walvi

4

Did you hear the good news? Last week we welcomed two new chicks to our African blackfooted penguin exhibit!

Chick One hatched on May 7 to parents Karoo and Messina. Chick Two hatched the following day, on May 8, and is in a nest with experienced surrogate parents Boulders and Walvis. (Bee and Geyser are the biological parents, but are inexperienced raising chicks.)

When they hatched, both weighed about two ounces, and each has grown to over seven ounces. Regular check-ups help us keep tabs on the health of these fragile chicks.

These little fluff balls stay with their parents for about three weeks or until they start leaving their nests–then we’ll move the families behind the scenes for the chicks’ safety. We will eventually name them and return the families to our exhibit, or may transfer one or both of the chicks to other accredited zoos or aquariums as part the Species Survival Plan for this threatened species.

Watch the video of their first check-up

Try to spot a fluffy chick on our Penguin Cam


South Africans Capture Capital of German South-West Africa

Louis Botha meets with Peter Müller, mayor of Windhoek, to discuss the surrender of the city on May 12.

May 12 1915, Windhoek–After initial setbacks and an abortive rebellion at home in 1914, the South Africans in the new year were able to put these behind them and push into German South-West Africa [Namibia]. Two columns advanced from the South African border and from a landing at Lüderitz Bay in the south, but the main push, under Prime Minister Botha himself, was from Swakopmund and the British port of Walvis Bay across the Namib desert to Karibib and the capital of Windhoek. Summer temperatures in the Namib were unbearable in the late summer, reaching 132 degrees F on March 9. The South Africans advanced steadily, often using armored cars or soldiers on horseback to harass both flanks of the Germans as they slowly withdrew. 

The Germans thought about making a determined stand at the railway center of Karibib, but thought better of it and retreated north to Omaruru. The capital, Windhoek was thus left undefended, and was occupied on May 12. Negotiations had begun between Botha and German Governor Seitz via telephone the previous day for terms regarding an end to the fighting in South-West Africa. In the meanwhile, the civilian population in Windhoek struggled after the end of German administration: “many of the women were young, earning a living as typists, telephonists, and barmaids. Their means of livelihood suddenly cut off, and the wages due to them in many cases unpaid, their position has become desperate." 

Sources include: Byron Farwell, The Great War in Africa; Arthur Banks, Atlas of the First World War.

youtube

Welcome To Two New Penguin Chicks!

We’re proud to announce that two African blackfooted penguin chicks hatched last week! Both chicks are in nests in our Splash Zone exhibit, and have been spotted a handful of times since hatching.

Chick One hatched on May 7 to parents Karoo and Messina. Chick Two hatched the following day, on May 8, and is in a nest with experienced surrogate parents Boulders and Walvis. (Bee and Geyser are the biological parents, but are inexperienced raising chicks.)

When they hatched, both weighed about two ounces, and each has grown to over seven ounces. Regular check-ups, like the one in this video, help us keep tabs on the health of these fragile chicks. 

These little fluff balls stay with their parents for about three weeks or until they start leaving their nests–then we’ll move the families behind the scenes for the chicks’ safety. We will eventually name them and return the families to our exhibit, or may transfer one or both of the chicks to other accredited zoos or aquariums as part the Species Survival Plan for this threatened species.

These are the sixth and seventh chicks to hatch at the Aquarium. Rey hatched in June 2014 and is on exhibit. Maq hatched in August 2013 and is also on exhibit. Of three chicks that hatched in January 2011, the two males, Pebble and Tola, survived and are both doing well at Dallas World Aquarium. The third chick did not survive. (Despite excellent parental and veterinary care, penguin chicks have a high rate of mortality.)

African blackfooted penguins are considered endangered, as their population has been reduced by about 90% over the past century. We can help them in the wild by protecting the ocean habitats these animals depend upon—and by choosing ocean-friendly seafood with our Seafood Watch app.

We’ll keep you updated on our newest additions–and if you’re lucky, you may spot one of the chicks peeping out from its nest!

Watch our penguin exhibit cam

Learn more about these endangered animals

Esthetica deel 5

jazz marathon Brussel: geen recensie

Gisteren ben ik naar Jazzmarathon Brussel gegaan samen met mijn broer. Aangezien we beiden van Brussel houden hebben we erg genoten van de namiddag in onze favoriete stad van België. We zijn begonnen in café De Monk waar we hebben geluisterd naar een dj-set met traditionele jazz. Het was de perfecte beginner van de namiddag omdat we meteen vele klassieke jazzplaten te horen kregen die onze interesse aanwakkerde. 

Na deze initiatie in De Monk zijn we naar De Walvis getrokken waar we op een terrasje hebben geluisterd naar wat live-jazz muziek. Een leuke afwisseling na de Dj! Muziek dat live gespeeld wordt is nog steeds iets anders dan muziek van een plaat. Na onze leuke ervaring bij de Walvis zijn we opnieuw naar de Monk getrokken om er een Spaghetti te gaan eten. Om onze goede namiddag af te sluiten zijn we hierna nog naar La Grand Place gegaan om de main stage is te zien en om ook hier weer een andere ervaring met jazz op te doen.

Ik heb erg genoten van de Jazz marathon vooral omdat ik heb ontdekt dat ik erg houd van deze muziekstijl. Vooral de klassiekers waren leuk omdat je hier en daar wel eens een nummer herkende. 

Dit was mijn laatste opdracht voor Esthetica dit jaar. Ik heb er echt van genoten en ik ben blij dat we deze opdracht gekregen hebben. Ik denk dat ik nu ook meer uit eigen initiatief de Brusselse binnenstad zal binnengaan om er nog wat meer cultuur op te doen.  

Klankkast

Hij zit gebogen over zijn gitaar. Zijn kitten springt in mijn schoot met behulp van zijn nog vriendelijke nageltjes. Nu alle toeristen weer vertrokken zijn is de wind ook gaan liggen. Het is een goed soort gebogen, over zijn gitaar, alsof hij met zichzelf de klankkast ervan wil vergroten. Ik omarm de kitten.
     –Voel je de klanken dan ook in je buik?
     Even lijkt hij niet te horen
     –tot in mijn kruin,
     opent ook zijn ogen en ziet me. Ik moet denken aan een spuiende walvis. Boven onze hoofden kleurt de lucht rood. Hij ziet het, maar zegt
     –voel je dat ook?
     Ik klem me om het hartslagje in mijn schoot en om zijn korte blik. Hij stopt met spelen.

We resoneerden, en even hoefde ik me niet te herinneren.  

Travel Tuesday: Memo 004

Re: Reflections on Travel Noire Fellowship

(photo take in Walvis Bay, Namibia) 

While the ship has docked, the journey continues. 

As I’m nearing the end of my Travel Noire social media fellowship, I’m reflecting on this journey and what a ride it has been. It’s been an honor working with this team as TN reached milestones (100K+ strong on Instagram), announced partnerships with Quarterly and AirBnB, launched #TNDistrict and more.

4 months and 80K miles later, I’ll never forget the invaluable lessons and travel hacking chats with Zim (founder of Travel Noire). She is a force to be reckoned with and I’m grateful for her leading the pack! Here’s to changing the travel game…

Namibia

An almost-full moon rose to say farewell as we pulled out of Walvis Bay tonight.  Such a heart-stopping moment when you see a huge moon sitting on the horizon, especially when there are few lights and an ocean to reflect the moonlight.  Truly a stunning way to say good-bye to this wonderful nation.

If you are like me, you barely can find the country of Namibia on a map.  I knew it was in Africa and by deduction, knew it would be on the coastline north of South Africa.  That leaves some territory to speculate where it might be.  I now know that Namibia, up to 1994, was called South West Africa at which time it became a free country from South Africa.  Under rule of South Africa since the end of WW1, they too were subject to the terrible segregation of apartheid that is still felt in economic, and I suppose, less-than-outright social terms.  It’s still a young country.

What makes Namibia, a country the size of Texas, unique is the extremely low rainfall along the Atlantic coast – they measure total “rain” in the single digits of centimeters.  A good portion of this moisture is from the daily fog that covers the area from late afternoon to mid-morning.  All living things have figured out strategies to deal with these arid conditions.  Insects catch the fog to drink the droplets of water that condense on their bodies; small animals depend on the water in the insect’s bodies to provide their water supply.  Plants have very reduced leaves or very thick “skin” to retain the precious water they draw through their roots.  Needless to say, there are few who tolerate such hostile conditions in this land of sand and rock.

The Namib Desert runs along the coast for 2000km covered with sand that originates from a river that makes the border with South Africa.  The strong ocean current brings the sand north where it gets deposited along the shore.  After 80 million years, this desert has a lot of sand with huge sand dunes.  This unusual sand is full of minerals so it varies in color from light tan to deep reds, deep rusty orange or to dark black (which is a type of iron that can be segregated with a large magnet – very cool to see.)  The dunes were a beautiful sight.  Check them out on Google.

I did an overnight camping trip to Goanikontes, which interested me as I wanted to be out in the desert to see the stars.  Instead, I found the nightly fog and a full moon blocking most of the hoped for view.  But the trip there was worth every penny.  We first stopped to see the flamingos in the lagoon, then drove to “Dune 7”, one of the taller dunes, so we could climb to the top – it was quite a hike on a 45 degree slope of soft sand!  The next drive took us to a rocky part of the desert where small stones created what looked to be a man-made pavement.  Here we found Welwitschia plants – a primitive, cone-bearing plant that can live to be 2,000 years old.  (We had some at Cal Poly that had been collected from Africa in the 1950’s so it was exciting to see where they had come from.)  From there we drove to a river canyon, which resembled a small Grand Canyon, where we camped in the green oasis at the bottom.  The riverbed, like many in California, is dry most of the year as the water flows underground.  I was told the river had made it to the sea only once in the past 30 years.  The oasis had been homesteaded by Germans in the early 1800’s who farmed the area to provide food for ships who could find shelter in the large harbor at Walvis Bay.

I knew so little when we landed and now feel like I know so much more yet have so much more to learn.  There are still tribal people here who maintain a traditional life yet with advances such as cell phones.  Women have ornate hair styles with long braids made longer with sinew.  A red clay covers other sections of hair while shells or seed are woven in to create very unusual styles.  A book of photos taken in 1940 revealed a world I knew nothing about.  I only saw two women with this type of hair style – women who were in town to sell goods – and I bought a bracelet so I could gawk without being too obvious about it.  Truly a different way to do life.

I’m finishing this up to post on our third day at sea.  Once again time has compressed as it seems we just left port a short time ago.  In a few minutes, we pass the Prime Meridian – the imaginary line that separates the eastern and western hemispheres and sets the standard for time zones around the world.  As I have traveled since my mom died - my kids called her the Traveling Grandma - I have left her ashes in various places around the world.  It seems fitting for a woman who was always on the go to remember her in many locations and I must say, I appreciate her companionship during my own travels -  we have many conversations.  So on this gorgeous day here in the South Atlantic, the Prime Meridian will be her next holiday.  I hope King Neptune throws her a big welcoming party! 

Namibia

Before getting to Namibia, I was under the impression that there wasn’t much to do there. Part of me thought I was just being ignorant but as it turns out, I was right. The country is pretty empty, at least in the areas we went to.   The ship docked in Walvis Bay. The town area only had a few cafes, a KFC, and a couple of random stores. After taking advantage of free Internet at a cafe, Becca, Jaime, and I decided to leave Walvis Bay for Swakopmund, which we were led to believe was more exciting. Technically, Swakopmund did have more to do, but only the slightest bit. The beach area was pretty cool because of the intense waves but other than that, a grocery store, and a few other shops, there wasn’t much going on. We went to a restaurant for a bit once it opened and found out that the restaurant is booked days in advance. Though we were able to get a table, anybody else who came in after us was turned away. I’m assuming this is because there were only about two restaurants in the whole town.   The next day, Becca and I started a four-day field program to Etosha National Park for a safari. We didn’t realize how long the bus ride would be. The drive itself was supposed to be about 9 hours without stops, but thanks to a road block, it took us 12 hours to get there. The time actually flew by pretty quickly though and the view was nice the whole time.   The following two days involved three safaris total. The safaris were done on the bus, which was kind of weird, but it did make it easier to see past trees and we got A/C. Being in such a large park, animal sightings were completely random. Throughout the two days of safaris at Etosha, we saw approximately 30 elephants at once at a water hole, two rhinos, a lion, tons of giraffes and zebras, and more. It was a lot of fun but took several hours of searching and waiting. Last year, the safari I did in South Africa was at a smaller private reserve. You were guaranteed to see animals but the experience wasn’t as genuine, in my opinion, though I think a few people were hoping for that on our trip. I’m glad I’ve gotten to do both though.   Overall, my time in Namibia was great but I was happy I booked a safari because otherwise I have no idea what I would have done the whole time. Now, we have a long stretch at sea until we get to Morocco. We finish our classes with the exception of final exams so it’s quite busy for a lot of us, including myself. Wish me luck.

bia

anonymous asked:

Could you suggest the best cafe's and "coffee"shops in Amsterdam ?

Sure, cafes (just to drink nice smoothies and drink coffee) are: Veggies, Bakhuys, Juice Brothers, SLA, Joy for Two, Sissy Boy (at the KNSM Island), PLLEK (at the NDSM), Walvis, Cottoncake and I’ve forgotten like thousands probably but these are most of my favorites. Coffeeshops, I don’t know. I don’t have a favorite. I don’t smoke weed anymore either, but when I did, I just went to the most nearby coffeeshops. You have them on like every cornor of the street. Also, don’t go to the coffeeshops at Leidseplein, Haarlemmerstraat, Rembrandtplein and the most touristic places. It’s way too expensive and mostly shitty stuff. And don’t buy anything from the street. Also if you want to do hard drugs, DON’T buy anything from streetdealers. There are people in Amsterdam that sell bad shit, a lot of tourists already died because of that. Just go to a nice coffeeshop and just don’t do hard drugs ;-). Anyway. Enjoyyy.