This school year I challenged myself to take a college-level course to study Ap Macroeconomics. Over the course of the school year, I had completed the whole course and took the test in May. It was a great experience to be apart of the class because I was able to have a better understanding of the current event of how the country works nationally and internationally in the economy. In addition, I get to explore what it was like to study a college-level course; it wasn’t that easy, it required a lot of hard works and practices to understand the materials. But overall, it was a great opportunity to take this challenge beyond my level and tried to drill down a challenge to overcome it.
Conservation Report of the Asian Elephant in Cambodia
There are two main distinct types of elephant, the African elephant (Loxodonta) and the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). There are currently estimated 400 and 600 wild elephants in Cambodia. This keystone species can be mainly found in the Cardamom Mountains in south-western Cambodia, and the eastern plains of Mondulkiri Province. The population of this species had dramatically decreased over the past few decades due to a significant increase in hunting, captivity for human use, habitat loss and fragmentation for agriculture and roads.
We should not let this negative impacts continue to occur and affect the Asian elephant. The Asian elephant plays an ecological significance role as a keystone species to provide sustainability to their community and ecosystem. For instance, the elephants digging the soil for water, they use their huge mass and their tusks to dig the waterholes which create another available water sources, especially, in the dry season. In addition, when there are more available water sources in an ecosystem it allows other species to realize and have more potential access to this water source. This community service helps other species to no longer needed to travel for long distance to fulfill their thirst.
Another major role of this keystone species is to sustain the food web and maintain the population growth of the primary producer. The Asian elephants weigh between 3500kg to 5000kg, therefore, they require to consume about 140 kg and drink up to 190 liters of water in a single day. The elephant is one of the herbivorous apex predator and the largest land mammals on earth. The elephants usually travel in an average distance of 25 km on a daily basis while foraging for the large quantities of food such as grasses, small plants, bushes, fruit, twigs, tree bark, and roots. This keystone species have the commensalism interactions with the fruits, other plants, and animals. When the elephant consumes the fruits they poop back the seeds and help to disperse the seeds in the long distance across the ecosystem. In addition, their dunk is a great fertilizer that can help to maintain the nutrient rich-soils in an ecosystem. Moreover, their dunk also important for other species such as hornbills, banded mongooses, and vervet monkeys because the dunk isn’t fully digested so it can provide nutrients for other animals. Furthermore, while they travel and forage in the vegetation, the elephants create a pathway for other smaller animals to travel but as well allow more sunlight and space that is available for the tiny plants to grow. Not only that, with their huge body and roam over long distances the elephants help to disturb the insects which allow the predators to forage for the insects easily.
Elephants use their tusks to dig for roots and water or even fight each other. Unfortunately, their ivory has gotten them into trouble because it is really valuable to some people. There is a lot of demand and trading for the elephant’s tusks in Cambodia as well around the world which lead hunting to one of a major issue that causes the population of the elephants decreases so rapidly. Other purposes of hunting elephant are also for meat and leather.
There is also a huge problem with captivity, the villagers use the elephant for their own needs as a transportation to carry heavy goods. In addition, other tourist companies use the elephant as a tourists attraction and let them ride on the elephant to view the forest at Mondulkiri and view the temple at Siem Reap. However, it is fun for tourists but this is stressful and not enjoyable for an elephant. In addition, in return the elephants usually get punishments with less food, hitting, and capture them in small tiny space.
The Asian Elephant is an important part of the Bunong people’s culture and belief system at Mondulkiri province. Elephants are an important connection to the spirits that the Bunong believe live in the forests, mountains, and houses in the villages.
As the population in Cambodia is growing and developing there is needed to be more available space and expand on the agriculture sector to support the family and country’s economic. At Mondulkiri, the elephant is facing a major threat of habitat loss due to a lot of deforestations from different companies and individuals. The soil there is nutrient rich and has a good condition for agriculture. So there are millions and million dollars of investment that are invested in this particular area to mainly grow cassava and rubber trees. Deforestation isn’t just for agriculture but the people cutting down value and expensive trees for their own business, trading, and personal use.
Habitat fragmentation is another major issue, people starting to build more residents and more roads for tourism but as well to transport those goods from the agriculture to the main city. This lead to habitat fragmentation that suffers the elephant because they will lose their habitat, get less food, cause huge chances to community structure, and ecosystem health. affect their interaction, and lead to a decline in elephant population density. The invasive by human population cause a negative impact to an elephant’s ecological niche and lead to decline their population growth in Cambodia.
Even though there are currently a few local and international organizations that are trying their potential to preserve this keystone species. However, the population of the Asian elephant is currently endangered. The population will still continue to decrease because we need more conservation actions and more effective ways to approach the above issues if we want to sustain this keystone species. In addition, Cambodia needs to improve our environmental policy and enforcement from the government toward this problems. And due to our current economic circumstances, we need more international support and financing.
In Cambodia, there are current conservation actions from different organizations and government such as World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Fauna and Flora International (FFI), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Elephant Valley Project (EVP) and Ministry of Environment. Most conservation actions take place in the Eastern Plains of Mondulkiri Province and the Northern Plains of Preah Vihear Province which is the hot-spot of the elephant population. In 2005, FFI had established the Cambodian Elephant Conservation Group to help sustain and protect the population of this species. FFI had gathered different institutes and work with the Ministry of Environment to provide fundraising and technical support to help to protect the Asian elephant in Cambodia. They had worked closely with the forest communities to reduce human-elephant conflict and raise awareness about the effects on the elephants.
FFI and WWF had also set up camera trapping different places of the forest to understand the threat and gather more information about the elephant condition and their current population. Moreover, WWF had tested the DNA from the elephant’s dunk to estimate the population of this species in the Eastern Plains. WCS has established a Seima Protection Forest at Mondulkiri that had one of the largest protecting areas in southeast Asia. The protecting area helps to conserve the habitat of the elephant population from hunting, deforestation, and other human disturbances. When the team knows any cite of deforestation and hunting WCS will send their team into the forest to stop the human actions.
Elephant Valley Project (EVP) is a non-profit organization in Senmonorom, Mondulkiri province. Their mission is to improve captivity elephant’s health and try to bring those elephants back into their wild habitat by creating a sanctuary protected area for the elephant. EVP work closely with Bunong people to provide the support and education to stop using the elephant for their own needs. Instead, EVP uses the sanctuary protected area to create a tourism place that gives the elephant back their independence, natural behavior, and with hurting them but still provide a unique cool experience back to the tourists. The tourists can observe how the elephants live visually, study about their characteristics but as well providing care and support to help maintain the sustainability of the Asian elephant. The sanctuary help to support the local community by bringing more tourists, create more jobs but at the same time help to protect their forest, natural resources, and the elephants.
The forest, the elephants, and other species had suffered enough from human actions from the past few decades. For future conservation actions, the government needs to implement and improve the enforcement of the law to anyone who contributed to illegal actions that cause an impact on the forest and animals. Local community and citizens play an important role to help preserve our nature. Most of the villagers still have a lack of understanding and education toward their own actions that could cause an enormous negative toward the forest and animals. The villagers have no other option besides getting the advantages from nature, they need to make money, support their family, and get their child to go to school. That is why we need more projects like the EVP that help to support community services and create more will educational activities and actions to make the citizens feel like they should help to preserve and care about our nature. Lastly, the conservation teams that we currently have isn’t enough, we need more teams to fight back the illegal activities that are happening every single day. If we do not put more effort and actions to sustain our nature, in the next few decades we will experience a larger negative impact on our forest that could result in more animal extinction.
“Elephant Conservation in Cambodia.” Fauna & Flora International, www.fauna-flora.org/projects/elephant-conservation-cambodia.
“Asian Elephant.” WWF, cambodia.panda.org/projects_and_reports/endangered_species/mammals/asian_elephant/.
“Direct Protection to Forests and Wildlife.” Wildlife Alliance, 27 July 2018, www.wildlifealliance.org/.
“Saving Wildlife Elephants.” WCS Cambodia, cambodia.wcs.org/Saving-Wildlife/Elephants.aspx.
The Altruistic Traveller. “Discussing the Importance of Cambodia’s Elephants– An Interview with the Lead Guide of the Mondulkiri Project.” The Altruistic Traveller, 9 Dec. 2016, thealtruistictraveller.com/blog/discussing-the-importance-of-cambodias-elephants-an-interview-with-the-lead-guide-of-the-mondulkiri-project.
“The Role of Elephants in Maintaining an Ecosystem.” Greentumble, 15 Mar. 2018, greentumble.com/the-role-of-elephants-in-maintaining-a-healthy-ecosystem/.
“Corridors Project off to a Great Start.” Save the Elephants, savetheelephants.org/about-elephants/importance-of-elephants.
“Asian Elephants In Peril | Earth Focus.” KCET, 1 Oct. 2018, www.kcet.org/shows/earth-focus/episodes/asian-elephants-in-peril.
“Asian Elephant | National Geographic.” A Guide to Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave National Park, 21 Sept. 2018, www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/a/asian-elephant/.
My first time for the Model United Nations (MUN) at ISPP. It was what, amazing, I never expected that the even was like this but I enjoyed it so much. I could not describe my feeling until I experienced this event that always logic. There were many experiences and excitement that I can’t wait to share with you all. The processes of MUN and the extraordinary conference’s outcome was fantastic. During my expertise time, I gave up my creative technology class to join the MUN expertise. Basically, in class I just tried to understand how the MUN works, there were some delegates who had experienced with MUN before so they gave me a brief description and how I supposed to prepare for this event. It was really complex, a lot of terms that is not a regular language that I normally use but no matter what I have the source from teachers, delegates, and the internet to help me out. I learned how to give a strong confident and precise opening speech about my country position on the topics.
Moreover, I am a delegate of Mexico and I had written down two resolutions to share to the conference. It’s finally time now to show you the confidence and experiences that I gained from MUN. It was really formal, everyone attempted with a nice suit and everything was structuralize. My first time, but what, misgiving, confusion, struggle and anxious. At the same time, I tried to learn the structure and what I’m really looking for are the terms that they used for communication. I was lack of confidence at the first time due to the fact that I was confused about the term and the structure on my first day. Saturday had arrived, the hot debate closely began, the soon the time hit 10 o’clock, the ball was rolling. Questions, amendments, strike, add, amend, speak for the whole for the resolution, speak for the whole for the amendments, speak for the whole for against the amendments, voting for the amendments and last final vote to the resolution whether it passed or not. Those were some terms that they used in the conference. I’m proud of myself that for my first time attempted in this conference, I had gone up to express myself a lot, asking questions, learned how to use the amendment, understand the terms and rules in MUN. Furthermore, I enjoyed using the notes to send to other delegates asking questions and other communications manner.
Technology is the future of the world, we are now living in a modern age where we mostly realize on technology. There are many ways and products that we can develop the technology. But I could say that everything is possible to be invented, solve the problem, improve life efficiency and other useful creative technologies. This year I attended a class called creative technology where we mostly learned java scripting, Arduino, and others technology modules. We had been working on one project that took us a few weeks. Our teacher created a small challenge where we will compete with other classes in the school. So basically we need to build a simple car that will complete the task. But remember this we had a limited resources like 2 motors, one base, Arduino, breadboard, and battery. In a team of three, we came up with a simple design and creative ideas to make the car move in order to complete the challenge. Let me show you how creative we are, we used inventor to design and print it out from our 3D printer, we reused the mortars from the alarm clock that was already broken and lastly, we used the wheels and some legos pieces for our machine.
This year I want to challenge myself and move to the next level of the computer science skill toward my passion. It was a hard decision for me whether I should join this class or not due to the fact that it will require a lot of times and practices by my own outside of the class. But I valued this class differently since I experienced from my past was that in my spare time I just wasting my time doing non-sense stuff such as social media and Youtube. Moreover, as I mentioned on the home page was that I am a curious student, I want to challenge myself and most importantly I want to use this skill and my other two skills to change the world. Sometimes coding I identified it as a boring subject because you just sit down and focus on your screen to code. However, coding help to improve critical thinking, patient, focus and problem solver due to the fact that usually there are many bugs that needed to fix.
Due to my interest of motivational speech, I’m excited for the expertise for speech and debate. I saw an extreme improvement for myself after 7 weeks learning in this class. We have a few debates in the class, where we divided into two teams con and pro. It was really challenging because I never did any formal and structure debate before. But after one topic to another, I see a dramatic improvement in the confidence that I deliver my speech to the class but also be able to answer to the opponent in a concise manner. Moreover, I also get to learn about how to give a good speech with some techniques such as body language, eyes contact, speed control, volume, and most importantly the three major techniques myself in the speech. Those are techniques are egos, logos, and pathos. I’m happy what I’m doing and I will still continue to learn in this class because I value confident speech the most every day.
Go toward my passion, make the change that needed to fix and applied my science knowledge to the world. I love science, I feel passionate about science, I cared about the effect of air pollution on our atmosphere and it’s finally time to change our habit to protect the planet and our next generation. As I already mentioned that I love science and public speaking so this year I was interested with TED Talk. 14 minutes of public speaking in front of a few hundred people were difficult, especially, it was my first time so I get a bit nervous at the first time. But this even taught me to calm down when I speak and one of my favorite part of the event was to engage with the audience, asking questions and dominate the whole theater.
“Be your own life and be responsible for your own work. Your dream will become true and this world will have no more troubles with air pollution if we take responsibility. “
There are many things that happen in Liger and from year to year Liger always have something that new. This Liger student started to learn cooking because next year we will cook our own food. I learned cooking for about 3 weeks and I learned cooking from Pa Matt which is our Liger’s chef. He created a presentation that explained us briefly about a different type of cooking. I also learned about safety things when we are cooking that also include the cross contamination safety. We watched some videos about safety strategy. The lasting that I learned about is the name of the meats, vegetables, fruits and other types of food categories. After we learned cooking for about 1 week we started to practice. We learned about cutting meats and vegetables. For vegetables, Pa Matt did the demonstration and we started to cut our own. In that time I’m not confident to cut the vegetables, my hand was shaken and what Pa Matt want us to do was cutting the onion and carrot into a cube. It’s really difficult for me because it’s my first time and it news for me. While we learned to cook we also learned about the kitchen equipment and tried to use the stove. I learned to cook a simple food like fried eggs, fried fish, steaming, blanching, slow cooking, deep fried, making bread and so on. Finally, we had a quiz about cooking and in the quiz, there are 6 categories that Pa Matt give the point and focus on.
I really interesting with this project that about cleans up the ocean. There is a boy that come up with the passive system to clean up the plastic in the ocean. A passive system which means the system that doesn’t need any machine or energy from human to help. The system uses the ocean to clean itself. This system needs to attach to the seabed or the ocean floor. What unique about this system it takes less time to clean up the plastic. It needs 79,000 years to clean up the entire plastic but for this system, it takes only 20 years. If it takes a long time to clean up all the plastics. Some of them will start to fragment and all of the components plastic will turn to be the micro plastic, so the problem in the ocean would become exacerbate. So, the only idea that the everyone has so far is the passive system which can stop the micro plastic.
This video is really meaningful to me. For me and other students, we have Liger that always helps and supports us. Liger helps provide us standard education, the apartment to live in, health care, residential educators, the ability to study technology, etc. But if we compare to Gaspar Marcos, he was a boy that have in the video. His parents passed away since he was 5 years old. He doesn’t have any support at all even though he lived with another family, but he still has less care from the family. I’m really proud of what I have today and is really thankful to Liger which provides us this incredible opportunity. Gaspar Marcos traveled from Central America to Los Angeles illegally by the border. He migrated from Central America when he was 13 years old. There are a lot of students who are leaving Central America to go to other rich countries at a young age. Most countries in Central America are really poor, so their parents decided to tell their kids to migrate to other countries to get a better education and job. When their kids have a good education and job, they will send some money back to their parents. Gaspar Marcos was one of the illegal students that migrated to Los Angeles for a good job and better education. Los Angeles is a modern city but for him, he was poor, so he was simple compared to other people there. He works really hard with his job, and he averages only 3 to 4 hours to sleep per day. Sometimes when he comes to school he is really tired and yawns a lot. So he works extremely hard to get the money to buy food, study materials, etc. He also rents a house that is about 600 dollars per month. Most of the people judge the people only for their outlook like the people that come from Central America as an example, Gaspar Marcos.
This video is talking about a boy name Zion Harvey. He born without hands and legs. It really difficult for him, living without the hands. This boy needs the hand’s donation and the hands must come from a person that a similar age to him. In U.S we can donate our organs, hands and legs to who that need those things. If something accidentally happens to you and when they come to check your id card and it says donating hands, legs or organ. They can get those things and give it to who that need it. For the organs or any things that can be transplant it needs to move to another person less than 6 hours. For Zion Harvey, the doctor attached his hands it took more than 6 hours, so they use the machines to pump the blood into the transplant hands. In order to do the transplant from one person to another is hard. The blood type needs to be the same and it takes long times to find the correct one. When it has the same blood type it takes more times to connect the fibers together, it’s not easy to transplant the hands for Zion Harvey. After one year he gets the transplant hands. He is a first boy that do the hands transplant. After he gets the new hands he can do more things like push-ups, cutting the paper, etc. He really likes his mother and he said: “I will not be here is I don’t support and help from my mother.”
In the private school in South Africa call Pretoria Girls’High school there are many students that protest about the new rule in the school. This private school is really unique and standard but it allows only for girls to learn. The girls that have Afro hair is been racist by the school. The school wants the students that Afro hair need to change the hair style because it doesn’t look nice and tidy with the school uniform. But there are many students that protest to the rule because the hair that they have is normal for them and the hair already exists when they were born. If they change the hair style maybe it costs a lot of money and their family can’t afford for that and it unnecessary for them to change. The students protested in from of the school entrance but the students didn’t use any violent. They just sing a song and dance with their friends. This problem is getting popular and more people know about it by the social media. The government sends the ministry of education to have a conversation with the school and the ministry want the school to suspend the new rule.
In the class, we were watching the video about DNA Journey. In the video, there are many people that are coming from different countries. They interviewed all of those people about their patriotism. Some of them said that they liked their identity but some said that they don’t like their country like a woman said that she doesn’t like the government of Turkey. They collected the DNA from everyone that participate the experiment. After two weeks everyone gathers again in the same place that they met each other at the first time and the organizers have the results of each person DNA type. They have a special technology that can identify a person country and their DNA. The organizer asked each person to come and see their result and everyone shocked of the experiment. As an example one man, he said that he doesn’t like Germany at all but as the result, 5% of his DNA shows that he comes from Germany. This experiment is really cool and high technology that can identify everyone location. In the experiment, they found out that there is a cousin in the same room between a man and a woman. They all supervised to the result but this experiment shows that they are related to each other from their great, great, great grandparents’ DNA.
This year we are focusing on speaking especially students pronunciation. In one week I have three pronunciation classes two days in Essential time and one day in expertise time. Jan is our pronunciation teacher. He taught us to speak clearly, slowly and louder. In a few weeks I learned how to pronounce letter ‘V’ and ‘W’. It’s really difficult for me to pronounce those words and it confused me a lot. I tried to use those words in the correct pronunciation every day I speak those words. Now I’m really confident with those words. But I need to work on other things like pronounce the last consonant, pronounce the word to in correct sound and other fluency.
Some exercises that we used to improve our fluency like singing, do some recording and choose the words those are difficult for me to pronounce. We also practice our pronunciation by some books.
My favorite part of the pronunciation class are pronounce the word that used only mouth to pronounce but not make any sound and let my partner guess the word. The other favorite part of this class is listening to the music with headphone and let my partner pronounce the word and let me guess it. It’s really hard for me to guess because I can’t hear any sound, so I need to understand my partner mouth.