Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pictures from Birthday and Christmas

A family photo before Christmas.
We met a Tanzanian Santa!
Donovan discovering Christmas lights!
My birthday cake. Funny story. Rob ordered it from a
shop down the street and when he got it it said, "Happy Birthday Rob".
So he scraped the Rob off and wrote Amy with strawberry syrup.

The girls helped me blow out the candles!

Tanzania had the worst floods they have seen in 50 years the week of my birthday and Christmas. We had plans to go out for my birthday and Christmas eve. We thought we would have to reschedule because several of the bridges that allow us to cross town were washed out. The water had gone down and we were able to continue with our plans. We just had to deal with long waits in traffic and jams at the bridges. 
We had dinner at a nice restaurant in town.

Rob's amazing Cesar Salad.
My creamy vegetable soup. Yummy!
Christmas Morning Shelbyanne woke up before everyone, went downstairs and looked in all the stockings. She took
a present from under the tree and brought it up to Rob, who was in bed, and said, "Dad, can I open this?" 
Donovan discovering his stocking!
Donovan loved the Mac truck with Lightening McQueen
he got from Meme and Grandaddy!
Thanks for the puzzle Meme and 
Grandaddy! I love looking at the box.
Mommy and Daddy gave him a soccer ball, and he was so excited!
Shelbyanne was helping him open his presents as he was playing with Mac.
Cool Car track! 
Back to Mac! 
The girls loved the earrings from Nana and Pawpaw!
Emily hugging her Bullseye from Meme and Grandaddy! 
I think she likes it!
Shelbyanne displaying her new outfit from Meme and Grandaddy.
Daddy sporting Shelbyanne's new hat.  
Thank you Meme and Grandaddy for Dolly. 
WooHoo! New books from Pops and Baboo!
Shelbyanne new exactly what books these were as soon as she saw the cover. She was very excited. 
Emily is hugging the whiteboard she got from Pops and Baboo. She pretty much hugged everything as soon as she opened it. She was so excited about everything. 
The girls got new candy jewelry from Pops and Baboo. Emily is striking a pose with it.  
The girls are modeling some of their new jewelry, which were eaten before we finished opening presents!
Thank you Nana and Pawpaw for the cards to go play games at  Fun Spot here in Tanzania. We are planning to go next week, before Shelbyanne goes back to school. 
 Thanks to all of you who helped make this a wonderful Christmas for our family. We were able to keep some of our family traditions while starting new ones. We are so blessed and hope that we are being blessings to others as well. 
Amy, Rob, Shelbyanne, Emily, and Donovan Ellis

Monday, November 14, 2011


Our perspective...Rob and I have been talking lately about our perspectives compared to the African perspective. They are vastly different. Especially in regards to the electricity problem they have here. To us it is terribly inconvenient and frustrating. We call every time the power cuts out to see if it is a problem or rationing. A local person is inconvenienced, but it is just a part of life. They will not spend their money to call about it.

Other's perspective of us...Here, especially in the area we live in, we stand out in a crowd anytime we walk down the street. It doesn't matter where we came from, we are considered foreigners. Plus we don't have the language and culture fluently yet, so we are unable to converse with complete understanding...yet!
Our language helper told me the other day that I am like a fish. I was telling him how I felt about my progression in Swahili, when he told me that I was like a fish. I wasn't sure what to think, but then he made his point clear. "Fish don't realize that they are in the water, until they are out of the water", he said. He also said that when visitors come and they have no idea what people are saying, I will realize how much I really do know. It was definitely encouraging to hear him say that.

Our kids' perspectives...I often wonder what they are thinking and feeling. Many days they wear their emotions on their shoulders. Others it is kind of hard to tell. They truly have adjusted so well to all the "New" things in their "new" world. Shelbyanne still covers her nose at times. Can't say that I blame her. Emily still wants to pick up "treasure" everywhere we go. Donovan, well he has taken a fancy to riding in Kabila's car (our taxi driver), and doesn't mind sometimes being carried on mama's back like the local kids.

Well, I have rambled long enough. Here are some current pictures. Bless you all, and thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings. Here are some recent photos of us!

Haloween at a friend's outdoor kids play center. Happy Birthday Ms. Claudia! Thanks for inviting us! 

Look at those dirty feet!

And those...they got much dirtier before the day was through!

Donovan playing with his cars. He is such a big boy! He is ready to see a NASCAR race. His cars are riding around the race course...aka - Dining table. 

Rob getting ready to cut into a Jack fruit. Yikes! Do you like the picture on the wall of our kitchen? It is a special tile placed there for...for...we don't really know what it is for. 

Pastor George teaching Rob how to prepare a jack fruit. Boy was it smelly!

Rob and I de-meating the jack fruit...Yuck!

Shelbyanne and her class getting ready for their assembly presentation!

Shelbyanne and her classmates after their presentation. They were wonderful! Shelbyanne was an Egyptian soldier...can't you tell!?

Emily enjoying some playtime with a friend's cat. She has such a soft heart towards animals. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Emily being Emily!

 This photo shoot was taken at dinner one night. We were all at the dinner table instructing her as to which face to make. She was loving it and getting into the character of each facial expression she made. She has such a creative spirit.