Symantec Service Corps 2015 has been officially over for a week now and the team, other then myself, is back to their respective homes. I had decided to take some time off after Turkey to travel through Greece and see the classical Greece that I had read about ages ago and till now could only see/feel in my minds eye! Fair warning, I wrote part of this post while sitting here (Cape Sounion) and partly here (random beach on Gulf of Corinth). What I was hoping for was some poetic inspiration! But instead what came to me was reflections on my time in Turkey along with a sense of longing for the entire SSC family. The list of profound (ahem ahem) realizations is sizable, you see I had a lot of time and gorgeous views to ponder things over! But I will keep this post short.
SSC has been a memorable journey of hard work, new relations, and self discovery with a healthy dose of fun. It has taught me to live outside of myself in several ways and how incredibly satisfying it can be. I was happy to be part of an incredible team working for, Doga Dernegi, the Nature Society of Turkey. In one short month we were able to deliver on Doga’s need for sustainable logistics management, marketing plans and fundraising strategies. Our clients were excited and grateful for the outcome and even yesterday I received an email from Ayse saying how glad she was to have us in their office. This brings me to my first reflection – the journey to success will likely be hard, but it does not have to be long!
Before I set out for Turkey, I wrote that I had trepidations. Trepidations that I might not be able to give as much. Even then a friend of mine told me to throw trepidation out the window because just our presence would make a difference! How right she was :) Though I feel extremely enriched by this experience, I feel, no, I know that we have all made a lasting impact for our clients. And this is because we were all singularly motivated.
We all came in to work on projects which we knew almost nothing about. We were grouped into sub-teams with a variety of skills – some applicable and some not so much. We all had the same uncertain butterflies in our stomachs, even the second week in. But we all knew that we wanted to complete what we came here to do. We did, and we did it well! And we did it while having fun and more fun. So my second and third thoughts – A motivated team can solve any problem, no matter how hard it may seem at the outset. And we must always build for change. Nothing that we make will stay the same. Some will change in a few years and some in a millenia. So why fight it!
If you’ve been reading this blog, our first two weeks in Turkey were spent getting to know each other, the city and culture we were in. We found out more about our clients, their mission and our respective projects. But till the very last day we were learning something new. Whether it be about the clients or the folks of the SSC team. We all shared stories of our lives and what brought us to where we are. We also learnt where we all want to be and hope to be. So while staring out from over the Gulf of Corinth I realized how important it is to Listen, Learn, See and Feel. It seems obvious, but I realized that I don’t do enough of these. Also everything we say and do, no matter how trivial, makes a difference – so we must weigh each thing carefully. This I definitely do not do enough of and it lands me in trouble :)
Lastly, make happy memories – those will last a lifetime at least :) Even though we all have tried to chronicle our time in Turkey on this blog, there are things that just cannot be captured. How do we know that we succeeded in our work – the expressions on the faces of our clients when we made our final presentations.The emotions in the room and the tears in the eyes. For a month we worked, played, ate, drank and danced together. We thought that work would be hard, but the goodbyes were the hardest. I definitely lost control of my emotions as did most of us. Even though right now it seems that there will be always be something missing, I am sure that the memories we made together will be able to fill the gap.
What I hoped for when I set out does not even begin to come close to what I actually got. But then again, it seems that even reflections are not the same as you expect!
PS: Ok, so this post was not short!