Meet Aaron Mertz, guest on the most recent edition of the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring Jay Hillz. There were two things different about this show. Firstly, Zambezi fm has changed its frequency from 107.7 to 94.1 fm. Apparently this is a temporary change – the station hopes to obtain a frequency lower than 90.0 fm to make it more accessible to local taxi drivers whose radios only reach that range. Secondly, Jay stood in for Milli Jam on this show, so he was the Ingredient and I featured! We managed. Milli Jam had been struck down with an eye infection. There’s also a rumour that he’s started jogging!
Aaron told listeners that he’d arrived in Livingstone that afternoon from South Africa and would just be in Zambia for about 48 hours, before taking the night train from Victoria Falls to Bulaway, then on to see Harare and the Great Zimbabwe Ruins. Whilst in Livingstone he would be taking the one day safari to Chobe NP in Botswana, as well as swimming in Devil’s Pool on Livingstone Island right on the edge of Victoria Falls. He was also looking forward to spending a few hours at the Livingstone museum. Aaron hails from Chicago but is currently living in New York City. He is a postdoctoral fellow at Rockefeller University working in the laboratory of mammalian cell biology and development. “Ah!” We said! Aaron did his undergraduate degree (summa cum laude) at Washington University in St. Louis (Missouri, USA) and his doctorate (with distinction) at Yale University. He is also a Rhodes Scholar from Oxford University in UK. He told us that he had very much enjoyed the two years he’d spent in England but had not learned how to play cricket or to support Arsenal FC…..
The music on the show was good as usual. we opened with new tracks from Mark Ronson ft Bruno Mars, and Oliver Heldens ft KStewart. Both current smash hits in UK. Jay dropped items from Doc Shebekza, Afunika, Kritic and DJ Khaled. Our ‘oldie of the week’ was a track by Jo Klassic ft PJay. Listeners have to text us the name of the artist on the track, but on this occasion no-one won the prize. One contestant forget to mention their own name and another knew the name of the track – Method 2 – but did not text the name of the artist. So, no-one won the dinner for two with drinks at the lodge on offer! There’ll be another chance on the next show.
Aaron revealed that when he’s not working or travelling (his first love), he plays the cello and in fact had recently given his first concert with a friend. He loves classical music and opera and living in New York gives him the chance to go to live shows. He also loves cycling and makes full use of the ‘Public Bikes’ now available in the city for the public to rent, cycle and return to a cycle bank. He revealed that he’d found out about Chanters Lodge from the Lonely Planet Guide Book and TripAdvisor on the internet. He was happy with the choice he’d made to stay with us. Aaron is still single and has one older brother.
Asked where he would like to be and what he would like to be doing in ten years’ time, Aaron said that he’d like to be a University Professor in Physics and Biology with his own research laboratory. Given Aaron’s academic achievements already, in our opinion that’s a ‘nobrainer’!! Unlike Mr Mertz who is clearly super brainy!