Humans of Cambodia is my fourth exploration of the year. The exploration was inspired by Humans of New York. We interviewed different people in Cambodia including individuals and families and then we interpreted those stories into short meaningful and powerful captions to put in our blog. Those stories came along with a photograph. We asked people about their life stories and the questions that we asked were usually relate to their feeling, memories or their experiences. For examples:
What is your happiest (it can be any of the emotion) moment in your life?
What is your best childhood memory?
Do you think money can buy happiness? Why or why not?
Throughout this project, I had improved my skills of approaching people that I don’t know and interpret long stories into short and meaning captions that match with the photographs. Can you tell people stories through photos? How would you tell those stories? Different person has different perspective and point of view. Check out our blog for human of Cambodia stories. “Don’t judge the book by its cover”
Outdoor Leadership is a project that teaches the students about survival skills and the environment awareness while we are outdoor. Those involve trip planning and preparation, traveling strategies, risk identification, management, first aid training, emergency response and self awareness. We have 17 students and 2 facilitators in total.
Throughout the course, we have had a lot of activities. The first week (December 3rd – 7th) of this exploration was just an introduction week. We got to know what are the goals, rules and how to do sit and spot in nature. Sit and spot is an activity that allows us to explore the nature. When doing this activity, we take notes or draw picture in our nature journal book that include what we see, hear, smell, feel, notice, what does it remind us of and what we wonder about what we choose to spot. I felt like this activity help me a lot. It helps me to express my feeling, emotion (sometimes) and it has catch my feeling to love nature even more because I get to look closely into it.
On the second week (December 10th – 14th) we did a lot more things than the first week. 1/ Outdoor leadership promises. I had to write three of my strengths that can involve in the exploration and what are my three goals throughout the whole course. 2/ Want or need. This helps students to think either the staff is what they need or what they want when going anywhere. 3/ finding sources of our survival. Our survival needs are really important. In this case, it teaches me how to find something in the nature to replace my needs when necessary. For example, I am running out of water so what can I do to get water. Where can I find water and things like that. 4/ risk identification games. There were so many games that we had played (but I can only remember some) such as trust fall and getting over a rope without touching it (pretend that the rope is a hot wire). Those activities has trained me to think of suitable solution for some emergency situation.
On the third week (January 7th – 11th), we had a trip to Kirirom national park for 3 days, but before that happened, we need to prepare our needs for the whole trip. I enjoyed the trip so much even if we have to trek for long distances. I enjoyed seeing all the birds, plants, mountain view, sunset, sunrise, camping, cooking, sit and spot to explore the nature and the life without using the technology media.
The fourth week (January 14th – 18th) was mainly about risk management. We learned about the meaning of risk, types of risks and how can we manage it. We know that there are risks in every situation except we have to think about how high can it be. We have to ask ourselves about the severity of the risk that we take like is it low, moderate or high. Another thing is the probability of the risk like how likely is it going to happen. Those help us to decide whether we should take the risk or not. When making decision, we also need to know about the human, environment and equipment condition too.
Let’s come to the important part. We had spent the fifth week ( January 21st – 25th) learning about the first aid staff. We need to check a lot of staff when helping someone and if we are not fast enough they could have died already. First of all we need to check the scene and then second one is how the victim looks and how are they doing. Finally, ask yourself what your plan. I found it very hard since there are so much to remember, but by learning this I think I could help to save someone’s life. So, to get used to it, we had to act in the role of victim, lead rescuer and assistant rescuer. To do that we were given some medical scenarios to follow. Rescuers had to follow all the steps to make the victim feel normal again.
The sixth week(January 28th- February 1st) was the most ridiculous week ever. We took a trip to Mondulkiri to go trekking and camping again. We met different people such as the Phnong and have done so much things that I can’t describe it all. We had longer trek than our first trip, eat different foods from different region of Cambodia, spot different cool birds and bugs, play with each other a lot and I feel so thankful to the nature that has given me the opportunity to see the things I’ve never seen or done before.
After all the fun things, this project has come to an end, but we also prepare ( February 4th – 8th) presentation to share our knowledge to the other people too . On Friday the 8th, we had our presentation done and all set up. We had three different stations such as Naturalist which we present about the places that we visited, birds and plant that we saw during the trip, Phnong soup which we cook the Phnong soup, and the Shelter station that teaches people how to built tent and bivouac. Everyone did a good job sharing the knowledge and I am proud of all of us.
Food is a survival need to everyone of us. In this case, I am studying about the traditional food in Cambodia. Our goals are to find and tell stories of people who make traditional foods in Cambodia and to discover and share how food impacts each individual family, society and culture. In order to complete our goals, we have to go to many places. We were trying to reach out to many restaurants in Siem Reap as well as Phnom Penh to gather stories.
We first took a trip to Tady Chroy Ampil restaurant to interview the owner how do they manage their business, their services, their feeling that related to foods. We also interview some customers about how do they feel about the restaurant services and how the food is like. We didn’t forget about the chefs because they play an important role in the restaurant as well as exploring their kitchen. That was a pre-trip to practice the skills of taking pictures, taking video and especially interviewing to get good stories. We did the same thing when we visited the three restaurant in Siem Reap such as Mahob Khmer Cuisine, Cuisine Wat Damnak and The Sugar Palm, but along the way and during the trip we also visited some local market and local people too. We did go to Skun Market, Bamboo sticky rice shop, Kraom Market, Khmer rice noodle production and Night market. After we come back to Liger, we decided to go to another local market in Kandal which is Ta Kmao night market. We have put together some stories, photo essays, videos in a blog not just about foods, but how people feels about it and their memories.
Interestingly, we found two different definitions between Khmer food and cambodian food from different different people. From Khmer chef’s perspective, there are no differences between Khmer food and cambodian food. Instead, from a french chef’s perspective name Joannès Rivière, the owner Cuisine Wat Damnak, said “Cambodia food and Khmer food is different. Cambodia food is some kind of food that influenced by other countries but has been eaten in Cambodia a long time ago. For Khmer food is foods or recipe that created by ancestors in this country.”. In my opinion, there is no differences between these two thing.
For the first round of year 3, SAY NO TO SINGLE USED PLASTIC is my exploration. Our goal in this exploration is to eliminate the single used plastics that are being used at Liger because nowadays plastic is really popular and really important to human but it affects a lot of things in the world such as harming marine life, destroying food chain, causing different pollution and last it affects us, human. So we as the Liger student, we would love to create change for our community and then spread it to the world because “ A long journey starts from single steps”.
For the first two weeks, we were focusing on general information about plastic such as finding cons and pros about plastic and putting ourselves into other people perspective. On the third week, we had narrow our topic to only focus on the single-used plastic because a lot of reusable things are made out of plastic such our computers, car and a lot more. We also went to collect trash in our school to use as our referent in the future. Week 4 and week 5, we tried to convince people not to use straws by pitching our ideas and making people feel guilty when they use it. We also visit a shop called BetterU that they use grass straws. Week 6, we had created a Facebook page named “ No Plastic Cambodia” to spread our action to the community. By the last week of our exploration, we had found a lot of alternative sources such as stainless steel straws, bamboo straws, grass straws, cornstarch straws, cornstarch box, stainless steel lunch box, nylon bag and more. We also launch our campaign of stop using single-used to all the student and staff at Liger and it was really successful which we gave out reusable bags and straws to everyone and explain them to use Liger core values for their responsibility to make the change. I hope that people will stop using single-used plastic and start to change their habit from now on.