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, 25 October 2013

Hospitality, and hot water

Joel, Gadson, Onesmo and Marko
 Last night four of the new college students came to have dinner with us. We try to invite small groups of students for an evening meal with us regularly, so that all have the chance to come during the term. It's fun to be with them outside class and - in a combination of our limited Swahili and their very new English - learn more about their lives and families. We put on a good meal for them, with chicken AND meat!, rice, mashed potatoes (to give a genuine British experience!).... with fruit and a cake for pudding. They are always interested in the different culture we come from, our lack of house staff and that husbands share the house work (they are not so sure this is a good idea!), and particularly how we live and eat if we don't plant maize in our gardens.
Daines, who works 8 - 3 every day for us, is invaluable, doing the shopping and cooking while we are at work (including of course plucking and preparing the chicken). She is a wonderful person and, quite literally, a 'God-send'.

Other major domestic news this week has been the terminal demise of our Tanganyika boiler - our main stay of water storage and heating. The oil drum which acts as the tank rusted away. Alastair, who was otherwise in bed with a nasty flu-y illness this week, has been discussing and working hard to get it fixed. However it became apparent, after it was all plumbed and bricked in again, that the 'new' oil drum bought in town had previously held epoxy-resin!! The water smells terrible and has a high glue content, so we're worried about the consequences of having a shower. The saga goes on and we continue to boil kettles for washing.

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