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.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Sun and seasons

more prepositions : Alastair and Helen are in the dinghy, on Lake Tanganyika, in the the sunshine, on holiday! (you may need to click on the picture to enlarge it for proof of this!).
 After Easter we have had a  lovely 4 days break at our favourtie beach spot on the Lake, together with Alastair's brother Douglas and his wife Elisabeth. While enjoying sun, sand, palm trees, and beautiful warm, clear water for swimming and snorkling, we spared a thought or two for all of you poor, cold people in Britain - and hope that spring will soon come.
The lack of seasons that we are so used to  can be a problem for Europeans when living near the Equator. The weather is of course beautiful, but one misses the variation and anticipation of the seasons at home, where the first signs of spring bring a great feeling of hope, and the darker evenings of Autumn, with the "seasons of mist and mellow fruifulness" bring that cosy feeling of approaching winter. My mother, who lived for several years in Nigeria after the war, saw the lack of seasonal variation as a major cause of the depression evident in many expatriate workers. I can understand it - although it's easy to get up each day in the same cool blouse and skirt,  I have missed a season of boots and gloves; and amidst the abundance of hibiscus, bourganvillias and frangipanis I miss the arrival of the snowdrops and  then the daffodils.

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