** All names in this story have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.
The next morning as I was able to sleep in, Wanda had to go to work. Paul was kind enough to offer to take me in the city after I woke up to explore town and go to lunch. Like Jinja, there were people trading and buying things like street art, produce and different materials. After we satiated our hunger with a meal at a local restaurant, Paul agreed to drop me off at Wanda's job after he ran a quick errand. Little did I know, this errand would have me on edge and for sure, would be a story I would tell for years to come.
On our way to do errands, Paul and I ended up having a conversation regarding the country's history. The little bit of information I knew of Uganda's history revolved around their ex-dictator, Idi Amin that ruled from 1971- 1979. I had only read little context around his rule and heard stories from people who grew up during that era. I had also watched the movie, "Last King of Scotland," but like many movies, much of the truth is usually omitted or exaggerated regarding bio-pics to make an entertaining story, not necessarily an accurate depiction. So, I couldn't take that story at face-value. However, when I asked Paul who was born and raised in Uganda about the ex-dictator, he confirmed most of what I read which was the fact that Idi was brutal and was feared by most as he had the blood of thousands of Ugandans on his hand and never stood trial.
On the other hand, Paul informed me about why some Ugandans were on the fence about his intentions and what he fought for, which in the end, has divided people's opinions about him. He explained that Idi built a lot of the construction that is used and seen today such as roads, buildings, and conference centers, although it's believed that one of the buildings had a torture chamber in the basement. He also tried to give economic power back to his people at the expense of expelling the South Asians community from the country leaving thousands of stores available to be taken over, most of the times, by women, as many men were captured by Amin's military. After all was said, Paul made it known that he didn't believe anyone was actually for his regime, but was acknowledging that at the time his intentions to build his country were there, but the way he went about it was with a very firm hand and ultimately not successful.
We ended our conversation about Amin as we entered into a shopping center parking lot. I opted to tag along with Paul as it was a hot day and low and behold there was a car parked in front of the Burger King we were about to enter that had a picture on the back window of the man we just finished talking about. " Look," Paul said.
"Interesting." I responded. We both chuckled and proceeded into Burger King. While I sat at a table, Paul told me to wait there as he was going to meet up with a few people to discuss business. Ten minutes had passed and the meeting was over. Paul and his colleagues (two men and one woman) stepped outside and Paul signaled me to come over. As he introduced me to his colleagues one of the gentlemen, hailing as 6'4ft and sternly built, had a familiar face, but I couldn't put my finger on it. Small talk was made and the two men excused themselves and hopped into their car as they were headed to another meeting, but the woman, who wore a casual airy dress draped over her solidly built frame, popped the trunk of the car that was parked right in front of the Burger King. You know, the car that had a picture of Idi Amin charismatically waving his hand to a crowd of people stuck on the back window. Yea, that car.
Now, at this point the only thing that came to mind is that if a person were to so boldly flaunt a picture of a brutal ex-dictator on the back of their car, that person is probably...
"His daughter." Paul conveniently added as though he was reading my mind. " HIS WHAAAA?" I firmly whispered.
Paul tried to shush me. " Calm down. Act natural. I just thought I'd mention it because I could tell you were piecing things together." he adds.
"And who were the men? Let me guess. Amin's brothers?" I asked
"No." He states. I let out a sigh of relief.
"His son and his son's bodyguard." Paul casually stated while smiling in her direction as we wait for her to find whatever she's searching for in her trunk.
At this point I couldn't believe it. Only I would find myself dang near having tea and crumpets with an ex-dictators' daughter. I say dang near, because I wasn't invited to the table as Paul and her continued to discuss business at a nearby cafe. Instead I took a table ten feet away from them. Call me exaggerative, but the palpitations of my heart I'm sure were audible to them as I sat there with racing thoughts. So, after I called my sister and father to inform them of who I was with only for them to respond with a "Good Luck" an hour had passed and the meeting ended. We said our goodbyes and headed back to Wanda's job and as we drove back explanations were to be given because...