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, 13 January 2014

Mountains, plains and forests

Mountain lodge
Our journey around the north of Tanzania has continued to be full of wonders, and the same sense of extraordinary privilege we have of making a trip like this. Having our own car gives us great freedom about where we go and at what pace, and having Tanzania resident permits means that entrance to the National Parks, and much of the accommodation is cheap for us.
We spent 2 days in Arusha National Park, staying in this idyllic 100 year old farm house - which we had entirely to ourselves. From the back door we looked to the rocky peak of Mt Meru  - the second highest mountain in Tanzania, and from the front steps we had a completely clear view

"Jungle Jane"!
of Kilimanjaro.  We drove and walked in the park, enjoying its remoteness and the quiet game viewing.
From there we drove south east through very hot, almost desert like plains before taking the winding road up into the Usambara mountains. Here we have enjoyed staying at over 5000 feet where the air is cool and fresh. We have had some wonderful, all day walks through the mountain villages and remaining natural rain forests, accompanied by helpful and knowledgeable local guides. I couldn't resist a cooling swim in the pool at the base of a 100 ft waterfall. Next stop Dar es salam for various bits of business and then to Zanzibar.

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