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.