Deception Valley Lodge staff

 

AOBAKWE

Bushman Tracker at Deception Valley lodge My name is Aobakwe also known as Xhega to friends and working colleagues.

I am from Ghanzi and have a wife three children whom stays with me at the staff accommodation while I am working at Deception valley lodge.

Deception Valley Lodge has been my home and family for the last four years now. My duties and responsibilities at work are tracking animals, sharing my skills and techniques with other people regarding my ancestor’s way of life -the Naru bushman.

General lodge maintenance as well pick ups, drop offs and assisting guest to and from their rooms at night.

I love my job due to the fact that it brings me joy and pride showing others my people’s way of life as it use to be as well as preserving nature for the next generation and just over all sharing of knowledge as this is the only way of life I know and it is my way of contributing to my country and people.

Botswana is an amazing country and the reason I love my country so much is not just because I am born here but because I can live freely and be who I am and who I want to be.

XHASI

Bushman Tracker at Deception Valley lodge

My name is Xhasi but everyone just knows me as Zammie.

I am one of Deception Valley lodge’s first tracker and bushman employees. As far as I can recall I started working at DVL in 1999.

Although I can not read or write I can speak Naru and Afrikaans fluently and being part of the tourism industry helped me gain a lot more self confidence and general knowledge regarding people and the places outside Botswana.

I play an important roll in the team as I learn and teach the younger newer bushman trackers  how to track the pride of lions as well as give them the knowledge and skills about our forefathers so that our culture could be preserved and not get lost in todays modern society.

It gives me great pleasure to show of my tracking skills to tourist as well as give them some insight as to how my father and grandfather use to live in a remote dry place such as the Kalahari.

I was born in Botswana, grew up in Botswana and therefore my heart lies with my country.

Our people take care of each other and this compassion among one another is what makes me love my country so much.

KEOTSHWARETSE BANYATSE

Cleaner / waitress at Deception Valley lodge As you notice my name is quite a mouthful so everybody just calls me “Kay”.

I am a 43 year old local lady born in Kalkfontein. I have been employed at DVL a few years ago but left due to certain circumstances.

I really enjoyed working at DVL and after a few years of absence decided to come back to this small little remote family run business. I enjoy interacting with guest even if it is by means of waitressing or greeting them or even just cleaning and turning down.

JENNY CAMM

Laundry lady at Deception Valley lodge

I am a 60 year old local lady from Kanaqas Charleshill. I have five children all of them grown up.

I have been doing the laundry at DVL for almost 11 years now.

I just love ironing and cleaning the Linen. Some days it does get a bit hectic especially with a full lodge and a generator working only from 7:15 until 11:15. I have learned to do my time management quite well which is a helpful skill in this industry.

I love my job, I know it doesn’t sound very exciting but everybody has a passion and a talent and being in charge of laundry is my department.

I love DVL because we are a family we look after one another. I am very loyal towards my job as it has always been a big part of my life for the last 11 years.

I love my country because of its peaceful nature and the history of Botswana is not as violent as most African countries. Botswana has grown a lot and will achieve greatness. I hope to one be fortunate enough to see my country excel like any 1st world country.

VERONISHKA CLAYTON

Chef and food & beverages manager at Deception Valley lodge

I am known as Nishka to those close to me. I am a 23 Year old South African female who started working in Botswana last year August. I am a qualified chef and food and beverage manager.

I went to school in Johannesburg South Africa and studied professional cookery and kitchen management at the International Hotel school of Durban. I have been cooking at home since a young age and started professionally at the age of 18 not yet qualified yet at this time though so use to get all the bad jobs like slicing and chopping bags of onions and doing general kitchen cleaning just to mention a few.

How ever this did not put me of my goal and passion as I saw this all as a growing experience. Previous jobs included waitressing, bar tending, cook, café manager , sous chef and kitchen manager. I was employed at DVL as a chef and food and beverage manager just over a year ago. My style of cooking is traditional cuisine combined with some modern fusion cuisine, and all the food and recipes done at DVL are my own creations. We make our own yoghurt, pasta, bread, buns, pastries, jams, pates, pickles, relishes , biltong and many more .

Hopefully by end of this year I will have a small ice cream machine to make my own ice cream at the lodge as well. I do work long hours but enjoy this life style very much. I even have my own little herb and veggie garden which I tend to at night after hard days of work.

Emily was my trainee and while I am busy with admin she is the one getting things done in the kitchen. She knows most of my recipes by heart and when ever possible I try to encourage her as well as the rest of the ladies working at the lodge to not be scared of trying something new or showing your creative side.

I came to Botswana out of desperation for a job and I came here without any knowledge about the country and with people I never even knew. I was fortunate enough that everything worked out for  me in the end as I love nature as much as I love cooking and dealing with people and staff. My reason for loving Botswana is very simple.

It is not because I get fresh items daily as you would imagine any chef’s worst nightmare would be but because the people hear have a passion to gain knowledge, to learn and to improve.

As well as to take care of their country and fellow men by being helpful and also through teaching outsiders or tourist a little about their country and diverse culture.

EMILY WILHELMINA LE ROUX

Cook at Deception Valley lodge

My name is Emily. I am a 50 year old local lady born in Ghanzi Botswana.

I am self taught educated and can speak Setswana, Afrikaans, English and a few bushman languages fluently. All my previous job experiences included being a cashier, sales lady, cocktail waitress, housekeeping, supervisor and now currently a cook at DVL.

I started working at DVL in 1998. I started as a general cleaner and worked myself up towards being a cook. I am not qualified but have been locally trained and gained experience by assisting chefs and cooks in the kitchen.

I enjoy working in the kitchen. Cooking is my passion as it brings out my creative side. It brings me great joy being out in the open and to be able to scout for marrogh and truffles in the early cool mornings, I also have my own little fresh garden at the lodge.

Unfortunately it gets a bit tricky with little water and the occasional porcupine scouting for something fresh to nibble on. My goal would be to one day open my own little food vender or shop where I can produce my own local food.

Botswana is still not up there in the culinary industry but I believe that one day we might be one of the best and this is why Botswana is a great place to live in.

This country is constantly moving forward and trying to improve. This might take some time but if everybody believes in themselves and reach for their goals this will be accomplished a lot sooner.