Newsletter February 2009

Rostock News


News February 2009

Dear friends, I hope you all had a good start into

2009 with lots of New Year’s resolutions... After a

bombastic New Year’s Eve at RR and some well

deserved vacations, I’m back just in

time to save Maya from “daddy’s” grief.

In this edition we will present our

head chef, our longest hiking trail,

and the mysterious fairy circles. On

page 2 some fun with JJ. Enjoy!

Yours sincerely,

Interview with a Desert Star

Mr. Lazarus T. Nghilukilwa is working for

Rostock Ritz since 10 years as the head chef.

JMF: Mr. Nghilukilwa, what is your job at Rostock Ritz (RR)?

LTN: I have to make sure that the kitchen is running very well.

Not only the food must be at perfection, also motivation and

communication between the team members must be right.

JMF: Did you always want to be a chef? Where did you learn it?

LTN: After finishing Grade 12, I actually wanted to go to university for a psychology degree, but unfortunately money was

not enough. Since I always liked to cook, I started as a chef at

the Strand-Hotel in Swakopmund. Then I worked for De Beers

on a diamond ship, cooking for 25 people. From Kücki himself

I learned the RR dishes and all the management skills. Fortunately I can follow my psychology interest with the people

management I do at RR.

JMF: Which dish from the RR Menu you like most?

LTN: To cook, prawns in garlic butter and all the steaks. To eat,

Kücki’s steak (laughs) that’s true! But

I also look forward to the vegetarian

dishes we will add to the RR menu.

JMF: Do you cook at home?

LTN:Yes, I turn a “bocky” on the grill

(laughs)... on special occasions only.

JMF: ... so your wife cooks for you? Does she cook as good?

LTM: Of course, I taught her everything! (laughs)

JMF: What do you like, what do you dislike at your job?

LTN: We are working 2 months, and taking 14 days off, which is

enough time to visit our families in the north. That’s very good,

I like it. And I hate it when people criticise my food (laughs).

JMF: Which doesn’t occur very often, much on the contrary.

Mr. Nghilukilwa, thank you very much for this interview.

Start/End: Drop-Off/Pick-Up Point

Length: 14.4 km

Duration: 7 hours

Level of difficulty: challenging

Hikers will get a ride to the Drop Off /

Pick Up Point next to the Ubib valley.

Get down the Ubib valley to walk

downstream the river bed (left) until

you come to a “T-junction” of river

beds (Ubib and Gaub).

Turn right to get to a green spring

which is full of trees. Follow the markers to the bushman’s paintings to get

to the Rotberg River and turn right to

walk upstream.

Keep to your left when you see the

first trees and you will not miss the

ascent to get to the paintings. To get

back follow the same trail back to the

Rotberg. [...]

Where the Desert Fairies Dance...

Spheric patterns of bare sandy soil with a diameter of up to 10 m,

they are found from southern Angola down to the Orange river, in the Pre-Namib area, there where the rainfall does not exceed 50 - 100 mm per year. Fairy circles can be easily spotted,

since they are barren in the middle yet have a band of dense

and taller grass at the borders. The theories about radioactive

soil and toxic debris left in the soil by Euphorbia damarana,

have been dismissed [1]. The most actual theory says harvester termites are causing

them, in analogy to

harvester ants causing

similar circles in southern Idaho [2]. Though,

a final proof is still to

be delivered. Till then

we keep spending full

moon nights at the Rostock Ritz terrace with a nice bottle of

wine, waiting for the fairies to dance in their circles, surrounded by partying meerkats (who said they sleep at night!), singing zebras, curious jackals, and fluorescent scorpions.

[1] Van Rooyen et al. 2004. Mysterious circles in the Namib Desert: Review of

hypotheses on their origin. Journal of Arid Environments 57: 467-485

[2] Becker T. 2007. Das Phänomen der Feenkreise (Fairy Circles) im Kaokoland

(NW Namibia) Basic and Applied Dryland Research 1, 121-137.

see also

What Jakob experienced at Rostock Ritz...

Last year, Jakob (JJ) stayed with us at Rostock Ritz for a while, helping us at the lodge while gathering some impressions of Africa.

When he left, he gave us a farewell booklet, a diary so to say, where he drew down his experiences at Rostock Ritz.

And the 10th Anniversary Prize Draw Winners are...

Ruth Britze and Rainer Bahr, Heike and Thomas Zwar, Hannes and Louna Reinders, Elizabeth Elifas, Dierk Mensing, Dagmar Greeff, Margot and Günther Gabade, Jayne Inhgam, Annette and Werner Struchtemeier, Scheifert Erenst Tuleni Shigwe, Heide Baas, Leanne Dost,

Jac & Leonie Martens. Congratulations!!

Be on edge with

our next newsletter, coming

on May. Besides

other interesting

information we

will tell you about

the renovations

at our bungalows and show

you Part 2 of

Jakob’s experiences at Rostock

Ritz. We wish

you a wonderful

time till then!

Adaptability and caution...

- always competent in dealing with

wild animals...

... and foreign cultures !!

We loved it and want to share it

with you (though we had to censor it). Here comes part 1 of 4...

(see translations inblue)

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