Fish “Game” Exam and More Dives! | LMRT Trip 2

Not even a month later and I’m back at Koh Seh! This trip was way less intense than the other one. I left Thursday the 26th, October 2017.  Our purpose of this trip was to practice diving, because we don’t want to forget everything, and take our fish identification exam, or as our instructor calls it, “The Fish Game.” Amick, one of the people from Marine Conservation Cambodia (MCC), didn’t want us to stress too much about this test, hence he named it, “The Fish Game.” He also said that this exam doesn’t really matter much; it’s just to make sure that we know the main species of the fish. What matters is when we’re underwater and being able to recognize the different species of fish. We had around 70 species to study.
 
Beside the “game”, I went on three dives. We were practicing navigation using our compasses and dive computers; I would say we did pretty good. We didn’t end up in Vietnam, at least. My prescription mask arrived so I got a chance to use it on this trip. They, honestly, completely changed my diving experience. I was able to see way clearer than before, and they helped me identify fishes underwater, which was pretty neat. I spotted a bunch of wrasses, snappers (one HUGE blackspot snapper, which freaked me out), groupers, and more. My favorite spot was a school of fusiliers swimming right below me, in between gigantic corals. It was so unexpected and they were beautiful. I got a chance to swim with them for a bit before my dive leader called me to reunite with my group.
 
This was another successful trip, that was filled with productivity. For now, I’m back at school and we’re planning to go back in mid-November. 

The White Building (Bodeng) Exploration

On August 14th this year, the White Building exploration started and I was involved in it, as well as eight other seniors. The project was about the recent demolition of the infamous White Building in Phnom Penh. We started off by learning about the history of the White Building and why it was so significant for this city; We also did research other past evictions in the city so we can compare how it had been improving. About two weeks into the exploration, we started to have trips to interview a variety of people, from the former residents to the ministry to the development company of the White Building space. From doing all those interviews, I had to somehow document the different responses to questions and different perspectives about the White Building, and this time it’s not a video that I’m making, it’s a podcast. I took that as a huge challenge because, I usually express my creativity through videos and visuals, and less of just audio. I worked with all my colleagues to write, record and edit the podcast. My teammates wrote most of the scripts and did about 70% of the recording and I finish the whole process by putting it all together and try to make it as good as possible, using my creativity, which was hard to do with only audio. I had a lot of challenges throughout with making the podcast; one of them was the time constraint, but by the skin of my teeth, I managed to finish it. We are planning a public event at Meta House for the city to come and see our final products. We believe this is the first ever documentation of any kind AFTER the demolition of the building. I’m working on making a 5-minute highlight of the podcast to premiere at the event. The exploration was super interesting and it’s such an amazing topic to investigate about. I thoroughly enjoyed the exploration, but the seven weeks are over and it’s time for me to do other projects.

You can watch the documentary that my teammates worked on, here: 

You can listen to “Many Shades – the White Building Podcast” here:

ISPP Model United Nations 2017

Model United Nations! You didn’t think I would miss this year, did you? I just spent my past weekend attending my THIRD ISPPMUN! I was the delegate of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria and I had a blast! I had about a month to prepare, but I had to do it with my own time because my schedule was full of other classes. Long story short, I was prepared for the event and the wait was finally over. Did I mention that this was my first time being on a committee that wasn’t Junior General Assembly? Yeah, it’s my first time attending the General Assembly. This year, the topics were, regulating small arms and light weapons proliferation, the use of private military and security companies, and the role of resilient healthcare in global security. I was focusing on the first question, the question of regulating small arms and light weapons proliferation. The previous years’ MUNs had been very scary for me. This third MUN was really exciting to me and since I know what I’m doing, I got to work with other students, network with them, make a pretty good resolution that later on passed, and had a lot of fun. It was my first time making an amendment but sadly, it didn’t pass. The resolution I worked on was controversial, especially the clause that says, “Strongly recommends strict gun license requirements and regulations such as; a valid reason for the ownership of the license, Self-defense isn’t a valid reason.” People tried striking the clause, which was very understandable. Because of that one clause, the house was really divided. It was my pleasure attending this event for the third time and like I said in my About Me, I will keep attending more MUN events as I have the chance to.

 

Changing Cambodia 2016-2017

My fifth year at Liger just ended, which means it’s time for another Changing Cambodia post! This year at Liger, I had the guts to get out of my comfort zone, and get involved in projects that would help me in the future, and change Cambodia. I took a break from film making and did some awesome projects that helped Cambodia change, little by little. Two out of five of my explorations really did change Cambodia. They are Iron Deficiency Anemia and Climate Summit.

The first exploration that I had this year was Iron Deficiency Anemia. We were studying about the disease, Iron Deficiency Anemia, and worked with a company called Lucky Iron Fish to help solve this problem around Cambodia. We spent the first four weeks doing research about the disease, the problem with the disease around Cambodia, and working with the Lucky Iron Fish team to plan workshops for people in Siem Reap. The Lucky Iron Fish is a company that makes fish-shaped iron ingots that would help to give enough iron for people’s daily requirements in people’s food by just cooking the fish in a pot. We went to Siem Reap with the Cambodian Operations Manager of Lucky Iron Fish and spent 2 days, doing 4 workshops to the people around Siem Reap. We distributed about 300 iron fishes and about 50% of women around Cambodia has iron deficiency anemia, so that means, we could’ve helped about 150 people with this disease.

The other exploration that I had was Climate Summit. In this exploration, our main goal was to have a summit where high school students around Cambodia be delegates of 6 different regions and discuss ways to keep global warming under 2-degree Celsius. We were working on planning the event and make sure everything goes smoothly. We had teams that reached out to people. There is a team that works specifically with all the physical stuff that is connected to the event. I was on a team with 3 other friends. We were the “scientists.” It’s not part of the Climate Summit simulation to have people talk about scientific stuff but we want the participants to absorb as much information as possible. It was a really hard task for me to take but I’m glad I did. I had to do research, contact people, and turn all that into a presentation that isn’t boring for the audiences. I ended up giving a 15 minutes speech and I had a fun, little activity at the end. I’m more comfortable with showing a film in front of 1000 people than going up to speak to 70 high schoolers but I did it. By the end of the day, everyone was impressed with our work and they got a lot of new information about something not a lot of people talk about in Cambodia. We also did one for the whole senior cohort in Liger. So what did I change?! I helped to spread the words about climate change so people can help to be more aware of it and they will do things to try to release fewer emissions. There is a quote that is something like, if you throw a rock into the water, you will not just hit and stop, it will keep going down. So, we educated about 70 people and it doesn’t stop there. They will spread it to their friends, families, and others.

There were things I did that will be changing Cambodia hopefully, next year, like the waste management exploration and the Khmer Rouge. That will be in my sixth year “Changing Cambodia.” It wasn’t the easiest for me to take on all these challenges for myself, to do more writing, public speaking, critical thinking, and research but I’m so glad I took my chance to do it. It had been a great, fifth year at Liger, and also my first year of high school as a 13-year-old. Next year will be better.

Look Through My Lens | Coming of Age

In literacy this year, we started things off by doing a chapter about coming of age. I wrote my coming of age story about my glasses and how I evolve from loving them to hating them, then later on in my life, I just had to accept it. This was a touchy topic to write about, personally, because it was a struggle I had to go through and I’ve always kept it a secret. I think now is a good time to release the story out there for the world to see, and not just keep it to myself, so if you want to read the entire paper, you can do so by clicking this link here