Michal Goertzen, one of our dance teachers, was away this fall and has this story to share:
As some of you may know, I spent the last three months working at a Baby’s Home in Uganda. Amani Baby Cottage was started in 2003 to care for orphaned and abandoned children. It is located on the shores of Lake Victoria and the mouth of the Nile River. For most of my life it has been a dream of mine to do mission work over seas. I never knew exactly what that would look like, but children do hold my a very special place in my heart. I found out about this orphanage through family friends (who also dance at Masterworks!), and since then it has been in the back of my mind, the idea swirling around.
After graduating from university this past year I decided it was time to take a leap of faith, stepping out of my comfort zone and into Uganda.
Before I left I had no idea what to expect about my time away. Now I can say a little more. I spent my days playing with and caring for 50 children ranging in age from 5 months to 6 years old. We played games, read books, dressed up, and sang lots of songs.
I met many people, and the culture of hospitality and generosity there is absolutely incredible. It’s hard to put into words everything that I experienced and all of the friends I made, but it was an amazing blessing. I felt so welcomed and cared for and it inspired me to do the same.
Aside from spending my days with the beautiful children at the Baby’s Home I was also privileged enough to be able to visit numerous villages surrounding Jinja, the town I lived in. Every Saturday I helped with a kids club run in the community of Budondo, and I also joined the social workers from Amani on many trips to visit family members of the children in our care.
After spending a life changing three months getting to know the beautiful people of Uganda I got on a plane and came home to Winnipeg. It was very hard to leave but it has also been absolutely wonderful to come home. The cold has been a bit of a shock (although I’ve been told that it has actually been pretty mild so far!) I have a lot more unknowns in my life now than I thought I would, but one thing that I know for sure is how excited I am to be back at Masterworks and teaching Hip Hop! I love dancing and I am so happy to be back with my students. I am looking forward to challenging them more and I expect to be challenged by them as well!
My 9-12 year old Level 2 Hip Hop class is performing in B-Sides on February 6, so if you are interested in seeing what we have been up to, please come to our show!!