Recently, I was asked to visit our sisters in the mission of Uganda; to be a support for the community as Sr. Albertina and Sr. Gloria were both in Brazil at the time. Sr. Addise remained in Dzaipi with Sr. Joseane and Sr. Martha who were both relatively new to the country & mission.
This was the first time that I had been to Uganda, so it was a great opportunity to learn about the mission, ministries, people and places. At the same time, due to the situation of Covid-19 in South Africa & eSwatini, Sr. Laura Baldini needed to have 2 weeks ‘quarantine’ in an acceptable country before she could fly to the US, and Uganda was the only possible place at that time. So, we shared this new experience together! I landed in Entebbe, and soon after, Sr. Laura also arrived. We went up to Dzaipi, a 6-hour drive to Gulu, where the sisters met us with a warm welcome, and then travelled to Dzaipi together (another 1½ hours). The MSC compound of the parish is quite large, and the sisters have allocated some pieces to others, such as a seminarian (who also teaches them Madi, the local language), and one of the catechists, to cultivate vegetables. The MSCs themselves have also been building up their own vegetable patch, as
well as making the area around their house beautiful with flowers (and safer from snakes who may try to enter!). The hot sun means they are up early to water the garden, pull weeds, cut branches of nearby trees etc.

Photos: L – refugee village near the new preschool building: R – The preschool construction in progress

Due to the lockdown in Uganda, the sisters have been limited in what activities they are allowed to do, and this means that besides more prayer time and learning Madi, they have had time to develop the garden. Additionally, neighbors and students often come to visit the sisters, and the sisters go out to visit those who are sick in the area.
One day, we went with the sisters to visit the Pagrinya refugee settlement, as we are building a pre-school there, and Sr. Addise wanted to check on the progress. Schools were closed, but hopefully will be allowed to open up in the near future. Arriving at the school, many children came to see us, gradually getting past their shyness! They were very happy to see the sisters again, and it was a joy to be with the children also. We could see that the sisters’ presence is a great joy for the people, the mission is growing slowly and well, and the sisters are open and welcoming.

Photos: L: Srs. Laura & Joseane with the children & R: Srs. Martha, Joseane & Laura singing with some of the children.

Our time in Dzaipi was very enjoyable, despite the many mosquitos and lizards who also enjoyed our presence! Thanks to Srs. Addise, Joseane and Martha for making our stay very enjoyable! Many blessings on your ministry.
(Thanks to Sr. Maureen Bennett for this article from the Holy Spirit Region newsletter)

Thanks to the Holy Spirit Region newsletter for this article

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