moments of my life. I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to be surrounded by nature and learn about leadership in outdoors. If there’s another chance to have another time like this again, I would be very ecstatic to join!

Newton’s Three Laws

Have you ever heard about a guy who discovered gravity? He is Issac Newton. Not only gravity discovery, Issac also discovered his three laws of motion. So what are those three laws?

According to Wikipedia, Newton used them to explain and investigate the motion of many physical objects and systems. Now let’s understand and learn about the first law. The first law of motion could also be called “The Law of inertia”. The definition of inertia is the tendency of an object to resist a change in motion which means an object would stays the same and it will change if there’s an unbalance force or external force acted on that object. Here’s an example of this first law:

This example shows that the ball will continue to stay at the spot where it was kept. This conveys the statement that says “an object at rest stays at rest and an object continues its state of motion”. The ball will not stay at that spot anymore because there’s a force to the ball which there was a person kicked the ball. At first I thought learning about science was complicated, but it’s easy if you break it down and understand the concept step by step. 

There’s a website which helps guiding us learning about STEM where we use it all the time when we do reading. It is called If you are interested to read the 2nd and 3rd Newton’s Law of Motion, you can read it here: