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.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

"Just putting on the immersion heater"

Greetings from Alastair

‘Just putting on the immersion, dear’.  If the water pressure is low, then advanced bucket management may be needed – on this occasion filling the header tank for our hot water system. I have also enjoyed stacking months worth of firewood from trees that have been felled in the garden and cut to size by a local man with a sharp axe and tireless arms.
I had four hospitals to visit  regularly last month since the doctor at Matyazo Hospital had some work to do in Germany. She is back and things are a bit less hectic. A usual week will include a selection of : prostatectomies, thyroidectomies, assorted easy and not-at-all-so-easy orthopaedic procedures, skin grafts, emergency Caesarian sections (though usually the local doctors are able to do these), acute abdominal problems, including those caused by typhoid.....
It is near the end of the wet season and the roads are now very poor. When I go to Shunga Hospital, particularly at night, I usually wonder if I will get there and back, or if I will get stuck in some unfriendly ditch. The roads will dry out soon but now there are lots of ruts and holes to shake the suspension of the car so I have been replacing suspension parts on the car (the mechanic didn’t put them on tight enough and they were rattling). The car is a vital piece of equipment, and so far is holding together. 
And we are too!

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