Welcome to the blog of Alastair and Helen Sammon, and thanks for visiting us in this way.
As from Easter 2012 we will be living and working in the Diocese of Western Tanganyika.
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.
Sunday, 26 August 2012
Malaria, prayer and a Cessna
Prayer before we left
It has been a tough and somewhat dramatic 36 hours. Poor Becky, who has had malaria for a couple of weeks - or maybe more - was not responding to various courses of treatment and becoming quite ill. There's very little diagnostic facility here and we realised we needed to get her to a specialist centre. It made us realise how far away from the rest of the world we are in Kasulu. After many hours of phone calls (even that's difficult from here) we arranged a private emergency plane to pick us up at the Kasulu air strip and fly us to Nairobi. The tiny charity flight organisation "Flying medical" were amazing - efficient and supportive. Nearly 5 hours in the tiny plane, flying very low, with just enough room for us and Becky on a stretcher. She was amazingly brave but it was a long tough, noisy, bumpy flight. Rather wonderful though to fly over the edge of the rift valley, between the mountains. Take off was delayed as the Bishop and Dean came in full regalia straight from the Cathedral to pray with us - another example of African friendship.
Becky sends her love!
Becky is now safely admitted in Nairobi hospital and recieving good nursing care and sensible consultant advice. We're staying in a guest house down the road, where we used to stay 20 years ago when we lived in Kenya! No idea what our next plans will be but I will keep the blog updated.