Manager of Ndutu in 1977
Name ID 1156
Pearson, John Hunters of the Plains
Page Number: 050
Extract Date: 17 April 1977
The manager, Inayat Anjari, waved from the window of his office and came out to greet me. We exchanged pleasantries and I explained my position. `I've got a list of stuff I hope you'll be able to let me have: flour, butter, rice. . .' I went down the list and he looked over my shoulder as I read. `We've got everything', he said `except tinned meat. We're right out of meat.' I groaned. The prospect of living for the next couple of weeks on cans of curried beans, which I knew were the only alternative, was hardly enthralling. Still, we would survive. I put a ring round item ig on my list `meat', and drew a line through it. I was still standing there recovering from this blow to my morale when the manager fired his second broadside.
`I hope you don't need any petrol?' he said.
I stared at him for all of 15 seconds, not knowing quite what to say. `Yes, yes that's one thing I do want,' I replied. `You don't mean to tell me you haven't got any? What about all those 44 gallon drums you had when I was here last?'
`While I was away on leave,' he said, `our storage tank leaked. And when I got back I was just in time to stop them pouring the last of those drums in to replace it, the stuff that already leaked away.'
I was so taken aback all I could do was stand there like an idiot and repeat what he'd just told me.
`The tank leaked?' `Yes.'
`And when the level fell they poured those spare drums in to top it up?'
`I don't believe it. You're pulling my leg.'
`Come and have a drink,' he suggested. `You aren't in any hurry are you?'
`Well, there was a time about 5 minutes ago when I thought I was,' I answered. `But now you might well be right.'
Before long though, my feeling of dismay began to recede. After all, Ndutu wasn't the only place that had a pump. I could get petrol either at Seronera or Ngorongoro. It would involve a delay of course, but that couldn't be helped.
`Look, I'll tell you what,' I said, in a somewhat happier frame of mind. `If you can get my order ready this afternoon, I'll go to Seronera early tomorrow and then drive to camp from there. I'll lose two hunts but still . . .'
The manager shook his head. `You can't get fuel at Seronera either. Now they aren't getting any money from tourists, they don't have the cash to pay for more and they've run out.'
By this time I was becoming immune to shocks. `OK. then, I'll go to Ngorongoro. In fact, if you can get that order ready now I'll go to Ngorongoro tonight, sleep in the car, and be on my way back to camp first thing tomorrow.'