Literacy is Everywhere

In the last round of the literacy class, it was a very unique style of learning literacy skills. Our facilitator wants to try out this new way of learning because she believes that whatever project we do in Liger is very connected to the literacy skills. In our round-five class, we were required to be self-awareness to plan our own task every single day. It was I cool experience to be part of the class because these skills are very crucial to our life in the future work. I love this style of learning because it enhances the students to be more independent and prioritize what they want to work on. As a result, I was able to get more stuff done and I hope to continue this unique way of learning literacy.

Overcome College-Level Course

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.

Internship Learning Skills

This internship had provided me an opportunity to improve my skills that are very crucial for living and working in a career. Not many students around at the age around 18-year-old able to go out and do work independently with other people. The skills that I gained from this internship were limitless, especially, the skills from living and working standpoint. People pay a lot of money just to learn all of these essential skills but I was already practice a lot of it from an astonishing internship. I was very independent, every Tuesday I need to organize my stuff before head to go to work. This is a real working experience, throughout the day I was taking initiative to ask for works and being mature when working with the nurse and the patients. When there were obstacles come in the way, I was independently figuring it out to solve the problem by myself. Managing my schedule and time between the internship and school was also something that I thought was important. While working in the hospital, I missed the class lessons the whole day, therefore, I need to sort out my time and schedule to meet with my teacher and catch up with the classes and projects. Lastly, the skill that I improved was my communication skills, when working in the hospital it is important that everyone was on the same page. And it was very important for me to update to them of what I was doing to check what I’m doing was the right thing to do and won’t cause any harm to patients.       

Acting as a Scrub Nurse in Children’s Surgical Centre for the First Time

I was given an opportunity to have an internship at a non-profit hospital called the Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC). The internship lasts for about 4 months, one day a week, starting from 8 am until 5 pm. I worked in three departments, rotated through a cycle of 4 departments: ENT department, general surgery, and eyes department.

In the ENT department, my main role was to take note of the patient complaints and doctor suggestions into an online database. I was also bringing medical equipment (simple one) to the doctor and scrub nurse in the surgery room. For the most exciting part of this experience was acting as a scrub nurse, working very closely with the doctor, handling their tools for surgery and helping with the process of cutting the tissue.

For the second rotation, I was involved in the general surgery room where they do most of the bone and plastic surgery. Most of the time, I was observing and assisting of whatever the doctor and nurses needed. In addition, I helped the anesthesiologist nurse taping the oxygen tube and do the basic set up before putting the patient into sleep.

The last rotation of the internship I was in the eyes department. On my first day, I learned how to do visual acuity tests (eye exams) and doing eye pressure tests (IOP). After I got the procedure process, I replaced the nurse job and do it on my own. In the hospital, they still stick with the conventional way to organize the patient documents. Sometimes the nurse needs the patient paper, so I need to search for the right patient document in the organize folder. On other times, I did the opposite thing, I was asked to help to put the documents back in the right folder. Before the surgery, I helped to write the consent letters for patients and thumbprint. On top of that, I also helped to take the patient blood pressure and heartbeat before proceeding the surgery in the afternoon. Lastly, similar to the general surgery department, in the eye surgery room I helped to bring whatever the doctor needs and understand the surgery process.   

In conclusion, I learned some valuable experiences from this incredible opportunity. This internship allowed me to exam my own interest and ability to explore the caring industry in Cambodia.

The Concentration of Phosphate and pH Chemicals in the Bassac River, Cambodia

This school year, I have a yearly research strand project that will be a focus on the concentration of the chemicals in the Bassac River, I will only focus on Phosphate and pH chemicals for now. I think this project is very crucial for Cambodian citizen, especially, the community that lives around the Bassac River because they all get the water from this river. Therefore, the community could be at risk due to a high concentration of the chemicals. So this research would allow us to confirm the quality of the water and whether it is safe or not for people to use this water for their living. Recently, I had a trip to Resource Development International (RDI) to collect the bottle samples that will be used to collect the water sample. In addition, I will partner with them to do a chemical analysis for my water sample. Lastly, I expect that the research project will be completed before the Khmer New Year.

Here is my research proposal: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cjuAtxUxIFPrOgpWHW2_ORNu9htRcp3zLx17ZyGdCmk/edit

Cellular and Molecular Biology

The second unit 2 of our Ap Biology course was mainly about a cell. From my background of learning at Liger for 6 years, I exposed a lot to the science field related cell. For the introduction part of learning about each organelle’s function was mainly review. However, after completed the cell unit there were so many exciting concepts that I enjoyed learning about. The new concepts that I enjoyed learning the most were the signaling transduction pathway, cellular respiration, fermentation, and photosynthesis. Cells are smart and really complex to understand, especially, the concepts listed above. But how each processed form was really unique and precise. For instance, the process of signaling transduction pathway is that in order for a reaction to happen it requires a different step; the ligand has to bind with the protein receptor which creates another process of reaction. And the process in the transduction will continue to create another reaction until the final step for the cell to response the signal. At the same time, we had a minilab of fermentation. We set up an experiment of yeast and different sources of sugar and placed it together in different flasks. After two hours of experiment, I saw the ballon with air inside which was carbon dioxide. Furthermore, we had another mini lab to understand the concept of photosynthesis since one of the product from the light-reaction was oxygen. So for our experiment, we set up a leave inside the water and leave it under the sunlight. It turned out the lab was working, I was surprised when a small so many tiny bubbles which indicate the oxygen as a waste product from photosynthesis.

 

Business Model Competition Update (Chek Rom Lek)

This post will be updating about my business model competition with the Chek Rom Lek project. After our hard work doing our business validation with authors and students we had finalized our idea. Chek Rom Lek is an online sharing platform where students and researchers can conveniently access resources (reports and e-books) in the Khmer language. As a team leader, I was able to drive this business idea and my team into a final round of the competition. We were able to present this idea in front of nine judges and a few hundred audience members. I was proud of my team and all of the positive spirits that we all kept going to push forward. But the most important thing was the exposure to try out new experience and overcome the challenge. The lesson we gained from this project was a phenomenon, it was just a starting point to exploring in the business world. I can not wait to continue Chek Rom Lek project and help to improve literacy education in Cambodia. 

BMC Competition 2018 Application

Over the past seven weeks, we had been working to brainstorm some ideas that would be possible to submit it for the BMC Cambodia 2018 competition. At the same time, Keith had taught us different ways to look at the problem and find a solution for it. In addition, he had to get us to expose to previous year application and their video. I had come up with the pain of students finding a hard time accessing information in Khmer language resources. I had brainstorm the pain and the solution and collaborate with my team to create a 3 minutes video to submit for the competition. Visal was helping me with the script and Kimseng was our filmmaker and editor.

Internship at Codingate

This year I had my first internship at Codingate that will last for about 1 month and a half. It will be three days a week but in the morning only. I and my other two friends are working on a health app for Cambodia called Sokhakrom. I heard that we will be working with a doctor and doing research about the smartwatch technology and its ability to provide us with data on human health. Unfortunately, it didn’t go as planned out, we spent most of our time helping to improve the feature and adding new features to the current app. I was flexible on the work and follow what they ask us to do because it was their priority. So currently, I’m working on the flow and design a new feature where the user can upload any suggestion topics that they want to know more in our app. So far I learn a lot from the team of how do they talk to their client and I got to learn how to write a health article. The team was really open and willing to help us with our work. But still, I can not wait to work on the smartwatch feature.

Conservation Report of the Asian Elephant in Cambodia

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. 

References:

“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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4SETSsXkx0

“Asian Elephant | National Geographic.” A Guide to Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave National Park, 21 Sept. 2018, www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/a/asian-elephant/.