Hannah Everett is a Community Economic Development (CED) volunteer serving in a pueblo in Magdalena, Colombia.
The below piece was written by a volunteer who will soon be completing her service and returning home in October 2019. As part of her close of service ceremonies, she was asked to prepare a volunteer “Recipe for Success” which reflected what she felt was required of a volunteer in order to fulfill the 27-month commitment. The cookbook-based theme for this assignment mirrored that of the speech given at her cohort’s swearing-in ceremony back in October of 2017. Although her recipe is peppered with humor and dark wit, it is her representation of both the hardships (the “bitterness”) that can come with being a PCV, as well as the sweet moments and memories that put the icing on the cake.
1 strong sense of self
1-2 gallons of patience
6 liters of an ability to entertain yourself
730 tsps of an ability to take charge of your own health
6 pints of an ability to cling to what matters
365 cans of an ability to cling to what makes you happy
3 packets of an ability to ”let it go”
24 cups of perspective
1 pinch of “coge la suave”
820 tbsps of resiliency
3 handheld fans
27 cups of sacrifices
3 liters of warm, filtered water
½ tbsp of bitter loneliness
99 servings of crunchy Jiffy Peanut Butter
21 sprays of Monthly Break Baking Grease
1 jar of friends and family back home
1 “Better One Life” Berry
1. Take 27 cups of sacrifices and toss well. You may use familial, career, relationship, or any other brand of sacrifices for this recipe. Just be sure not to use generic brands.
2. Blend in your strong sense of self and 730 tsps of an ability to take charge of your own health into the mix. This will create your base. Ensure that your sense of self is pungent. If its bland, start over.
3. Fold in 24 cups of perspective. Your perspective should be homemade and well-aged prior to beginning this recipe. Do not use store-bought brands or perspective that has been over-fermented.
4. Mix in 1 gallon of patience. This should create a smooth consistency. If it doesn’t, feel free to add more (up to two gallons).
5. Add 1 pinch of “coge la suave”. This should complement the patience well and add a sweet flavor.
6. Sprinkle in 820 tbsps of resiliency. It is important that you do this slowly. Do not add in resiliency all at once—though you may find that you will need to add large amounts at a faster rate as the batter thickens.
7. Swirl in 6 pints of an ability to cling to what matters. The VRF guidebook lists some suggestions on how to do this properly, but feel free to make it your own so your dish has a unique presentation.
8. Heat 3 packets of an ability to “let it go” with 3 liters of warm, filtered water before pouring into the batter. This should help your success rise when it comes time to bake.
9. Cream 365 cans of an ability to cling to what makes you happy into the batter. This will help make the dough firm and add amazing flavor. (Note: What makes you happy isn’t key here. Just make sure your ability to cling to it is strong.)
10. Dissolve 6 liters of an ability to entertain yourself into the mix. Recommended flavors include Watching Netflix, Playing Piano, Writing, Exercise, Naps, and Listening to Music. Alternatively, you may use any excess abilities to entertain yourself as a garnish.
11. Pepper ½ tbsp. of bitter loneliness on top. Do not mix.
12. Let sit for 13.5 months then bake in a non-stick pan greased with 21 sprays of Monthly Break Baking Grease at 97 degrees F for 19,680 hours or until nicely “quemada”. Use 3 handheld fans to cool.
13. Ice with 99 servings of crunchy Jiffy peanut butter (this step is optional for non-vegetarians).
14. Drizzle on generous amounts of support from friends and family back home. Feel free to use the whole jar.
15. Garnish with 1 “Better One Life” Berry. Make sure the berry is fresh, not frozen.
16. Serve with suero, agua de panela, patacones, mojarra, arroz de coco, queso costeño, buñuelos, salchipapas, or arepas.