Team Bird is making progress on our project with Doğa Derneği after we spent the first week ensuring we had accurately scoped the work and set expectations on what we could deliver in a month. During this second week, we started to delve into specific aspects of the project and had additional meetings with staff members and check-in meetings to ensure we were on track. The focus of our project is to deliver guidelines and best practices for conducting their Annual Raptor Census project, and providing a strategic marketing plan to build awareness for the organization and increase volunteer contributions and participation. The team has worked well together by drawing upon one another’s skills and capabilities, and being able to openly and honestly ask for help or guidance when needed. As we look to our third week here, we will continue to build out our recommendations as we divide and conquer the project as a team.
We came in with our unique skill sets, professional work style and our own set of expectations. Though we all are based in the Mountain View office, our lives are so different that it was almost as if we came from different places, speaking different languages. Our first few days brought us closer to each other and we quickly started speaking the same language (chirp chirp!), especially given that we work in such proximity where our laptop screens bump together! We worked together to realize the challenge in front of us and chart a course for our journey of the upcoming weeks. The biggest change in our approach this week has been the realignment of expectations and the focus towards project execution. With each day, we learn more than we knew before.
However, project progress aside, the best part of this week has definitely been spending time outside of work with Ayşe and Engin, our primary Doğa contacts. An aspect of Turkish culture that we really love is the interconnectedness of professional and personal relationships. We’ve enjoyed the fact that before delving into the specifics of our project and deliverables, Engin and Ayşe always want to know about our weekend, suggest places to visit and restaurants to try, and are curious about our overall impression of Turkey. Getting to know Ayşe and Engin out of the office was not only fun but also deepened our relationship with them and Doğa. It was funny, it wasn’t until we spent an evening drinking and talking about our backgrounds that we realized just how little we knew about them personally. Engin used to play guitar, engineered and built his own recording studio, and loves playing basketball. Laughing together outside of the office and sharing inside jokes with the Doğa team in the office has added a dimension of fun and a deeper bond to our working relationship. Not only is this bond helping us be more productive and in sync regarding our project, but when our time in Turkey is over it will be these close relationships that we’ll miss the most.