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The True Pearls of Africa: Witnessing Hope, Peace, and Joy in a Beautiful Country

The True Pearls of Africa: Witnessing Hope, Peace, and Joy in a Beautiful Country


The True Pearls of Africa: Witnessing Hope, Peace, and Joy in a Beautiful Country

Posted by Margaret Mary Conroy on

This past summer, along with six other people, I had the opportunity to travel to Uganda as part of a global engagement program through the Center for Global Perspectives at Holy Cross College. The purpose of the trip is to experience life in another country through the values of compassion, solidarity, and kinship. Throughout our time in Uganda, we visited different mission sites run by the Congregation of Holy Cross, such as Saint Joseph Hill Secondary School in Kyarusozi. It was a joy spending time with men and women of Holy Cross and experiencing how they incorporate virtues like hope and joy in their daily life Traveling to Uganda for three weeks was one of the most fruitful experiences of my life, and it has profoundly impacted me.

Linda, Meg, and Monica - St. Joseph Hill School, Uganda, Summer 2018

It is incredible what one can realize from a new experience. It is interesting, because although Uganda is lovingly referenced as “The Pearl of Africa” because of its natural beauty, the phrase comes alive even more once one meets the people. The Ugandans themselves are the true pearls. I realized this throughout the course of the trip, but especially when we visited Kyarusozi. While we stayed in Kyarusozi, we spent much time with the students at Saint Joseph Secondary School. I became well-acquainted with two girls in particular: Sarah and Elizabeth. Elizabeth has difficulty walking and uses a crutch to assist her. One day, as I was putting on my backpack to go outside, Elizabeth said, “Can I carry that for you?” I was deeply touched by her humility. This interaction with Elizabeth taught me how simple gestures done with great love can have a deep impact on someone, especially in unexpected moments. Although Elizabeth has difficulty walking, she tirelessly helps others, and it is beautiful.

Light continuously shines through Elizabeth. From our conversations, I noticed a prominent quality of hers: Hopefulness. Elizabeth is not optimistic, but hopeful. Hope is placing one’s trust in Divine Providence, and loving Christ more because of it. Elizabeth radiates joy and peace. She instills these qualities in other people through her kindness, generosity, and selflessness. Elizabeth and others gave me greater hope, and through that, peace and joy. I could never express my gratitude enough for the opportunity to travel to Uganda. The country and the people of Uganda forever hold a special place in my heart.

Margaret Mary (Meg) Conroy is a senior at Holy Cross College in Notre Dame, Indiana. She is working on a major in Communications and a double minor in Leadership and Management and Marketing. The mission of the Congregation of Holy Cross is important to Meg because it helps her see Christ in everyday situations and each individual. Meg experienced the international mission of Holy Cross this past summer during her travels to Uganda with four other Holy Cross College seniors. Contact Meg via email:

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