Here I was: a youngish retail executive, outside the rebel-held Airforce Base of Debre Zeit, deep in the heart of Ethiopia, while two rebels argued about killing me. It is at times like this that one wonders how the hell one got into such a situation.
Derek Lupson didn't ask for a life of adventure. In 1973, he was running a supermarket for NAAFI in darkest Doncaster. The Managing Director then tells Derek that he's the ideal person for a little job he has in mind.
The "little job" involves being posted 4,000 miles away, to Ethiopia, a country that has to be pointed out to him on a map. His task: to set up a modern trading organisation, based on NAAFI, for the Imperial Ethiopian Airforce. In his struggle to achieve the impossible, Derek comes face to face with Emperor Haile Selassie, corrupt bureaucrats and wild animals. He encounters heart-rending poverty and decadent glamour.
But does he find the love of his life?
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About the Author
Leaving school at fifteen, he had a stint at working as a motor mechanic and in the building trade, before starting work for NAAFI aged 17 in the distribution centre at Amesbury.
Having travelled the world, he was eventually promoted to Regional Manager, and retired after forty years' service.