Happy birthday to my YOUNG Aussie Hero Friend Angela!!!
And what could be more appropriate on her birthday but sharing a thank you email Angela received yesterday and they do not come much more heart felt than this one.

Dear Angela,
Your ‘little box of joy’ containing the quilt and laundry bag you (and your daughter?) made have finally caught up with me in my dusty, windy little compound in my far flung ‘corner’ of South Sudan; I fear I can’t tell you enough how wonderful it was to receive your lovely gifts. I don’t exaggerate also, when I say that I was given a moment of pause when I unpacked them – I was struck by their beauty, they are simply wonderful! I was a bit overwhelmed too, I suppose that someone back home, who has not met me, expended so much effort to give me such a wonderful ’embrace’ from home. It means so much to have them with me; they and my Aussie flag (which I take everywhere I go) are the only beautiful things around me (apart from the smiles of some of the locals – from time to time, particularly the kids). Apart from being beautiful things both are wonderfully practical too; the quilt is perfect to provide just the right amount of cover from the early morning chill as although the days are blisteringly hot, the mornings can be quite cool, and the laundry bag is just the right size and looks great!
The timing was perfect too as I was starting to feel my isolation just recently; it’s the nature of my role to be in the company of only a few folk who are from several nationalities. I have at times been the only non-African for hundreds of miles and am always the only Australian for hundreds of miles.
So, Angela, please accept my deep gratitude; you’ve made a huge difference to my life here – thank you!
I wish your merry troop of ‘Chatting Chooks’ strength, and thank you and them (including your newest recruit – your daughter!) for your contribution to our national effort, and at the very least my comfort.
My very best wishes, and again, thanks.

This is another special message, also really heartfelt and just so you know I sought and received permission share their words.

Hi Beth, 
I just received your parcel with the quilt, laundry bag and goodies.  Thank you so very much!  Whilst we have the ability to speak with home a fair bit and our living conditions are really good, the impact of a parcel from home can’t be described!  We have been ‘in country’ for just shy of 2 months now and we have another 5 ahead of us.  So, little things (like care parcels) can make much such a difference to morale.  We get mail twice a week and it is like Xmas, everyone stops work to open their parcels from home, compare contents and then share the contents – no-one is ever left out – in fact the packet of Tim Tams you sent is already gone and happy smiles abound!!  

I love the quilt, it is so beautifully bright.  I share a room with 2 other girls and we deliberately look for bright and colourful items to make our little room as cheerful as possible – this quilt makes an excellent addition to that! 

Life over here is pretty good, we have a nice little community atmosphere and a number of people who set up activities to help pass and distinguish the days –  the days do all tend to blur into one!  The Afghan civilians I have dealings with are the most incredible people, who have had very hard lives.  But the children in particular are like children the world over – imaginative, happy, and very active.  They enjoy talking with the aussies and have cheeky little grins that just melt your heart. Their parents are shy but very polite, and it is nice to see them watch over their kids as they run around chasing each other and trying to talk the aussie boys into giving them pens, sweets are anything else that looks pretty. 

I’m glad to have had the chance to come to Afghanistan and see the future generations live with safety and the chance to be children. I’m proud to be doing this job and immensely excited about the prospect of celebrating ANZAC day in Afghanistan standing shoulder to shoulder  with some of the finest soldiers and airman I’ve ever met. It is nice to know that back home others are thinking of us and sending us well wishes.  For that I cannot say thank you enough! 

My warmest wishes and thanks!

Just a few things 

Blogger seems to be playing up and although I format the post and get all the font and layout looking just the way I want it and then SAVE it – when I come back to it things are not as I left them!   So if things look a little wonky, no I did not have too much vino with lunch – but maybe Blogger did!

I did actually go out to lunch today though.  Actually I was treated to lunch by a new Aussie Hero Friend called Sue F.  Sue’s husband, Vince, heard me on 2GB a couple of weeks ago and passed the details over to his wife.  As they are proud Army parents what we are doing resonated with them.  Sue went fabric shopping before she rang me (LOL) and today we met for the first time.  

Look what she brought with her!  
Three gorgeous quilts and three gorgeous matching laundry bags!  Sue pieced the quilts and her good friend Joanne quilted them.  You make a great team girls!  Love your work.

Each of her laundry bags has a plain back and look at the patch for the name!
Love it!

It was great to meet you today Sue.  I expect you will be seeing a lot more from Sue F and her merry band of quilting buddies before long.  

I always try to answer emails straight away so that I don’t get behind.  Sometimes however if I get interrupted it is easy to forget to get back to your email or whatever I was doing beforehand.   If you email me or PM me on facebook and don’t hear from me on the same day or at the very worst the next day, please contact me again and remind me.  I regularly check over my old emails to make sure that I don’t miss anything but your help would be great.

Help Wanted
Now, I could use some help.  I have had a few meetings and appointments this week and am out next Wednesday for the afternoon heading to HMAS Kuttabul to meet with the Fleet Base Chaplain and the Chaplain of our new ship before he departs on leave and other commitments.  In addition my Year 12 son has exams next week and unfortunately they are not being held at the school so I have to drive him to and from the venue which eats up a significant chunk of my week.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind driving him but I knocks out at least half a day, every other day than Wednesday and that really limits my ability to get things done.  

So, if there are any Sydney ladies who can give me a hand please let me know.  I need to cut batting for quilts to go to quilters, need to cut backings for the same. Some of those backings will need piecing.  I need to get the cut and sew the binding on two quilts, one needs applique before it gets sent away. I need to pin some quilts read for quilting that I will have to quilt as there are not enough quilters.  There will also be some quilts to be photographed and boxed ready to send when the need arises.

I am hoping to have a working day at my home on Wednesday the 3rd of April – that is the next full day I have at home without exams being on.  Additionally if anyone is free for a couple of hours from 1 to 3 on Monday the 25th of March or Tuesday the 26th of March from    2pm till pm please let me know.

Normally a couple of good days at home and I would be able to knock over a heap of these things but I won’t have a full day at home till the 3rd and that means things sitting there for two weeks longer.  I also have quilts that I am making and need to continue on with those.  

I live in the Hills District of Sydney so if you are able to give me a hand and that is not too far for you to travel, please email me on fr**********@gm***.com or PM me on facebook.

And now to the weekly reminder.  
The following ladies have sent quilts or laundry bags off this week.  If you have also sent a bundle of this week and you are not on this list please let me know.
Additionally if you need to email me pictures of something you have posted I need the pictures by ten pm tonight as I will be out most of the day tomorrow and will not be home in time to add them to the post for tomorrow night.

Annette, Carol and Lynn V

Fran W
Leanne Mac
Liz J
Rita M
Sue N

Till next time…………….keep spreading the word and happy stitching!