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.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Holiday Snaps

We have had a wonderful first 5 days of our holiday, so far driving over 800 miles through beautiful and varied Tanzanian scenery.  The red mud, and bustling market atmosphere of Kasulu was soon replaced by the much more remote and drier area towards Lake Victoria. We then drove to the Serengeti park, spending a day and a half slowly driving through the vast plains, with wonderful views of the assorted game : zebra, impala, giraffe, wildebeest, buffalo grazing together. From there to the Ngorongoro crater, to which one descends 2000ft into the 18km diameter crater, again watching the game in their natural habitat. At Lake Manyara we ate our picnic overlooking a pink haze of flamingos on the lake, while in the foreground buffalos were taking mud baths to cool off from the intense heat. Today we are in Arusha, in the heart of the Masai area, and the common site on the plains is of Masai herdsmen, clad in their red blankets walking gracefully behind their herds of cattle.
We have found 'cheap and cheerful' places to stay, and are self reliant with a little gas cylinder and cooking essentials.It's always easy to buy fresh veg at stalls along the road and most meals have been a variation on the one-pot veggie risotto!
We never cease to be thankful for the privilege we have of enjoying such beautiful places. Hospital and college life feel far away at the moment, and we're benefiting from the rest and time to step back from our work.

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