Evans, GA -
As the world watched South Africa make historic changes, Ken Elliott and his wife, Ruth Pearl, were actually living it.
"It was very interesting seeing changes as they happened from when we arrived in '83 to when we left in '90," Ruth says.
Their two children were born in South Africa, just as the strong hold of Apartheid was nearing its death. They say signs of change were becoming more obvious, especially when they were approached about the possible racial make-up of a nearby community.
"They came to our neighborhood and asked if we had any objection to a multi-racial neighborhood being built across the road. At the time, I was the chairman of our residence association. We, as a neighborhood, agreed that that would be okay," Ken says.
Soon after, they would begin to hear of a man named Nelson Mandela, who was silenced behind these prison walls for more than twenty five years. In 1990, shortly before they left South Africa, he would emerge as a voice for his country.
"After he was released and we had left the country and we noticed the changes he was bringing to that country in the right way, we just grew to admire him," Ken says.
Although they have been away from South Africa for more than twenty years, the family continues to surround themselves with items that remind them of their past, while commending a man who helped shape the country for what some say is a better future.
"He was very courageous. It must have taken an enormous amount of courage to stand up to remember that he not only stood up for himself, but he would not want to be released unless change was provided to everyone.