Rob Privette completed his term of service as a board member in December 2020. In many ways, he has been supporting Olancho Aid for over 13 years. Below are thoughts from Rob about his time with the Foundation.
It seems like only yesterday that in 2007 Kristi and I were making preparations to go to Honduras to volunteer for a year and many of our friends were asking “You’re doing what?” Or saying “You are crazy!” And talk about a change of pace-we didn’t have a car, we didn’t have a phone and we didn’t have a washer/dryer or dishwasher (and did I mention that the power went off regularly?); but we did find a caring & loving people and we got to work with several other wonderful volunteers who were sharing their time, talent and treasures.
That first year I had a meeting with Padre Donahue every Friday, and I was able to get to know his very loving and generous heart quite well although I must say that after our first meeting in September 2007 when he explained to me the things that he hoped I would do that year……. I think I went back to our house that afternoon and told Kristi “pack your bags – we are going home because I could never accomplish what he has in mind!” But we worked at it and one step at a time we really did get most of it done. Were there difficulties? Sure, but what would we really accomplish without a few “growth opportunities” along the way? And it didn’t take very many months before I really appreciated the calm and the opportunity to be truly present to those around me. I am so grateful for my friendship with Carlos Najera and I admire his patience with me during those first few months as many days we probably said less than twenty words and it was an office with only the two of us! But by June we were good friends, and it was time to come home, back to Washington state and I was having serious questions about whether or not I wanted to come home to the fast-paced American culture.
After a few months of adjustment back in the states I received an email asking if I would like to join the board of directors of the newly formed Olancho Aid Foundation and I jumped at the chance. In those early years I had the opportunity to work beside two of the most loving people that I know in Carol Dale and Mary Roy.
Within a few years the Foundation was blessed by the involvement of generous people such as Steve Hayes and the rest of the Holy Family parish in Brentwood, TN and then those wonderful (crazy) people from Louisiana and it was such a blessing to have educators on the Board. This past year with the hardship of Covid-19 and it’s decimation of the Honduran economy, it has been incredibly difficult for the Foundation but under the watchful leadership of Dr. Sue Nedza and the diligence of Jessica Santavy, the foundation is making great strides even in such trying times.
So, thank you, to all that I have had the privilege of working with and to the loving people of Honduras that we serve. And to those out there that read this and say, “I could never do that!” my response is “to let go and let God”. It is utterly amazing how enriched your life can become when you take a chance and let go of the reins.
Peace be with you,
Read more about Rob’s contributions to Olancho Aid: Thank you, Rob Privette