The Long Road to Reading and Arithmetic

Pyjama Angels...changing young people's lives.

Pyjama Angels...changing young people's lives.

Hello, I'm a Pyjama Angel. I want to tell you about The Pyjama Foundation and the fabulous work it does with foster children.

This is an official poster of The Pyjama Foundation. The purpose is to raise awareness of the difficulties experienced by foster children and how this impacts their learning. This Sunday, 24th March, The Pyjama Foundation is conducting its major fund raising event for the year in Queensland with The Long Road event. This event involves non-competitive walk events throughout Queensland and Sydney. If you want to be part of this worthwhile event register here today:

It's going to be a fun event. I'll be attending the Gold Coast event bright and early on Sunday morning walking and chatting with other participants.

The Pyjama Foundation assists children in foster/statutory care. These children often come from traumatic backgrounds and have a hard time trying to understand and where they fit in the world. The Pyjama Foundation has started a literacy and numeracy program for the children. For one hour per week, a Pyjama Angel visits the child to help them with reading and/or their arithmetic. Apart from being a mother, it is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Every week I sit with my special child and I help them with their reading. There is much sharing about our day and what we are interested in, and then we read and play games or make up our own wacky stories. To share with a young mind is beneficial to their and my own creativity and it's my way of giving back to my community. These children desperately need to be able to read and understand basic numeracy, like every other child, but it is their circumstances that make this road more diffcult for them.

If you don't have the time to walk this Sunday, perhaps you would like to help this organisation achieve their financial goals by giving a donation. Thank you. These children need these basic skills to ensure they have a future.

African Hearts Confirms A Reader's Future

Sydney is a city that goes, goes, goes. It's a place I really enjoy visiting to catch up on family and friends, and find the new and interesting things I hadn't done when we lived there about fifteen years ago. It's a vibrant and exciting city, and full of the unexpected.

We did book signings at West Ryde and met some wonderful people who really wanted to get to know me at a personal level. One of the most surprising moments was when three people approached me with quizzical looks on their faces and asked me if I'd been to Africa to have written African Hearts. I wish! But I was pleasantly surprised when the young lady said seeing my book was a sign that she had asked God for to encourage her to go to Africa and work with the orphans. I became so excited for this young lady and her husband. The looks on their faces was a mixture of pleasure, relief and a little anxiety. They also told me they nearly didn't make it to the signing. They'd arrived half an hour before I was to finish. They saw this as another sign that they were meant to be there to speak with me.

After much excited discussion they left feeling they were to follow their hearts and go to Africa to work with the orphans. This was an extraordinary experience for me that God would use me to encourage young people to understand what God was saying to them. Some authors say book signings are not their favourite thing to do. After this experience, I believe it's a very important part of the marketing process to connect with my readers in so many ways. No matter how tired I might be at the end of the day, I believe the time has been well spent. Encouraging others is what I love to do to see them reach their potential in their chosen field. If part of the process means standing for four hours in a book store I will. Connecting with my readers is what motivates me and helps me get through the days when the writing is not going so well.

Thank you Koorong, West Ryde for your commitment in helping me help others and fulfill God's purpose for my life.

Jessica Watson - an Extraordinary Australian

I'm proud Jessica Watson is Australian. She has circumnavigated the world in a 10.23 metre yacht. Not only do I get sea sick but I'm also claustrophobic. This young lady's adventure has caught my imagination. No matter how hard I try, I can't imagine bobbing around in this small craft in the middle of the ocean with no land in sight. Jessica has done it with only modern communication methods to keep her company. She hasn't seen another human, nor has she set foot on dry land since leaving Sydney on 17th October, 2009 - amazing for a sixteen year old female. But that's what kept me connected to Jessica's blog for these last seven months. This young lady is not your average sixteen year old. Jessica is brave, intelligent, adventurous, talented and much, much more. She has taken on the world's oceans and made them her home for seven months. Link to Jessica's blog to learn about how she coped with living at sea for seven months at .

Then I heard bad press that her attempt won't be recognised because she didn't sail far enough. Does recognition matter to Jessica? No. Her blog dated 6th May states:-

"I don't normally bother addressing critics because someone's always going to be saying something, no matter what I say or do. But I thought I'd have my 2 bobs worth on these claims that I haven't 'officially' sailed around the world.

Call me immature but I've actually been having a bit of a giggle over the whole thing. If I haven't been sailing around the world, then it beats me what I've been doing out here all this time! Yes it's a shame that my voyage won't be recognized by a few organizations because I'm under 18, but it really doesn't worry me.

I mean there's millions, properly billions of people who still don't believe in global warming, so I'm more than happy to settle for a few people going against the tide and declaring that mine hasn't been an official circumnavigation. Well I think I've wasted more than enough time on the whole petty debate - so moving on!"

This sums up Jessica's personality. This is what heroines are made of. Jessica has a big future ahead of her. I always dreamed of being an astronaut, and thought maybe I could really become one and be the first woman to land on Mars. Unfortunately, that dream won't be fulfilled because I now realise God has other plans for my life. But Jessica may have the time to study for such an adventure if she is that way inclined. I'm sure she has more goals in sight and it wouldn't surprise me if space travel was one of them.

Jessica expects to arrive in Sydney this coming Saturday. I take this opportunity to wish Jessica all the very best for the next stage of her life's journey. I am confident she has the courage and nous to deal with all the challenges ahead of her during the coming days, months and years.

Well done, Jessica Watson. You're an incredible young Australian!