LMRT has really made a fantastic and big progress this year! We have our own new reef that located 300 meters from Koh Seh. We deployed an artificial reef involving 21 blocks and a cluster on top of it. An artificial reef is an Anti-trawling marine habitat for lives and cluster is a triangle shape bamboos that tied together that can also act as habitat for fishes. Every time we go down to Koh Seh, we only made things progressed by being productive. We finished a cluster in 2 days and we managed to do replicates of surveys.
This is our 4th trip to Koh Seh of 2018 when we first deployed the blocks in March, after a month, it has drastically progressed. As usual, we did three surveys: fish, invertebrate, and substrate. In just a month, we recorded around 50 catfishes, 20 snappers, 20 Jacks, 14 paradise whiptail, and so on. We spotted a stingray, shrimp, anemone, collector urchins, and conch. We have brought a bucket of rocks to drop around those areas. Hopefully, in the future, we can bring corals to there as well. The more things we put down there, the more chances of bringing lives. This is what we’re proud of, we’re restoring the marine habitat in this sandy areas; just by having an artificial reef, we already made positive changes to the place and even more in the future. Definitely, we’re going to do more, deploy more, survey more; that way, we give shelters, we protect the ocean! The young Cambodian marine conservationists are rising!
As part of our curriculum, we are permitted to have classes to further research our own interest subjects. This round, Venghour and I partnered up and studied Korean language. Without any tutor, we used resources from Korean textbooks, Ewha, and an online website, Korean 101. We started off by studying basic grammars and daily vocabularies. Our goal is to be able to read, write, and understand Korean language. We’re starting off with very basic steps and we will continue to expand our knowledge in this language as much as possible.
LMRT got another trip before the end of the year which was from the 7th – 10th of December. It was the last trip of 2017 that LMRT has. In this trip, we’re trying to do our first official survey including fishes, invertebrates, and substrates. I was on the team with another person to do substrate survey. In substrate survey, first of all, we lay the 100 meters line, there will be a person the one who drops the plump which we use to indicate the substrate and another person will note down what it is by looking at the hand sign that the dropper gives.
In the first day, we were just reviewing and practicing more on neutral our buoyancy. We swim through a hula hoop, do the swim pivot, and enjoy the dive!! On the day of the survey, there are 4 teams of two. The first team lay the 100 meters transect line, the second team is the fish survey team, the third team is the invertebrates survey team, and the last team is the substrate survey team. The fish survey is about counting fishes and mark it to its correct category, invertebrates are also about counting while swimming in S-pattern. Last but not least, substrates are about dropping a plump every 50 cm, wherever the plump lands on, we record that substrate. One person will drop the plump and another person will record it.
The last team didn’t get to finish their survey because it was too dark and we barely see what it is. We entered the water a bit too late like at 4-5 pm; therefore, by the time we exited the water, the sun already set. We almost finish the survey, but we have to stop anyway due to safety. Anyway, we made last dives of the year worth it. Everyone gets the feeling of doing the survey. All we have to do now is to wait for next year, 2018, to be the year where our official surveys start. That was a nice way to end school before Christmas break.
There’s an opportunity for the senior students to volunteer for an organization called Khmer Sight Foundation which is an organization that offers free sight treatment to people. A group of students went there to volunteer and help Khmer Sight foundation to get through and solve eyes problem for the elder. One of the doctors said to us while looking at one grandma, “You’re going to save her eyes.” We’re all inspired and put our efforts into this event.
We have divided into different teams such as a team for registration when patients coming in, the screening people (Testing the eyes using the chart), a group to test the blood pressure, and a group that looks after the patients. I’m the screening people who use the tumbling E to test people’s eyes. When patients come in, we test their eyes, if they’re good they don’t treatment, but if they do they will send to the main doctor. We did the screening from 9 am to 1 pm for around 90 patients. We worked and put all of our efforts to this events because we want to save their sight.
It was really an amazing experience. Even though it’s a little tiring, but hard work pays off. We felt relieved after saving those people’s lives. The foundation is impressed by what we’re doing as young students to help assist them. They’re really proud and wishes to see us again in their future missions.
Our second trip is from the 26th-29th of October. The goal of this trip is to test how well we can identify fish because we need to know how to identify fish in order to do the fish survey. Therefore, our schedule will be diving, learn how to identify fishes, and look at the surveys. We’ve changed our dive teams in order for everybody to feel comfortable with every each of us. We’ve dive for a total of 3 dives in this trip with our team along with our instructor just hanging out watch out for us, but most of the time, we’re on our own. We dive with navigation including compass, dive computer, and natural guide. As I heard from everyone, diving’s only getting better and better and even more appealing to me. Therefore, each dives that we took is only bringing to another level of becoming scuba divers.
The first dive after last time since I’ve dive was totally awesome. Our first time is at Koh Seh Home reef, it was fun; however, the visibility wasn’t that good, so which means we didn’t get a full dive on that day. However, on the next day, it was the best dive for me so far, we dove at Koh Mak Prang, which located 15 minutes away from Koh Seh. We dove about 45 minutes with good visibility, good navigation, amazing views, especially, I got a good neutral buoyancy. It was a good depth and dive.
However, on the afternoon of that day, we dove another time. This time I am a dive leader which means I need to lead the whole team underwater. I always wear my prescription mask whenever I’m underwater, there are two people in the team that need to wear a prescription mask, but we only have one. Therefore, the solution is to divide us into different teams. But, something happened and make us in the same team which means my friend got the mask because his eyes are worse than me. The dive turns out to be okay, but I couldn’t see anything. Only when I look up close rather than that I can’t literally see anything. As a result, I’m survived, I’m relieved. Thanks to the whole team who supports me from the side. As a joke, it somehow turns out to be a blind dive, as I called it.
Despite all the consequences, we made it again. To me, diving is where I can forget everything and dive down underwater while keeping all the stress and everything on the surface. Going to dive is like going to my home. Because of how much I love the ocean. I can’t believe of how passionate and determined every one of us had.
Model United Nations, also known as Model UN or MUN is an extra-curricular activity class where students represent countries as a delegate in UN committees. It is when students come together into committees and discuss to find resolutions on certain topics. Liger has lots of experiences regarding over MUN. When I first come, I also got inspired by other students standing and talking representing their own country. Therefore this year, I’ve decided to join ISPPMUN which is a Model United Nations conference hosted by The International school Phnom Penh for the first time. Before joining this conference, I need to build up my courage and getting prepared because this is my first MUN conference. For some reasons, I was scared of public speaking and presenting to a crowd of people. Nevertheless, I’ve decided to join and break the door of shyness. I got a lot of help from my facilitators to write draft resolutions and my opening speech. The conference last for 3 days from 20-22nd of October.
In the conference, we’ve assigned three countries including The United States of America, Mexico, and Algeria along with 10 committees such as Junior General Assembly 1 and 2, General Assembly 1-4, Security Council, Environmental Council, Human Right Council, and Economic and Social Council. Therefore, I chose to join General Assembly 4: Special Political and Decolonization representing Algeria. The theme of ISPPMUN this year is “Collaboration not Confrontation”. I was quite nervous of this, after a long wait, the ISPPMUN has come. On Friday is the day that we do our opening speech and writing draft resolutions. I was nervous because Algeria is the first country to do the opening speech alphabetically. On Saturday is continue writing resolutions and debate and last but not least, Sunday which will be the Plenary debate and Closing Ceremony. Despite all the nervousness, I manage to do my opening speech with confidence with memorization. On the second day was an intense day because it was full day writing resolutions and debating. There are three topics in my committee including, The question of Compensation of Atomic radiation damage, Repatriation of Colonial Artifacts and Government Transparency. Among these three topics, I was the Main Submitter of the Repatriation of Colonial Artifacts’s resolution. Therefore, I need to go up to the podium, read the resolutions and giving a speech. I was quiet during the first debate because I wanted to observe what is it going to look like first. Later on, I was pretty much active in other debate by asking questions and making speeches.
The conference went well thanks to the chairs, all GA4 delegates, my friends, and facilitators; furthermore, it’s me who can build up this courage to be able to speak and be the main submitter in my first MUN conference. Additionally, I strongly believe that this will continue to motivate me to join more conferences in the near future.
What is LMRT? LMRT stands for Liger Marine Research Team. LMRT is a group of eight students full with passion and desire for marine biology to come together and create this long-term project to protect the ocean. This project will last 3 years to make these eight students become their own marine ecosystems researchers. We are going to survey fish, invertebrates, and substrate; furthermore, we’re going to create our own data for those surveys. To do this, we have a good partnership with Marine Conservation Cambodia, MCC, which located in Koh Seh, Kep archipelago.
On the 28th of September-3rd of October, the LMRT journey began. This first week is about getting us to be an official scuba diver. Therefore, we need to get through these four intense days to be a diver. The purpose of doing research here is about the underwater ecosystem, so the most important part of the process is to be able to dive. We have divided into two teams of four and each of us has our own dive buddies. We started off one team at a time since we only get four people underwater at a time.
On the first day, I was really nervous because I understand all the dangerous, adventurous and risk-taking. We all understand the consequences of this if something goes wrong. Neither way, we already decided to choose to join this team; therefore, we need to put all the courage and determination to this no matter how dangerous we know it is. The dive that we’re going to do is pool session which means when we practice all the skills, but this dive will not count as a real dive because it’s just when we practice all the skills. On the first day, we practiced clearing our masks, finding neutral buoyancy and getting comfortable breathing underwater. We also have another pool session in the afternoon which we learned about taking off our BCD and regulator and put it back on. For some reasons, I’m panicking during the activities, but I’m still alive.
Second Day, in the morning, we do a little bit of pool session, then the plan for the afternoon is going to dive at Koh Angkrong which is near Koh Seh; furthermore, it is beautiful and satisfying, as well as, it’s way deeper. Since I love fishes and creatures underwater, that day I’ve completed my dream because I saw Double banded soapfish, Jellyfish, Diadema urchin, Clams, and many other life-worth seeing creatures. It was a big yet the best one so far with an immense smile on everyone’s face.
The rest of the day of this trip was just doing more skills as a lot as possible, especially, skills in emergencies cases. Then, another step that we need to do is the academic test about the whole scuba diving with 50 questions and multiple choices questions. Before dinner, we did the test and after dinner, we will check the answer. As a result, we all pass the TEST! I got 47/50 which is 94%. But, this isn’t determined 100% of the whole scuba system, what’s more, important is practicing and getting comfortable with scuba diving because it’s isn’t human nature to go and breathing down there underwater. Thanks to Karen and MCC for letting this opportunity happened. Thanks so much for fulfilling my dream.
Due to today singing class, we have a speaker to present about their organization. The speaker is from HFCA which is stand for Happy Football Cambodia Australia. They come to talk about their program. Their program is taking poor kids to learn football. They have the coach, shoes, football field, clothes and many other that they provide to the homeless kids. This program was operate since 2005 until now. They trained the kids to play football and try to avoid things like drug addict and any other violent things. They also make homeless FIFA cup and make the kids to join the homeless cup match at other countries. This course only do on Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 am-10:00 am. At Saturday they train and Sunday was a friendly match between each other.
What i like about this course is that they try to collect all of homeless kids to make like sports and get them away from the violent things. Here is the some photos of that course.
Yesterday, One of our facilitator named Waseem had invited the guest from Green School in Bali, Indonesia. Waseem had been there once and he wants to invited them to come and share what about Green School. The 2 guests from Green School had describe all the things from green school also known as Green camp. They said
Green school is made from the Bamboo (all the building)
The 4 pillars of the of the school is Sustainability, Leadership, Experiential education and Cultural appreciation.
Green camp also similar to Liger. They choose students, some students go back home everyday and some stay at the camp.
Everything is made from Bamboo even the beds.
One thing is that they want all the students to disconnect their phone and connect them to the nature
They do things that from nature and recycle them.
This is the really cool school.
Here is the view of the School
Today, we also have another guest name Chea Kagnarith from edemy. Edemy is program that run by him and some of his teammate. This program help all the rural and urban area to learn English language with zero connectivity. This program is similar to Khan Academy. Now this program is run with 400 students and 2 universities. They want to let students that don’t have enough money to afford the school to learn English. This also an amazing program. Because we want all Cambodian to educated even though they are poor or rich.
This the logo of the program
Today and yesterday, we have a such a cool presentation from our guest. And we hope their will be more guests visiting us