Friday, September 22, 2006

Special people: John Hammink

In the ‘gallery’ of special people, I already introduced Micheaux, Azri and Gré to you.
Today I introduce John Hammink who I met in person in Tallinn.

Many months ago I had a question for one of the London Skype people who forwarded me to John Hammink who then worked for ánd with the Skype Certification Program.
John replied in basic Dutch and this in combination with his surname, made me ask if he originally came from Holland.
No, but his grandparents did. They moved from Twente – Holland to the US.

This was our first conversation and many more followed. John turned out to be a multi talented person with many, many interests which made me not only look forward to the next conversation but especially to our meeting in Tallinn.

We sat down with a cup of coffee and a soft drink and chatted away.
I had so many questions for John which he happily answered.

John is born in 1970. His father, a musician, is “Dutch” (although born in the US) and his mother is of Irish extraction which explains John’s musical talents!
At the age of 18, he moved to Ohio to the Eastern Michigan University where he studied Linguistics, with a minor in Written Communication. He also followed some classes at the University of Michigan.

In 1996 he left the US for Finland where he lived for 6 years.
In a University town he worked for Jyväskylä Polytechnic teaching Requirement Engineering.
In the meantime, while working as a senior quality engineer for various Helsinki-area companies, he founded his own business “Hea Sõna OÜ" which means “Good Word”, worked as a part time translator and in 2003 he moved to Estonia to work for IF Eesti Insurance, and Hansapank, among others, with Professional Service and Product Development.

From there John moved to Skype to set up the Certification Program.
He started on his own with one desk but this changed gradually to a department with 4 people.
He left Skype as an employee a few weeks ago but still works part time for them from his own business.

I mentioned before that John is multi talented.
He is a gifted
Novel and Poem writer and an even more gifted musician. Apart from playing various instruments such as 6 and 12 string guitars, he also plays Fretless Electric Bass, Acoustic Contrabasse, Dulcimer and Erhu. And not only that, he is also a writer, composer, songwriter and singer. He loves improvising.
Being a well traveled person, he often visited and will visit places where people are playing music. Listening and blending in is giving him much joy.
A wonderful period he still remembers and treasures is a visit to the Irish Pubs where he had the opportunity to play music together with the local artists.
His Irish blood bubbled and he felt at home.

Before I met John, I listened to the music on his
website, read some of his novels and when finally meeting him in person, I could easily listen to his stories for hours.
We have things in common: looking forward, exploring, not being afraid to start something completely new in your life, and harmony.
This is I think, a never ending story and for John as well, it will only stop when he is too old to put one foot for the other.
But I know already, when John can’t go to meet people, people will come to meet him.

A great inspiration to John has been
Kinga, a Polish lady who lived her life to the fullest and passed away at the peak of fulfilling her dreams, in the happiest time of her life. He was so fortunate to meet her in person.

A great inspiration to me was my meeting with John and I hope to stay in touch with him for many, many years.

Thank you so much John for the special hours we spent together talking about life in all its facets.

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