mission: cambodia

Robam Tep Apsara (របាំទេពអប្សរា, lit., Dance of the Apsara Divinities) is the title of a Khmer classical dance created by the Royal Ballet of Cambodia in the mid-20th century under the patronage of Queen Sisowath Kossamak. The Apsara is played by a woman, sewn into tight-fitting traditional dress, whose graceful, sinuous gestures are codified to narrate classical myths or religious stories.

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Hello guys !
I’ve been working a lot lately and couldn’t get the time to finish editing and posting other sketches from cambodia… Maybe later !
I’ll do some cleaning in my posts so I’m posting here all the sketches so far, grouped in one post. :)

Hopefully I’ll be able to post more new stuff in a few weeks !

Thanks and see you soon ! :)

New HeroRAT recruits ready for the real thing

Last February eight fully trained HeroRATs from the APOPO training center in Morogoro, Tanzania arrived in their new home in Siem Reap, Cambodia. APOPO’s Mine Detection Rat Field Coordinator Mark Shukuru travelled with them and is happy to announce that after a short period of acclimatization and getting to know their new Cambodia handlers, the new mine detection rats have all passed their assessment tests and are ready for the real minefields.

The assessment tests took place on May 4th and 5th. Overseen by our partner Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC), the tests met the International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) meaning each rat had to search an area of 200m2 in under 40 minutes and find every single landmine or unexploded ordnance (UXO), with no rat permitted more than 2 false positives.

All the rats passed on the first go except for one: Idaya. In April and May the temperatures in Cambodia rise and already by 8am in the morning it starts to get very hot. Idaya was the last rat to be tested on May 4th and half way down the box she started showing signs that the heat was getting to her. She was promptly removed before she could find all the landmines/UXO and technically failed her test. The next morning she was retested while it was still cool and as expected she passed perfectly.

“It was agreed by the team and CMAC that Idaya’s test was conducted whilst out of the acceptable heat range so we are all happy that she proved this the very next morning. Great news and a true reflection of the hard work from the team” said Paul McCarthy, APOPO’s Program Manager for Cambodia.

Over the past few weeks the Cambodian handlers have been patiently helping the rats get up to speed for their livelihood- and life-saving mission. The fact that all the new recruits have passed their CMAC assessment tests shows not only what a great job their new handlers are doing but also shows how adaptable these amazing little creatures are.

These eight HeroRATs will be providing much needed extra capacity to the project, joining the other mine detection rats that have been there since 2015 supporting our great partner CMAC. In that time, rats have significantly increased the speed of landmine detection, speeding up the daily square meter coverage and clearance, and allowing people to get back on their land as quickly as possible.

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Ancient statue unearthed at Cambodia’s Angkor complex
Aug 1, 2017: Phnom Penh (AFP) - Archaeologists have unearthed a large, centuries-old statue that is believed to have once stood guard over an ancient hospital at Cambodia’s famed Angkor temple complex.

The nearly two metre tall carving, which is thought to be from the late 12th to the early 13th century, was discovered during a dig on Saturday, said Long Kosal, a spokesman for Apsara Authority – the state agency charged with managing the complex.
(via AFP news agency)