Mission Partner

Alison Talbert

Alison works at the Kenya Medical Research Institute/Wellcome Trust research programme based at Kilifi, Kenya.

She is a doctor, researching prevention and treatment of malnutrition in children. Her research is community based, working with young mothers to improve infant feeding. Alison also co-ordinates a work-based bible study group and serves on the development committee of St Thomas’ Church. She chairs the management board of Upendo Orphans’ Support Project, a Methodist project assisting 62 orphans to stay at home with their extended families.

Kenya

Population:

46,791,000

Evangelical Christians:

49%

Main religion:

Christianity

Main Languages:

English and Swahili

Recent Prayer Letters

As usual, I start with a weather report from Kenya… It’s been bucketing down recently, and the drought is over. Despite warnings beforehand, many people have lost their homes and livestock and more than a hundred people have died because of El Nino rains. The forecast is for more rain than normal until January. Cholera is prevalent and an increase in insect-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue and Rift Valley fever is predicted.
As usual I’m starting with a weather report. I came back from my UK holiday in early June to find a transformed verdant garden. It has been raining a lot on the coast and El Nino is due to start (meaning heavy rains for East Africa) in a few weeks’ time. However other parts of Kenya are still parched. I enjoyed the tranquillity of Iona where there were deserted beaches for quiet times alone. In Kilifi there is ever present noise from crows and traffic and intermittent mosque and church singing, and workmen repairing the big house behind. I came back with fresh enthusiasm for decorating my house, which is now brilliant white.
Apologies for the lateness of this letter. There always seems to be something else a bit more urgent these days: workshops, Teams meetings, standard operating procedures to write and review. Once again, work is taking over my thoughts during working hours and outside. The heat and humidity have been steadily increasing for months, but this afternoon there is a respite after steady rainfall most of the morning.
I’m writing this a week after a four-week whistle-stop tour of England. Here are all the things I noticed there since my last visit in 2019: more ways of paying; more food outlets; more motorbike delivery drivers in London and more 20 mph speed restrictions. It was great to travel again, visit supporting churches, and spend time with my brother, cousins, and friends – some of whom I hadn’t seen for 10 years. I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to see everyone. In between driving in heavy rain on several motorways and having variable success with navigation apps, I enjoyed a few memorable sunny days visiting Kew and Biddulph Grange Gardens and dog walking in Somerset. Whilst based in Congleton, Cheshire, I met up with Ian Enticott whose family home I stayed in on my first night in Tanzania, breaking the journey to Berega Hospital. Holy Trinity Heath Town in Wolverhampton held a service to celebrate 100 years of BCMS Crosslinks and during the question time I realised that I had served in East Africa for a third of a century!
Writing this in the cool season, it is amazing to think that in my last prayer letter in April I was complaining about how hot and dry it was! Kilifi has been blessed with rain and the temperatures are very pleasant for an mzungu (white person) like me.

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