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.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Teeth and essays

The electricity came back on, so no more scrabble for a while! Thank you for many sympathetic emails.
Teeth and essays have dominated this week. Alastair has had various tooth-y problems, including a bridge falling out while eating a particularly hard bit of local maize. The nearest dentist who can do such work is in Mwanza, an exhausting 13 hour bus journey away. (Don't imagine National Express!) So it is a 3 day trip for him - he'll get the bus back again tomorrow.
In the mean time I've been struggling with some rather erudite essays about the small print of theological education - the final assignments for an on-line Postgraduate certificate course I've been doing for the past year. By tomorrow evening teeth should be back in, Alastair home and essays submitted - we'll celebrate with a bottle of Fanta!
Villagers making local beer
Alcohol is prohibited  here in church circles, and thought of as a great sin. It's understandable as there is a big problem of alcoholism. As people have become more urbanised, the population grown and young people can't find work the alcohol problem has increased. Traditionally people drink a potent local beer made of sugar cane. The cane is crushed, so that the juice is extracted, and left to ferment for 3 days. I've declined offers to try it!

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