Cambodia health care system is getting better over time. We have access to the health center in almost all district in Cambodia, We provided vaccination to newborns, and free healthcare to the poor family. However, there are a lot of areas that we need to improve such as, advanced technology, quality medical resources, educated medical staffs, and good internal system. In the past, many people need to fly to other countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, China, or Japan to pursue their health problem. However, now a day people don’t really outside the country anymore. There are now many private clinics/hospital that is capable to do more intense and difficult treat. During our exploration, we went to many of the health-related organizations and public/private hospital to gather information on their perspective to the Cambodian healthcare system. The information gave us more broad and big ideas for our healthcare system. Traditional medicine was come out a lot in people perspective, and that’s going to be my next topic to research in round 2 exploration. I’m going to compare what are the differences between the traditional medicine and Western medicine. I might look closely on how it work/function and the different win tradition medicine to Western medicine.
Through May 24th-29th we were head back to Koh Seh to continue our research and this probably the last trip of this year. It was nice to be back at Koh Seh serene environment, met old friends created new friends, etc.
During this trip, Kep ocean was heavily destroyed by the illegal fishing and mostly from trawling that caused a lot of seagrasses wash up by the shore and caused the visibility to be really bad. Because of the visibility really bad, we didn’t get to do any underwater survey. However, we took this time wisely to practice the dolphin survey, building cluster, clean up the island, and work on our presentations that we going to present about Cambodia ocean in Malaysia on 23th of June.
Even though we didn’t get to do any underwater survey but we get to do the underwater fun dive. We most of the time get to dive in front of the island where the water is shallow and a lot of coral which it makes the visibility there better than the survey site and good enough to do dive. It was a really fun dive, we got to see many seahorses, but what makes me excited the most was me finding an octopus hiding in a shell.
As explained above, we also get to do a dolphin survey. So the survey was divided into 4 teams and rotate in every 30 minutes. It was quite difficult to do a real dolphin survey because it was hard to note down the information while dolphin is still moving. We saw a lot of dolphins probably more than 5 group of dolphin and more than 50 dolphins counted.
On November 16th through 19th, The LMRT was down to Koh Seh again to improve our diving and survey skills. This particular trip was focused on practicing on fish survey and doing a substrate identification exam. Diver are very lazy, they kick super slow just like a turtle walking on land. But doing this fish survey is the god of laziness, we need to kick much more slower than a normal diver, around 1.5 – 1.7 meter per minute. Personally for my first dive to practice the fish survey was super confusing and difficult. We need to responsible for many things and that’s was too much for us. Also to swim super slow was the most difficult for me because it’s uncomfortable and it’s also my first time to do it. But as time past, we were always getting better. On the fourth dive of practicing the fish survey we all done fantastic, our speed was on the right track, we took a lot of information and I even saw a super tiny octopus that was like one centimeter or even smaller than that while focusing on the speed. I’ve got a good eye right? Not just we have done a really good job or the practicing fish survey, but we also pass the substrate identification exam. We are waiting to do our real survey!
Photo of me checking out the grouper in the art official reef.
I’ve been chosen with the other seven students to be the Liger Marine Research Team (LMRT). We are really passionate in studying marine research and protecting our ocean. In order to do the marine research, we need to know how to dive properly, we had worked really hard during our summer break to study the dive course. However, in order to do research, we need to have the budget to go to our search site, buying equipment, and such more. We had submitted a three year grant to a foundation, requested a budget of $15,610 and they have accepted our grant. We were really excited for the grant and hoping we use this money well to protect our marine ecosystems, educate our people, and follow our passion. For our marine research project, we will focus on three different types of survey, fish, invertebrate, and substrate. On the 28th of September, 2017 we went to Koh Seh, where our research location is, and we stayed there for about 5 days. We’ve there to do our open water diving course, and learning new skills of scuba diving. It was a bit difficult for the first time because we are new to this, however, our effort pay off. We are now certified as an open water diver. We will visit the island every month for one weekend. In the next three years of our research, we hope that we can educate people about the importance of the ocean and help to protect it.