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Jim Doran

My wife of 38 years and I live in Washington state, where we have two grown children. I retired from Boeing seven years ago and can now do some important personal activities.

My philosophy of life is that through education, one can obtain their professional and personal goals. To this end I have obtained four degrees (two B.A. degrees, MBA and M.A.).

After building houses for about two years, I went on to join the HFHI Disaster Corps team. I returned to New Orleans for additional disaster response work and was then deployed at an affiliate in Lake Charles, La. I also traveled to Ipswitch, Queensland, Australia, to assist their affiliate after damaging floods and tornadoes.

My philosophy on disaster relief work and volunteering is that I cannot do everything but I can do a little. I find that many people have difficulty doing disaster work because they are not mentally flexible and that they expect other countries to follow American cultural norms. I find people in stressful situations like disasters focus on themselves and I need to help them wherever possible. Hopefully I can do that.

A Global Village trip to Haiti to help prepare for the Carter Work Project was also important to me because we got to see what the lack of infrastructure has done to a country that suffers a disaster.

Mostly this is a result of having 32 different governments within the 200-plus years that Haiti has existed. I think this knowledge will serve me well as I go to do disaster response work in other countries.

My other volunteer activities include disaster relief work with the local Red Cross and driving for the Volunteers of America to help maintain a food bank.

During my spare time I am an English as a second language teacher (I just finished working with a family from South Korea) and I ride my motorcycle. Last summer I rode to the Arctic Circle in Alaska through British Columbia and the Yukon. I also rode to Nevada and then to California. My wife and I rode recently to Idaho and Oregon while going to Yellowstone National Park. This summer I plan on riding to Hudson Bay and then to Canada’s eastern coast after picking up my wife in the Chicago area.