Helen and Alastair - some background

Helen and Alastair - some background : We have always hoped to return to Africa once more before we're too old (perhaps we already are!). Alastair first went to Africa in 1974 as a junior doctor, working for the Church of Scotland in a small hospital in Transkei, South Africa. I met Alastair there in 1982, were married in 1984 and continued in Transkei until 1988. From there we went to Kenya, as employees of the Church of Scotland, where Alastair ran Chogoria Hospital. We left in 1995, with Alec, Peter and Becky to establish the children's schooling and our work in Britain. Here Alastair found himself as consultant in Breast cancer surgery, and Helen initially trained and worked as a GP before "evolving" to full time ordained ministry. Alec is now married to Ruth, and they have baby Zach; Pete is in his final year of medicine in Edinburgh, and Becky half way through nurse training in Oxford.

The Diocese of Western Tanganyika is a partner of Gloucester diocese. The plan is for Helen to join the teaching staff of the Bible College, teaching those preparing for ministry. Alastair will teach English to the students at the college, as well as doing some surgery at the church-run hospitals, and helping with project management in the Diocese.
We will keep you updated on our plans over the next few months and will greatly value your prayer support. Our current prayer requests - and thanks to God of course - will be posted on the side bar.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Maundy Thursday - storms and friends

First fabulous African storm last night: hours of amazing thunder, lightning and rain on the tin roof – everything green and fresh this morning, and thankfully less water through the roof than we’d feared.
As I write Alastair is on his way to Shunga hospital –they have just called him for an emergency difficult  Caesarean – it’s over an hour’s drive and the road will be awful after the rain. He’s gone with the fast driver from the Diocese.  I’m aware Alastair hasn’t done a section for 10 years but am sure it’s like riding a bike – I’m praying all the time for him, and the for patient. Medicine in Africa is literally life-saving stuff.
Thought you might like a bit about our new friends and colleagues. Daudi Ndahana is the principal of the college who I’m working closely with. He’s 39 and very bright and energetic – almost more new ideas each day than me! His wife Olivia has a small business selling kitenges (African lengths of material) and does dress making. They’ve 4 children (and a cow!) – the eldest is Prisca who hopes to start nurse training this year, and the youngest is Frank who’s 4 and plays peek a boo round the net curtain whenever I see him!
Alastair will work closely with John Manyuzi, who is the director of the health department. He’s also young and very smart and hard working. Haven’t met his family yet, but his wife is Josephine and they’ve 3 young children. John is overall in charge of all the health projects of the diocese and the 2 church run hospitals.
We live next door to the Bishop, Sadock Makaya, and his wife Editha who are lovely to have as neighbours.  Editha wants to learn English as much as we want to learn Swahili – so we have rather strange conversations!  There’s lots of popping in and out of each other’s houses which I love – much better than UK where everyone is so private. Difficult to have a shower or a lie down during the day though as you never know who might be around.
Dinas is working in the house for us. She’s great and speaks English fluently (this makes me lazy about my Swahili but does make day to day things easier). She cleans, cooks, washes and irons etc and will do some of the market shopping as she tells me they rip me off and sell the bad eggs!
Sill not enough internet speed to get any photos up. Hopefully we look much the same but we don’t have a mirror in the house at all  – perhaps that’s a good thing! (feet are a different colour though from red mud and brown bath water)

No comments:

Post a Comment