Changing Cambodia and Myself

Changing Cambodia doesn’t have to be big, but all of the small things that you do everyday could also be a change. Being one of the students in the Liger Leadership Academy is a really significant opportunity to make a change in myself, my country or perhaps the world. I was born and raised here in my country, Cambodia. I do not wait for someone to change or wait until I become an adult and change, but I am the one who makes a change in this developing country, the Kingdom of Cambodia. So, the first step towards anything and everything starts from you and you only. 

Liger is an experiential, project-based learning school. This project-based learning is enhanced with intensive activities that involve student immersion in real-world experiences outside of the classroom named “Exploration”. There are my expeditions in 2019: 

OutDoor Leadership Exploration

Throughout the journey of learning in this exploration, I’ve learned so many things and have also made some positive impacts on Nature and the Environment. Nature is very important in our lives. Without nature, our lives are just nothing. All of the people around the world know the importance of nature, but because of the mindset thinking only about their own benefits, people started to cut down trees. By cutting down those trees, it killed many animals lives. Wildlife plays an important role in balancing the environment and provides stability to different natural processes of nature. I’ve learned that wild animals can inspire people to lead a sustainable lifestyle. They can invoke feelings of sympathy and compassion, causing people to be conscious of the damaging effects of their lifestyles. Every animal is very gentle if we are nice to them. Learning the importance by yourself first before telling others to do so is really important because if you are not aware of yourself and want others to change and be aware of wildlife then there is no point at all. And when you keep learning and upgrading yourself everyday, you gain knowledge and wisdom to know why you need to change in order to tell others to change this and that. I’ve spread the knowledge and understanding about wildlife to other people in my community because I want people to take care of what we already have instead of thinking about their own benefits and waiting for the end to come, and to also share what they learned from me as well. 

Making the place cleaner than what it was is also one of the changes and positive impacts. Because of people’s laziness, they like to leave trash behind after fulfilling their own stomach without thinking that, that one trash affects thousands of lives. As a whole group, we picked up and clean the environment every time we see trash. Ten pieces sound like a nominal number, but it’s scaled immensely when the collective power of a group of travelers joins in. With a group of just 15 travelers, the 10 pieces quickly turn into 150. And if there’s another group of 15 travelers at the same place the next week, that’s another 150 pieces of litter. It soon adds up. When the community sees visitors to their home collecting litter, it encourages them to be responsible for their waste disposal. With this understanding, they can lobby for better litter disposal methods for their communities, and they also become less likely to throw litter into their environment themselves. Just picked up some trash, you became good a role model of the world, not only that, but you will also make the environment cleaner that could bring positive impacts to millions of wildlife. Ten pieces of litter can be collected in under 60 seconds; anyone can do it, and it costs nothing at all. 

Being a good role model for the community to see and follow is really important because it affects the lives of young people in our society. Those young people are the future of the country, so if surrounded them are great people, then they might become a change agent in the future that will bring more positive impacts toward our country and make it even more development.

Another project that I made a change in both myself and the country is called “Technovation

In the last two year, it has been an amazing year learning the Technovation and publishing the real app to solve the real problem in Cambodia. I found out that, I didn’t do a great job on this project, I didn’t focus, I didn’t listen, and I didn’t get the ideas of what is it really about. I felt regret about it so much that if there is another opportunity, I really want to join it again and change myself from the girl without light to a shining and glowing star. And finally, I did it. I join this project again and I was a programmer for the app. I learned and learned until I can make the app runs smoothly. As a whole team of five, arguments happened a lot during the process of learning because we all have different ideas and opinions. But, we fought through it. Collaboration makes the wall break down into pieces. Without those arguments, this team won’t be successful today. To me, successful does not mean winning the competition, but it’s how we collaborate, associate, consolidate, and all of those conversations and arguments. Tears have been dropped after hearing that we were not chosen to be in the National pitch, but all those hard work, determination, perseverance, and the passion of making a change in Cambodia still remains in your heart and mind. Even though the sky was dark and frown that I couldn’t see anything at first, but after those tears have dropped, the sky becomes clear that I could see the light of the sun again. The light the sun awake me and realized me that I did fulfill my dream. I did focus, I did listen, I did read, I did think, I did help my teams, I did talk, I did give ideas, I did overcome the arguments between mates, I did learn how to code on both IOS and Android, and I didn’t just learn how to program the app, but I also learned about life. What did I learn about life? Nobody wants to lose in the competition, winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose. No one wins all the time. No one. To me, to lose is truly to win. I learned a tremendous amount from losing! I learn from failures, mistakes, adversity, and setbacks. How I begin to win is by moving forward with a positive attitude, strong work ethic and overcoming my feelings by learning how to be Present in it, Tell someone I trust about my feelings to release it out, Enjoy what I already have, Think about what really matters in life, and Focus on something new and move on. There is nothing attractive about bitterness, but I can get on with attracting what I want. I didn’t rush myself to move on, whenever I feel ready and it’s time to move on, I MOVE ON. And I did move on and walk with a clear mindset to a place of wonder. Not only that I change myself, but I have made a big impact on Cambodia by making an app to preserve Khmer culture through writing more Khmer poems. 

I believe in the quote that says “To change your life, you have to change yourself. To change yourself,  you have to change your mindset” quotes by Anonymous. If I don’t even change myself, how am I going to change my country?. What I can do to change myself is to hunt deep inside, deep into my corners and closets. I find my prejudices and I challenge them. I find my mountains and scale them. I find every darkness in me and figure out how to generate light in. I found out that, learning about myself and try to change it in a way that will make the darkness disappear is what makes me as a future of Cambodia achieve an ambition of changing Cambodia. 

Hard Work is the Formula for Success

Multimedia – round 5

            It has been an amazing round learning and making a product Independently from what we’ve learned. I’ve learned so much from this essential class including Adobe software and Python. Because I was passionate about Abode and I wanted to learn more about it, so I decided to make a product from Adobe software. There are a lot of creative ways to express your emotions or feelings, but to me, Photoshop is one of the best creative ways to express in anytime through the editing photo. By just applying the various effects, I can get consistent results. Just like these beautiful and meaningful pictures below.

It takes time, patience to learn and succeed at something. I always learn from my mistakes. I made a lot of mistakes throughout the journey of making these two products, but I fought through it and I finally break the wall into smaller pieces. While editing the photo, I was struggling with putting the ink smudge on the face. I said, “I’ve asked Youtube for adding the light already, so this time I don’t want to ask Youtube again because I want to challenge and find it out myself”. The way I solve this problem is by trying to use every tool that is available on Photoshop. I was trying to use everything by not reading the instructions, so I didn’t find a way out until I read the instruction of each of the tools. There are ways to make a beautiful and cool picture by just searching it up on Google “How to make a cool and beautiful picture from Photoshop?”, but I found out that, it is not helpful to myself at all because I won’t be able to learn anything, I just have to copy what others did and put it into my picture and then, I finish. I don’t want that. I want a picture that is made by my own hand. I want it to come from my head, I want it to be original even if it looks crazy. A picture that comes from your own effort not copying from other people work is really meaningful to me. Even though it is just a small piece of the picture, but it showing my determination, creativity, inventiveness, expressiveness, and inspiration to my own self. I learn the value of Hard work by Working Hard.

 

Nothing is Impossible

Technology and Multimedia round 4

             Python is the programming language which anyone can learn about it. On the internet, it says “Python is really easy to learn for beginners”, but to me python is not easy because it is the thing that I am not good at. There is always thing that you are not good at, but nothing is possible. There are a lot of things that we learn in this round such as Dictionaries, Lists, Accessing Items, Change Item Value, Loop through a dictionary – print key name, Loop through a dictionary – print value names, print key and values, check if item exists, dictionary length, add items, remove items – pop, and remove item – delete. Since I was not a good programmer, there were a lot of trips going on, and another project (Technovation) that I really need to work on, so it is really hard for me to learn and get the idea of those lessons, but I found a way to get through this journey. It is asking questions. Asking questions in class is one of the way that help me to be a better programmer. It helps to develop the interest and to become a actively involved in class, to develop critical thinking skills, to review leaning, to better understand the concept, and to stimulate me to pursue knowledge on my own. Now, Nothing is impossible and the word itself says I am possible to be a good programmer.

The Purpose of Life is to be Happy

English Literacy-round4

The theme for this round is about Happiness. It is a very helpful to learn about since it is related to our life. In our life, happiness is the most important thing, without happiness your life won’t be meaningful. We did a lot of reading in class on CommonLit which help us to understand a lot about happiness before getting to write our own essay about happiness in a life-circumstance or situation of our own choice. Learning about this theme helps me a lot including lives and specially myself. When we have a better understanding of ourselves, we are able to experience ourselves as unique and separate individuals. We are then empowered to make changes and to build on our areas of strength as well as identify areas where we would like to make improvements. Happiness is not only that huge smile on your face. It’s a sense of being, a conscious choice on how to live your life. To me, happiness is the thing that helps  me to become the best version of myself. Throughout the process of learning this theme, it inspired me to write a Found poem about Happiness.

Failing is What Make our lives Meaningful

Life is like a book

There are a thousand of pages I have not yet read

Thinness needs to be feed

And the golden bridge will be lead

 

This golden bridge is leading, meaning life goes on

Decisions are now on my own

Whether I choose to move on and take a chance is unknown

 

If I don’t like the way the bridge is leading

Start building another one with lighting

 

I can guarantee that on the way, there won’t be any stop sign

Because problems are not the stop sign instead, they are guidelines

 

I am a simple person who hides a thousand feelings behind a happiness smile

You might see me cry

But I cry, not because I am weak, but it’s because I’ve been strong for too long

You might see me fall and fail

But life told me that, the person who falls, fails and gets up is so much stronger than the one who never fell

 

Facing problems will always be a part of life

But it’s how you face those problems that is the key

So, do not quit

Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champain.

This poem was inspired by my English Literacy teacher, Hannah. When I felt stuck in my life or feeling like I am in a hole, I usually find someone to talk with. Because I was facing too many problems at the same time, so it made me felt stuck and couldn’t do anything beside crying. I said “my teachers would be the second best choice to help me after praying”. I talked to her and she gave me a lot of advices like “facing problems will always be a part of life, but it’s how you face those problems that is key. I believe that I don’t have to face problems alone. I have God fighting for me. He doesn’t want me to carry the heavy load”. From all of her words, it just change the whole me, from a little frog with mud to a shining frog with love.

Always Pay Attention

Stem-round4

A special property of acids and bases is their ability to neutralize the other’s properties. An acid is an ionic compound that produces positive hydrogen ions (H+) when dissolved in water. A base is an ionic compound that produces negative hydroxide ions (OH-) when dissolved in water. To get a better understanding of what Acid and Base are, we did the experiment call the Acid and Base Test.

Material: Cups and Red cabbage solution as an indicator

  • Lemon juice, Vinegar, Sprite, Water, Toothpaste and water solution, Baking soda and water solution, Bleach.

Step 1: Add 20 ml of each solution to a each cup

Step 2: Pour indicator solution to each solution cup

Step 3  Acid vs Base

  • Take Lemon juice cup ( already mixed with indicator) and Pour it in the bleach cup
  • Take baking soda and water solution and pour it in the vinegar   ( Take note of the reaction )
  • Take Sprite and pour slowly into the toothpaste solution ( take note of the reaction )

These below are the result after the experiment:

  • Lemon juice with the indicator: The lemon juice being the most acidic of the lot changes to a bright red color.
  • Sprite with the indicator: The color changes to a very light pick.
  • Water with the indicator: Because water is neutral so the color with turn into the red cabbage color.
  • Toothpaste and water solution with the indicator: The color change to a very very light pink.
  • Bleach with the indicator: It goes back the bleach’s color.
  • When you pour the Lemon juice cup into the bleach cup, the color will turn into the color of the bleach. This is because the bleach has the strongest base, so it resolves the red color from the red cabbage indicator to its own color
  • Why when you put the sprite into the toothpaste and the color turn to the color of the indicator?
    • This is because they both are neutralize that’s why the color turning to the color of the red cabbage.

Paying attention to the experiment is really important because it helps you to understand more clearly about Acid and Base.

Nature Always Wears the Colors of spirit

  

Outdoor Leadership is an exploration that enhances both Outdoor and Leadership skills. The main goal is to get us more comfortable in nature and learn how to adapt ourselves in an unfamiliar environment and situations. Throughout this exploration I’ve learn a lot things including different skill of survival without modern technology or infrastructure. One of the main thing is learning what does nature mean to us and the importances as a Cambodian youth.


Learning how to help others is one of the most important thing in this exploration. Volunteering your time or energy to help others doesn’t just make the world better, but  it also makes you better. When you help others, it makes the people that you are helping feel proud and they might say “You are a really helpful kid and I am proud of you”. I am sure that this phrase will make you happy, so helping others also help yourself. It benefits you a lot because you get both, the happiness and you get to know how to cook a food that you never know before.


I observed that everyone in this exploration were doing a really great job on helping others people especially, helping our tour guide to get the good done. All of this hard works and team buildings have made us a really supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Lunch and it has been the best memory of all the time.

While trekking, it is really important to observe the natures around you because you might see something that you never seen before. I saw a lot of big trees that are hundred and hundred of years, I saw different types of insects and animals, I saw the marvelous view of nature in the Kingdom of Cambodia, and etc… From observing nature, I also learn about the environment in my country, for examples, did people cut down a lot of trees, if so, how do I change or solve this problem in the future.

Before this trip happened, I never know that in Cambodia, there is this gorgeous waterfall. This waterfall is call “Leng Trock” and it is among the most beautiful waterfall in Cambodia. Water play an important role in the waterfall, without it the waterfall won’t be beautiful. From this exploration, I’ve learned that water is really important for our lives. As nature’s most important nutrient, people need water to survive. Water helps to transport oxygen, minerals, nutrients and waste products to and from the cells. Without water, we won’t have a wonderful trip. I am so grateful to be one of a Cambodian child and thank you so much nature for providing human this beautiful place and resources that help thousand of lives meaningful.

Wildlife plays an important role in balancing the environment and provides stability to different natural processes of nature. I’ve learn that wild animals can inspire people to lead a sustainable lifestyle. They can invoke feelings of sympathy and compassion, causing people to be conscious of the damaging effects of their lifestyles. Every animals are very gentle if we are nice to them. Getting to see an elephant was one of my goal before going out on this spectacular trip. As what I observed and asking the tour guide questions about elephants, I think that Elephants are among the most intelligent of the creatures with whom we share the planet, with complex consciousnesses that are capable of strong emotions.

Before seeing the elephants and the beautiful waterfall, I went through a lot of tiring feelings and exhaustion. This is because I didn’t drink enough water. Learning how to drink a lot of water while trekking is really important, but while trekking, you don’t want to drink liters of water at a time instead, you drink water one by one, but lots of time. Learning how to be brave is also important because it might cause you to the serious problem. You need to be brave at telling people or your adults that you are not feeling good now and you feel like you are dehydrated. By telling them, you can feel better because they know what to do to make you feel better.

Last but not least, I want to improve myself on my braveness. When I did a lot of trekking in Mondulkiri, the blister is somehow got on my foot. I knew that I got blister and it is hurtful, but I kept walking by not telling any adult or anybody. Because it was getting more hurtful, so I decided to tell one of the adult. Choosing to continue walking while having a blister is not a good choice because it might become a serious problem. So later, I should be braver at telling others people that I got blister or any problem while trekking.

“You are going to be an Angles master one day”

Math round 4

            It has been an amazing round learning about percentages and angles. I love learning percentages since I was in grade 4 because in my perspective, it is easy to understand and a very handy way of writing fractions. Percentage can be compared more easily than fractions, and it is short and easy to remember because the number of percentages are mostly used from 1 to 100, so you don’t have to remember a lot of numbers. Percentages are also useful in the way that we use to look at the increasing and decreasing. For an example: if we want to look at how many people have died due to the traffic accident between 2016 and 2017, the only way that is easy for us to know is looking at the percentage. If it says “From 2016 and 2017, the number of people that died due to the traffic accident has increased by 10%”, so by looking at that percentage, we know that it does not decrease that much. Percentages are now over and heads up to Angles.

          Learning angles is a little hard for me because I am not really good at it, but I told myself that “you are going to be an Angles master one day”. I know that I am not good at it, so I try to work on both the exercises about angles in the book and on Khan Academy. Doing exercises more and more help me a lot with Angles, so now I am pretty good at it. In geometry, an Angle is a place where two lines intersect and the until of an angle is degree. There are many types of angles that we name in mathematics and I will define them below.

  1. Right: is an angle that is exactly 90 degrees
  2. Straight: is an angle that is exactly 180 degrees
  3. Acute: is an angle that is less than 90 degrees
  4. Obtuse: is an angle that is greater than 90 degrees and less than 180 degrees
  5. Reflex: is an angle measuring greater than 180 degrees and less than 360 degrees
  6. Vertically opposite: is an angle opposite each other when two lines cross and they are always equal.
  7. Complementary: Two Angles are Complementary when they add up to 90 degrees
  8. Supplementary: is an angle that make a straight line and measures add up to 180 degrees.
  9. Angles around: is an angle that is always add up to 360 degree

 

Programming teaches me how to think

Multimedia – round 3

The Python programming language is of the way that we use to solve a computer problem almost as easy as writing out your thoughts about the solution. The code can be written once and run on almost any computer without needing to change the program.

Throughout this round, I’ve learned a lot about python including Booleans, Comparisons, If statement, Elif statement, Else statement, For loop, Break statement, Continue statement, Range function, and Python while loop.

  • Booleans value are the two constant objects False and True
    • For example:
      • “hello” is not “goodbye” – true
      • 5 is 5 – true
      • 1 is not 1 – false
      • “one” is “one” – true
  • Comparisons
    • Equals: a == b
    • Less than or equal to: a <= b
    • Greater than: a > b
    • Not Equals: a != b
    • Less than: a < b
    • Greater than or equal to: a >= b
  • If statement
    • An if statement is a programming conditional statement that, if proved true, performs a function or displays information.
  • Elif statement
    • The elif is a statement that allows us to check multiple expressions for TRUE and execute a block of code as soon as one of the conditions evaluates to TRUE.
  • Else statement
    • An else statement contains the block of code that executes if the conditional expression in the if statement resolves to 0 or a FALSE value.
  • For loop
    • We use For loop when we want to perform some actions a fixed number of times
    • For example:  
      • for letter in ‘Python’:   

                  print letter

    • Out come: The code will print each letter in Python
  • Break statement
    • It is a statement that we use to stop the loop even if the loop is still true.
      • For example

fruits = [“apple”, “banana”, “cherry”]

for x in fruits:

     print(x)

     if x == “banana”:

     break

    • Out come: apple, banana because you tell it to stop the loop when the value of it equal to banana
  • Continue statement
    • We use the continue statement to stop one repetition of the loop and goes onto the next repetition
    • Meaning  that the continue statement is used to skip the rest of the code inside a loop for the current iteration only and continues with the next iteration of the loop.
  • Range function
    • We use the range function to generate sequences of numbers in the form of a list.
    • For example

for x in range(6):

    print(x)

    • Out come: the code will print the number from 1 to 5
  • Python while loop.
    • While loop performs an action until the condition is False
    • For example
    • count = 0
      while (count < 9):
           print ‘The count is:’, count
           count = count + 1

      print “Good bye!”
    • Outcome: It will perform action until is is false
    • The count is: 0
      The count is: 1
      The count is: 2
      The count is: 3
      The count is: 4
      The count is: 5
      The count is: 6
      The count is: 7
      The count is: 8
      Good bye!

These are what I’ve been learning with my teacher, Cindy 🙂

All of My Pieces

English Literacy – round 3

               The theme for this round is the search for Identity. The first thing that we always did in class is to say positively affirmation because by saying positive affirmations you can change your thought process. Related to this theme, we also did something called the Where I’m from. I wrote a poem about myself inspired by George Ella Lyon.

              George Ella Lyon. George Ella Lyon comes from the mountains of Kentucky. She started writing poems on her own in third grade, plus she took piano and voice lessons and played flute in the junior band. She has published a lot of things, including picture books, poetry, juvenile novels, and articles. She wrote a very beautiful poem called “When I’m from”. This poem contains lots and lots of similes and metaphors that make the readers really enjoy reading it and all of the stanzas are really powerful and meaningful. In the second stanza that says “I’m from the know-it-all and the pass-it-ons, from Perk up! and Pipe down!” can conclude that she refers to the school and the “I’m from the know-it-all” could define her as a person who knows everything and nothing that she doesn’t know when she was in school. Moreover, the childhood memory about the dirt under the back porch at her house and tasted like beets, also defined who she is when she was young that she liked to taste everything. By reading her poem, it inspires me to write my own poem. Thank you my lovely teacher, Hannah who find me the sources of her poem, exercises that makes me a good poem writer, and choose this type of lesson to teach me.

“I Am From” Poem Template

Adapted by Levi Romero

Inspired by “Where I’m From” by George Ella Lyon

 

I am from a place with some beautiful pictures on the wall

From the organized mess of clothes piles,

the sheets that are flannel, the duvet that makes me high

An old mirror but shines like new

And a wooden comb that prevents my hair from drying out

I am from the place that tells the story of who I am and a collection of what I love, brought together under one roof.

 

I am from the Cambodia purple fruit

The faces of every ant and the red marks on my body

make me so itchy that I handed with no fruit

 

I’m from a place where life begins and love never ends

from my mother’s milk and my father’s shoulder

I’m from sharing, advising

and from the Ha Ha Ha together

I’m from the No judging others and yourself

 

I’m from the not good to say “Oh! My God” and good to say “You are Special in any way”

From the “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest”

I’m from  a child of God

 

I’m from a tranquil province, Tboung Kmum, and plenty of rubber plants

Brohok and fresh vegetables

From when my king didn’t have enough Money to marriage my Angel

And until my two specials got their Infinite Love

 

I’m from the inside of the shining clean glass

With me or miles apart, you are always on my mind, forever in my heart

FAMILY is not an important thing, but it is everything

Father And Mother, I Love You

Carbon Dioxide

STEAM – round 3

This round we have been focusing on Carbon. Carbon is a very important and special element because every living thing is made out of carbon. If there isn’t any carbon there won’t be life on earth. Carbon is present in the atmosphere as the gas carbon dioxide (co2), which make up approximately 0.04% of the atmosphere. Related to that we also studied about the carbon cycle. Carbon is a virtually important molecule in the carbon cycle. The global moment of carbon between the abiotic environment, including the atmosphere and ocean and organisms, is known as the carbon cycle. The carbon cycle is what makes up life. Now I’ll you more about it. Carbon dioxide are from animal respiration, plant respiration, combustion, and Auto and factory emissions. Where does it go?. They go up to the atmosphere. How does it cycle?

  • Trees are the one who takes carbon dioxide and use it to make food. They absorbed carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. Animals then eat the food and carbon is stored in their bodies or released as CO2 through respiration. After trees eat the carbon dioxide then they will also release back the oxygen, which is what we use to breathe. We, human use oxygen to breathe and release back some carbon dioxide through farting.
  • Decomposer also plays an important role in the carbon cycle. It breaks down the dead organisms and returns the carbon in their bodies to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide by respiration. If there isn’t any decomposer, there will be less carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere and there would be less carbon dioxide for plants to take in for photosynthesis.
  • During the combustion of fossil fuel carbon is returned to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.  These are what I know about the carbon cycle.

We also did one experiment related to carbon. It is called the Black Snake experiment.     

Processes of Making the Black Snake

  • Mix the sugar and baking soda together in one bowl or anything that you can use to mix something
  • Next, Pour the sand in another bowl and pour the Alcohol into the sand to wet it
  • Pour the sugar and soda mixture on the sand
  • At last, Ignite it with a match

Result

  • It creates the Blacksnake
  • The sugar needs something hot like fire to break down itself and I think sugar also need oxygen to break down itself. When oxygen is used, carbon dioxide and water vapor is released.
  • The baking soda also reacts with heat, so when the fire heat it, it produces the solid sodium carbonate that’s why it makes the snake looks solid.
  • Because my teacher told me that, Carbon dioxide is black, so carbon dioxide is what makes the snake black.
  • Altogether, these three reactions produce the solid components of the snake, color of the snake and hot gasses that expand the BLACKSNAKE!!