THE POWER OF NATURE | How I Change Cambodia Year 3

As a Cambodian, I am very lucky to be able to see and understand the stories and cultures of the Cambodian every day. However, just seeing is not sufficient for me to really understand deep to my country. Thanks to the opportunity that Liger has offered me, I am able to explore my passion for the environment even more. I have now realized the importance of protecting our environment. 

In the city, the loud noise of transportation every day and remaining with a lot of wastes on the street  — while I ride on the street. These are from human activity that when we do, we do not realize where those rubbish destinations are, will they end up in the ocean or will they return back to your home again? Do you know that you can create an impact on climate change since now Cambodia becomes sunnier and hotter?  

Whereas in the community area, especially in the forest area, I often saw people destroying the trees in real life. I didn’t feel impressed at all with the way they treated life that cannot talk, but produces the needs for human, trees, and plants. Before, I knew that only me, a 12-year-old boy could not do anything to create his own shield for preserving these poor trees. In addition, I was taught to be quiet and hide my voice from all the people. Also, I was taught in school only about lessons but without practicing so the students including me didn’t really have time to focus and see the issues in the community. 

However, things have changed between me when my Liger third-year of studying came. I was privileged to have learned the beauty of the environment in Cambodia. I got to spend my time, staring at my environment that I love. I am so grateful for those opportunities that let me explore and observe things surround me. 

Outdoor Leadership Exploration, Environment observation and supporting the beauty of nature

This year (2018-2019), I was part of the Outdoor Leadership exploration; it allowed students to focus and observe more to the environment. It’s a new project for me to work on and I was excited to see and learn. Sit and Spot was a studying activity that helped me and other students to have sometimes alone. We sat inside the green world and stare at one thing such as a plant, a bird and more, that interested us. Their products could be a song, a writing piece, a poem, and a drawing. In addition, we also wrote our own reflection, including our mood and love toward the field. At the crucial point, I really got inspired by the exploration and I hope everybody did too; the precious life of the nature-world that’s beautiful and lovely until our eyes can shine with the one spot only, right there. Moreover, growth mindset and overcoming my fear were all I got. I was a person who always tossed the garbage everywhere but now I need to show my esteem toward the environment as much as I can. If my habit still didn’t change, I will start thinking to myself where will the trash that I throw is going to end up?. Overcoming fear was what I also met during the adventure. I used to stay in my comfort zone level; I tried not to push myself too hard with hiking while it might be so exhausting. Plus, sometimes thoughts may scare you. However, I pushed myself, worked hard, and put all my effort into hiking. I would never find difficulties or differences if I kept staying in my comfort zone. Therefore, we would never understand the true meaning of the environment such as trees, creatures, lake and more if we never take a rest and start thinking deeply about how their lives are going on.  

Precious Plastic, raising awareness of the way of fixing plastic into precious ones and protect ocean life,

The environment started getting dirtier and messier because of plastic. Over the year, I have seen a vast amount of plastic drifted away everywhere. They got stuck to the trees and tall grass areas. I have always dreamed of transforming plastic waste into daily products for people’s usage. However, I didn’t have enough materials and specific ideas yet, so I stopped for an instant, but I still watched some DIY videos on Youtube about how they recycle plastic into a new fresh look. I felt quite satisfying while watching the videos because it seemed like magic of how attractive the waste looked after they have been recycled. I thought maybe some days I could learn and change the way plastic is being recycled instead of going to fly everywhere. 

Precious plastic has presented me with what I love and want to achieve. In this exploration, I have learned the beauty of plastic. Instead of throwing them away, why not revealing their beauty initially; the true recycling power. I expressed my DIY skill through this very amazing opportunity for myself. As such, the environment every day is being harmed from our acts, so they need protection and it’s going to be all of us involving. 

These were the opportunity, I can feel the change in myself. I will always remember, in life whether you win or lose, it doesn’t matter, the matter is to accept the change in who you are. Nature needs our protection to survive through these tough circumstances, but the changes I have done in this year were all served for them as I am a fairy; the fairy of nature. The mission of the fairy is to protect the world from evil-doing and to form a shield for the vulnerable ones. I truly believe I am a fairy even I am just an ordinary human being. This year, I have done the great changes for my own country and I hope in the future to create great changes as I did in this very spectacular year of 2019. 


Comfort with Uncertainty

Photo by: Chanda Cheng

These outdoor trips help me to learn and grow myself. 

    As apart of Outdoor Leadership exploration, I got to learn the main question is” How to lead ourself when we are in outdoor?” This question got solve when diving deeper into the exploration. The topic that related to the main question I asked myself is the survival skill. We learned about how we could rescue a victim when the victim is in an emergency. If we are not sure what happened to the victim yet and using traditional medicine or don’t know what to do in that situation, we could kill the victim immediately. As such, I got to learn the steps to rescue a patient in an emergency situation,

1- Scene Safety

2- Primary Assessment

3- Secondary Assessment 

4- Rescue Plan

I learned about all of those steps in class and we practiced the lessons on the campus also. This could be a helpful reference because it appears that I want to be a doctor. Furthermore, we had two trips in this exploration which we went to Kirirum and Mondulkiri. I love the two trips so much because I have experienced many brand new things that I haven’t tried out before, and the trips have made my thoughts open to hundreds of stories which I interest in. 

Photo by: Chanda Cheng
Photo by: Chanda Cheng

In Kirirum, I really love the weather there, it was drizzled and a little cold. The cold breeze that blew to me every time has strengthed up my power to continued walking to my destination. I remembered once when I was sitting down and I was so exhausted and suddenly the wind just blew across me. I closed my eyes and just got the touch of the wind to my skin. I also love the landscape there, the trail in the middle and the sides are the trees stood straight in lines with small green grass on the ground. This scenery really caught my attention and boost my relaxation and calmness level. My third highlight is when I got to sit and watch the sunrise. It was the greatest moment ever to watch the sunrise with my friends and my facilitators. While I was watching the sunrise, the hornbill flew nearby on the trees under the cliff. I got a binocular and I zoomed in to see the hornbill clearly. Luckily, I could see the hornbill, it was lovely to use the binocular following every movement of the hornbill. In Mondulkiri, I got so interested in the waterfall. The water was quite cold and it can refresh many negative thoughts out of my mind and inscribe with the beautiful piece of art in my brain. I didn’t want to move out of the enchanting waterfall that I faced. The waterfall melody can awaken thousands of surprise to me. It’s a hard way of trekking but in the end, it paid off with the delightful waterfall. Another highlight is what I have never tried before and it now becomes one of my favorite food which is Phnuong soup, I got to taste the soup and the soup was very delicious. I wish to myself I could taste the food several more times and cook it.

Even though the trips sounded really fun, there were still some obstacles that I met. One of my difficulties in Mondulkiri was the leeches. I was the first one who got bitten by a leech. At the first time seeing it, I was not quite scared of them but when the whole group started to panic because there were more of them, I started to feel anxious even more. At this point, my mind started to think of some types of wild creatures that I afraid of such as geckos. I tried to calm myself in the situation while I was really uncomfortable. That didn’t really work. However, the relaxation worked until we came to the waterfall. The touch and the harmony of the waterfall – the coldest water ever – aided me to increase my calmness and relaxation. Therefore, the solution got solved and I was very impressed with myself that I could be relaxed and calmed down. This was a big challenge for me but I overcome it – I had to use my bare hands to pick it out of my legs. Thanks to the waterfall for letting other people relax by the music you have created.  

Moreover, leadership roles are essential for me because I need to use those in this exploration since we were in a group of different personalities. Once, I have shown my leadership role which is a designated leader. At that time, I saw everybody was quite busy with all of their works. I thought that it was really busy for themselves to wash their own lunch boxes. As such, I’ve decided to speak up ” Ok! Let’s wash all of the lunch boxes for our team,” In fact, I have never been a designated leader before but that situation appeared to me that I could use the designated leader as my leadership roles. I considered being a designated leader does not need to be a tough or strong person. I could start being a designated leader from this experience. 

Being part of the group in Outdoor Leadership exploration was a new experience for me. It allowed me to give love and to see the beauty of nature that I have never focused before. The way that it designed itself to be. Challenges were being accepted by me so a solution must be accepted too. Comfort with Uncertainty is now what I understand and I learned. This journey was the best moment in my life that I could find my true happiness. (One more photo to go through for the end)

Photo by: Chanda Cheng


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