On Friday 24th May, 2019, I had participated in an event called Khmer Literature Festival; it was the first day of my life as a student at the Liger Leadership Academy that I saw delightful smiles worn by all the event’s participants. Throughout decades, Khmer Literature Festival was known as the day where everything about Khmer literacy as well as Cambodian culture being shown: Khmer dance, Khmer traditional games, Khmer fashion show, public speaking, debates, poem writing, Khmer’s slang phrases, and etc. Although organizing an event brought us to face so many difficulties but after all, it was worth the effort everybody had put in.
Although my dream career is to be a bioengineering specialist, but interior design used to be something that I always been interested in. Overtime, due to the intensity of interest, my school counselor and I figured out a plan that is capable of determining if my passion for interior design remained the same or vice versa: I got a one-week internship on interior design at Iching, furnitures and design company.
Here are some pictures that capture everything I did during my one-week internship.
I went on site to check the places as well as furniture that designed by Iching.
On Feb 3rd, 2018, there are seven Liger’s students who volunteered to help Khmer Sight Foundation (KSF), a charity that conducts eyes screening, at Metro hospital located in Phnom Penh.
It was a very busy Saturday. There are a lot of people from the provinces came, and not every patient came with the same condition, some are their first time to check their eyes and some had already been doing the surgery the other day but needed to clean it out and take medicine from the doctors if necessary.
The seven of us got different tasks to do as well, three people were registering patients’ names, two were translating for patients, and the other two were bringing patients to the surgery and after they finished to get back home. The latter is my job and I can’t stress it enough for how I’m feeling blissful for those people. Not only having cataract surgery that changes their life but they are also building trust with the charity and as well as the Cambodians eye doctors.
Although it was a tough day for all of us I do enjoy helping my people. In addition, within the smile on their face after the surgery makes me feels that that day might be the best day of their life because they were able to get their sight once again.
On December, 10th 2017, Liger was a part of 7th Human Rights Soccer Competition healed in Phnom Penh. There were many competitions between Liger and many other schools around Cambodia. There are both girls and boys teams from Liger, who participated in the game. I was in team B, for Liger’s senior girls, U19. It was a tough game for us. That was because we got less time to practice as a who group and the team from other school looks a lot bigger than us. However, two out of our four games were tied and the other two we lost. Furthermore, our Liger’s senior girls team A was amazing. They got 2nd place for U19 girls.
I felt really great that I was part of this competition even though, my team’s result was not what we want. Everyone did an incredible job out there; we support, we cheer and look after each other very well.
On December, 1st 2017, most Ligers’ students went to ISPP (International School of Phnom Penh) to watch a play called “The Jungle Book”, acted by ISPP students. The play was incredible. As I enter the theater, I felt a little cold and loud noise of the guests that were there. The preparation of the play was like a real jungle. After I found my seat, a few minutes later the MC explained, “The Jungle Book” is the story about an abandoned boy named Mowgli, who got raised by a black panther called Bagheera. Mowgli was brought to one wolves’ family to look after. Nine years later, when Mowgli is ten, the wolves’ family decided to send Mowgli back to the man village because of they afraid that he will be in danger because of a jungle tiger. Mowgli wants to stay in the Jungle, but for his safety, he must leave. Bagheera was the one who brings Mowgli back and along the way, they faced many challenges, but at the end, Mowgli understood why he needed to leave the jungle and was back to the village safely.
I really love the play, it was one of the best play I have watched so far. I wish I could see it again.
Here is a short clip that I made about my highlight of The Jungle Book.
On November, 16th 2017 there are four students from Liger who went to a four days meditation and yoga retreat program at Vagabond Temple, Kep. I was one of those students as well. The place was fabulous, tranquil, is the word I would describe it. Everyday everyone followed the daily schedule of the program, but on the weekend it was more like a relaxing day. At Vagabond Temple the food is vegetarian, but I am fine with that.
For my experience, I learned a lot in those four days. I would never know that meditation is that hard. It required pretty much for the individual. Closing our eyes with legs crossed is not what it is about and it doesn’t matter that much. What’s essential in doing meditation is our mind. It is very hard for me to keep things that are always in my brain aside. But from one day to another, I got so much better. I would say that meditation is more difficult than yoga, for me, because yoga works a lot with our physical. But meditation, which works a lot more internal and the feeling is harder. It is very difficult to manipulate yourself to try not to think about anything and just relax your brain. It took me a while to focus and try to meditate. However, we also have a lot of fun. The people at Vagabond Temple are very amiable, even though they never know us before but they treated us like we’ve known each other for years. In addition, many classes of the program had to make our connection close and closer. One of the activity was us, Cambodian, teaching those foreigners some Khmer words and Khmer traditional dance. The smiles on their faces really make us want to stay there longer.
Anyways, those days were amazing. We got to talk to different people around the world, try new food, and know more about the program for how it important to our life. What has surprised us was that we are the only Cambodians who decided to takes those classes and we did not expect that at all.
Link to Vagabond Temple website: http://www.vagabondtemple.com/
Most Ligers’ students have volunteered for KSF (Khmer Sight Foundation). KSF is a charity that conducts eyes screening. KSF’s goal is to improve vision around Cambodia. They conduct eye screening and provide eye surgery for free, to poor Cambodians. Many Ligers Students have volunteered to interpret for international doctors and help the charity with any tasks that they need our help, such as direct patient as they come, provide them snacks, learn how to check patient’s blood pressure, and check their eyes with letters on the wall. I am one of the volunteers, and I really enjoy it. I am only 15, but I already change Cambodia, by helping the charity. Us Ligers’ students have made those patients live better. Furthermore, KSF even wants us to go and help them again because they really appreciated our work.
Based on my experience after being one of the volunteers for KSF I said to myself that, I would be regret if I spend my weekend enjoy doing other stuff, but if it is for KSF, I wish my weekend is longer.
On September 2017 on one weekend we got a football competition with one school called EYC. Everyone who trained football had participated in the competition, both juniors, and senior cohort. It was a very blissful day. As any of the Liger team were in the field the sound of the cheerleaders had really made the players felt motive. All teams from Liger won the games, it is our pride but having fun is what the competition was really about. Anyways, after the game, we all came and talked together about how the game went and was decided that both schools should have another game with each other again.
Monday, August 7th was the first day of school after our two months holiday. It was an irregular week. We did not have class as usual, it was known as the resourcefulness week. During week we got to learn so many differents things such as make a phone call, project management, growth mindset, and vocabularies. There are also some new facilitators and we also got classes with them to learn more about their experiences and also share what we are doing at school. One of my most favorite activity and wish I could do it again was navigating around Phnom Penh, lead by one of our facilitator, Jeff, and all senior are involved. We were divided into teams and there are about 6-7 members per team. What we have to do was each team got different missions that needed to be done for Jeff or other facilitator. For example: buying some stuff at the shop, taking a video and/or pictures of something, printing something out of the book and more other things. It was four days long and only two teams went outside in one day, from 8am – 12pm. I learned a lot by doing this navigation such as, telling direction to people to get us where we want to go, crossing national road, making phone calls for help or asking people that we want to meet, and negotiating the price of transportation that we used. I wish I get to do this kind of activity again because it is a different style of learning and it helped us a lot in developing our skill which we could use in the future or even now.
On the 25th October, 2016 two stuff from the Green Camp school at Bali, Indonesia had came to our school and explained us about there work. Green Camp was created by 2006 but was not opened until 2008. It was form by two people from Bali who decided to sell their jewelry shop and then take those money to built the school. Green Camp is a great school that people all around the world know about it. The best and special thing about Green Camp was that it made from bamboo, every building are bamboo. The reason that they choose bamboo is because it is the strong materials, they want the students to be interacted with natural and another thing is that in Asia there are a lot of bamboo. The two stuff divided us into four groups and they gave each group some bamboo sticks and the connector that make from bamboo. We can make anything out of the stuff that they gave us. Then after 20 minutes later the things that each group had made was star, houses and Angkor Wat. Each group needed to come up to the front and explain why did they do it and what are their challenges. The two stuff members was really impressed with what we have done and one of them was cried because they were really proud of us. On that day it was a really good experience because we can be creative, collaborate and also get an idea of why are we doing the things that we want to do. Another thing is that we all are very lucky to get to know the most beautiful school in the world and had make connection with them.