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, 4 November 2012


I've been wanting to include a blog update about markets, but have struggled until now to get some good photos - however having now got to know some of the stall holders well enough I was able to ask them if I could take these pictures. These two stalls are typical of the covered, permanent market in the centre of Kasulu. I always buy my eggs from this chap and we've become good friends! Lovely fruit and veges are always available here - tomatoes, peppers, carrots, cabbages, onions, garlic, potatoes, and pineapples, paw paws, avocados, and bananas of every shape, size and variety. The mangoes are now coming into season. It's 500sh for a "pile" of 5 big beef-tomatoes - that's 20p! 

The markets are always fun and colourful, and very friendly - most people know me as the "pastor" - in Swahili that's "mchungaji" - and I'm greeted warmly. I tend to go the market most days on my way to or from college as fruit and veg are the main part of our diet. 
At the other end of the market are stalls selling dried fish in a variety of shapes and smells, and stalls selling very "real" looking meat! - not for the faint hearted.
As well as this covered market there is a 3 times a week open air market where local farmers sell their goods directly - it's huge and everything is very cheap if you can face the crowds and bustle.
Shopping here certainly makes British supermarkets seem very boring and life-less.


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