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, 16 September 2013

Lack of blog

Very sorry for a 2 week break in the blog - we're OK! Thank you so much to those of you who email to check we're alright.
The reasons for the absence of blog posts can be 3-fold : 1) No internet 2) Too busy or 3) life continuing rather routinely and thinking that there's nothing much of interest to report. This time it was all three - and a few extras!!
We've had no internet at home for a week and struggling with whatever slow connection we can get from a modem (dongle) which takes ages and is very frustrating. We're both busy due to my increased English teaching load and Alastair being on call for emergencies at Shunga which is an hour's tough drive each way every time he has to go.
and 3) life ticks along with college, hospitals, church, dust........the subjects of many previous blogs.
Also it has been very hot, now building up to the rains which should come next month. I find the heat very "enervating" especially in the afternoons and miss being able to have any decent exercise. I would usually get a good walk each day or 3/4 hour's Pilates to my DVD, but at present collapse with a fan!  Lack of water is an added frustration at present, and we're surviving with "very advanced bucket management"!
For assorted reasons, mainly Harvest festivals, church services seem to have been exceptionally long recently taking up most of Sunday. Harvest involves the bringing to church of vast quantities of crops, particularly large hands of green bananas. These, together with maize, beans, sugar cane, peanuts and live chickens fill the altar area and then at the end of the service, for another hour or so, are auctioned for cash. It's a far cry from the tins of baked beans of harvest services in Britain. As not many people have a cash income Alastair and I buy what we can, load the car and bring it back for the Bible college students. This seems  a good win-win system!

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