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.

Friday, 30 August 2013

The DRY season

It’s difficult to describe how dry the dry season is! – The rains stop in April, and there is absolutely no rain at all until November. We’re now over half way through – and it will only get drier.  Clothes that are washed in the morning, without the help of a spin drier, are dry and folded up again in a couple of hours.  Although that may be a positive side the dust is another thing! Kasulu is particularly  famous in the whole of Tanzania for its prolific fine red dust that hangs in the atmosphere, in ones clothes and hair, and throughout the house despite one’s best cleaning effort.  These two pictures give some idea – the one is of the road from our house to town, and hidden in the dust you will see our car – needless to say I was filthy after trying to take this picture! The other picture is of the Bible college garden, where the new students have decided to try to grow some vegetables, with a little intermittent water from a stand pipe.  
The local people eat the maize and beans that they have harvested in June, and dried by hanging on the eaves of their houses, as they cannot grow any other crops until the next rains. The cows and goats become thin, and they walk a long way for water and any grass. The local people also use the dry season to make mud bricks for building.
In a much more trivial way I'm thankful every day for my Body Shop moisturisers!

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