Discovery phase: done. In the midst of averaging a sweet and healthy 3-5 hours of sleep a night, getting a team member sick, playing some futbol with a Morroponian kid, and struggling to keep a solid workout routine, the team finally completed the Discovery phase of the project on Friday. This phase, though time consuming, was extremely enlightening as we were exposed to various cultures, industries, companies, and governments. Eventually, it all synthesized into a strategy meeting that outlined the three main objectives for the three year Thunderbird-Government of Piura engagement.

Thursday brought along a visit to the province of Morropon to witness the first announcement of PROCOMPITE’s contest winners. During this presentation, the team and Thunderbird were acknowledged as a long-term partner of the Regional Government of Piura by the Manager of Economic Development. Considering the diverse stakeholders present at the event, it gave the team confidence that the relationship with the client was progressing wonderfully and that the future looked promising. The presentation also brought along a brief overview of infrastructural projects, tourism offerings, new potential sustainable agricultural products, and a business plan workshop program through a bank. All of these presentations influenced the team’s thoughts on the strategy and workflow plan. 

After the meeting, the municipal government of Morropon hosted a lunch for its guests, at which point “El Jefe” (Santiago)—name given by his tyrannical prohibition of any ceviche eating by the team for the first week—caved, and everyone proceeded to inhale the raw fish delicatessen. Following a talk with some of the locals about life in Morropon, it was time to explore the city. The main town square was a lovely garden, which our dearest Danielle fell in love with and decided it was going to be in her dream house. Other than that, we visited a church and after, El Jefe decided it would be a good idea to play soccer with a young boy in the town. All else fell naturally into place as Fiona immediately took up the video camera and filmed Santiago and Ronald, Jennifer watched the game and conversation in Spanish unfold, and Danielle found the nearest locals to talk to—normality reached in the most foreign of places. 

Eventually, the team made it back home and, shortly after, its first failure. Who knew that the biggest obstacle of a 90 hour workweek would be internet? Four hours after the journey’s start, the team had acquired five SIM cards and four modems, and even when partnered with the apartment’s wifi, it still made us miss dial-up. 9 o’clock rolled around along with a Cuban dinner, and a strategy meeting. Considering that half of our team members work well in the morning and poorly at nights, this meeting, though ultimately productive, was not without its bumps.

Friday morning, the first team member fell to the power of ceviche. Bed-ridden, she took the day out of the office and worked on her individual research. Meanwhile, ½ a mile north, a strategy meeting took place between the remaining three team members and one of PROCOMPITE’s key players. This meeting had the goal of developing objectives for a three year relationship. After its success, it was time to get the buy-in of our primary contacts. The strategic objectives stuck, and led the team straight into a social happy birthday celebration. What the team was not expecting though was the half work day on Friday because of a holiday specifically for public office workers. This stalled our strategic planning, but enabled us to get some much needed rest. 

The afternoon and night proved to be fruitful with a traditional lunch, workouts, the finalization of our workplan, and an internal temperature check. Although these were all key components for our sanity, the internal temperature check was the most important one. And the verdict is: no fever—the team is doing well and is excited to move on to the next week… with a few changes.

Thank you for reading our blog! Next update: depending on our internet connection.

The Piura Team