"I don't eat
a lot of meat," he said. "Maybe once a week. Usually just beans,
cassava bread or porridge and a plate of greens. I like greens. There is one in
the northern regions which is very sour. Especially pregnant women like it. You
don't feel lazy after you eat that one. And another is bitter. It's nice, too.
You can't eat it if you're not used to it." He laughed at the thought of my
tasting it, imitating the pinched face I would certainly make. "It's a good
land," he said. "A big garden, a cow, and you can live."
Women along the
way were wrapped in flowing print dresses. "They are called busuuti,"
said Akii. "Since the law forbidding minis, they have come back. It takes
seven meters of cloth for one."
A barber had
placed his table, mirror and chair in the deep shade beneath a mango tree. He
approached his customer with shears while other men waited, sprawled on the
for tomorrow," said Akii.
Near the edge of
the city was the other roadblock. Akii was not immediately recognized and we
had to show identification. His did not produce the hoped-for sensation.
are you going in this official car?" was the question.
"This man is
an official guest of the National Council of Sports," said Akii, "and I
am responsible for him." After much riffling of my passport we were cleared
to go. During a moment's wait while a truck in front of us got in gear, I
picked up my notebook from the seat. Instantly a soldier's head leaned in over
my shoulder. His machine gun cracked against the door. "What are you
writing? What are you writing?"
cassava. About bitter greens."
There was further
discussion with Akii-Bua in Swahili. Finally we were allowed off, and drove
Kampala is a city
of 330,000. Alabaster mosques top its hills, and glass and stainless-steel
hotels, banks and government buildings stand in tiers amid jacaranda and