A Day in the Life of Mama Millie

Mama. A simple word, and yet the characteristics of a Mama at Amani Baby Cottage are not simple or common. Mama’s at Amani are special women who care day after day for children who have no family of their own and carry emotional damage. Their routine includes the unglamorous tasks of wiping runny noses, scrubbing dirty feet, putting crying and tired babies down for naps and keeping the cottage in order. Although these tasks seem unexciting (and possibly dreary), the Mama’s face each day with joy and patience.

At 7am Mama Mille wakes up to a cottage of 8 boys. Each one must be dressed and fed. She pours out a cup of porridge for each “baby” and wipes their dirty faces and hands as they finish. The babies climb all over her as she puts their pajamas away, sweeps and washes the floor and dresses the older boys for school. Every day includes different tasks and as the babies sleep during their morning nap, she washed the cottage floor and scrubs the front and back porch of the baby cottage.

At noon, as the older boys come back to the cottage from a morning of pre-school Mama Mille changes them into play clothes, gives them their lunch and sends them outside to play. As one of the boy’s trips and falls she sweeps him up into her arms and holds him until he stops crying. As she sits on the ground, the twin boys fall into her lap. One of them rests his head on her shoulder and cries into it as she comforts him and holds his little body with strong motherly arms.

At 6 pm, dinner is brought into Cottage A and Mama Mille serves the boys their last meal of the day and proceeds to bathe each one, diaper the babies, and put them all in their beds for the night. The cottage slowly quiets as each boy falls asleep.

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Although the boys are asleep, Mama Mille’s day is far from over. All the cloth diapers and play clothes must be washed and dried for use in the morning. The shower area is washed and all the towles are hung on their hooks in preparation for the next evening. All the dinner dishes are washed and the tables and chairs sanitized for the morning meal. 

Every day the Mama’s pour a unique and Christ-like love and kindness into each child. Often the children that they have loved as their own are adopted. The children are taken to new families and the Mamas open their beautiful hearts to new orphans.

Laura Von Hagen