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Jim Hogan Reflection letter 2021

Updated: Nov 12, 2021

Proud to say, year number two under my belt, and looking forward to year number three and what a great experience this year was on so many levels.

The opportunity to go down early and help get set up was so worth it. Ed Quentin did a fine job stepping up to take on the task of getting the tool room and corral ready along with prep and staging of pre-cut and fabricated walls for delivery! It was always refreshing to see him smile and roll with whatever was thrown his way, which was a lot.

Kudos to the delivery crews as I had the opportunity to learn firsthand what they also have to accomplish before the building crews arrive on site. On my third day, I was on a delivery team dropping off the homes to be assembled the next day, and let me tell you, some of those sites are very interesting to get to!

Due to the increase in homes being built this year, we went from three crews last year to four crews this year. Our crew this year was a mix of old and new members. I was fortunate last year in having a very strong and knowledgeable lead along with another individual with a solid skill set of building homes. Due to their expertise, both were transferred to other teams. I did see them each day and told them how much I appreciated their abilities along with missing them. This opened up an opportunity for others to step up, learn and become the new leaders that will be needed. It was this aspect of teaching/learning while working with them was where I really felt the most personal satisfaction. I’m looking forward to next year and continuing to work and learn with this year's team. They are a great group that I have come to love and respect as they had my back when I needed it most. I’m also praying that Ryan, my co-leader, will be back to also continue this journey. He is very grounded, stable, and humorous which was needed more than once this year to offset some of my frustrations.

My emotional high point was the Sunday Mass listening to the beautiful choir of angels here on earth. One song in particular really hit my heart. As Creol is the predominant language they sing in I could only listen and take in the sweet sounds of their voices, but once they hit the chorus I was overjoyed! The song was Hallelujah, my wife’s favorite which brought tears to my eyes listening to them while thinking of her. Three little Haitian girls in front of us saw my tears and seemed concerned. I smiled at them and gave them a thumbs-up, they must have understood as they smiled back at me. Ryan and I were only three pews back from the choir, so when one of the male members turned, smiled, and made eye contact, it only added to my joy as he is a member of our crew! I met up with him afterward and told him how much their singing meant to me.

I am looking forward to next year and being back with this great crew along with all the inspiring people involved with this mission.

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