Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I feel like I am cheating on you. The thing is... there is another.

I have another blog.

I decided to post my blog for botswana on a more public sphere (i.e. placing it on peacecorpsjournals.com). I have loved sydmark, and I proud of the content. I feel like there are some personal posts and information that I don't necessarily want the whole world to know.

I invite you to follow me to Botswana. Add www.sydneylambson.com to your google reader. I promise to still be as personal and frank as have always been! Do it!



Sunday, March 21, 2010

Perfect Sunday

I bought a Canon Rebel T1i. Isn't it beautiful? In lieu of my future departure to Botswana, I have purchasing a lot of things. Some are coming in the mail, some I am buying from the store. It's like Christmas. I feel indulgent. But I think that will change soon. But I haven't explored my new camera properly

Today was a perfect day for exploring. It was a beautiful spring day. This is probably the worst time of year for Utah. Because Utah weather is manic depressive. One day we will have this beautiful spring day with sun and warm weather and then the next day there will be a bone chilling storm that takes about a week to recover from. Take this past week for example. Yet, today was magnificent. It was a perfect Sunday. I went on a long walk/mini hike with my friend and we took Ziggy. We explored the diverse terrain of Highland.

And then we found a horse... and cows. I was a bit scared of the horse, but he was sweet and wanted to be touched. All he needed was a little TLC.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Chicago, I love you

People! I am leaving in less in five weeks! The weekend before I leave, I am going to have a big party with big music and big hair. I hope you plan on attending. One of my best friends is leaving a week before me to go on her mission. She is so awesome, she is going to be fantastic.

Speaking of fantastic, I love Chicago. It was cold, but glorious. On the first day there, I was able to explore the city with my friend Courtney. We had delicious tea from Argo tea. The friendly people over at Argo tea recognize the need for spectacular herbal tea. One drink they combined white chocolate, soy milk and rooibos tea. Best. idea. ever. Have I told you I am excited to go to Botswana and drink endless amounts of red bush tea? We went to the Art Instittute of Chicago... for free. Love free february at the institute. Then later that night, Courtney and I skated at the Millenium Park. And this picture is a testament that Courtney cannot skate straight.
The rest of the week was filled with presentations and tasty food. I told myself before that I was going to eat good food, mission accomplished. I received my official invite to the Peace Corps while we were in Chicago. But I couldn't really focus on it, until after I finished my presentation on Wednesday afternoon. That night, my brother Paul flew in on his way to Milwaukee, and he took me and some of my colleagues out to dinner in Greek Town. I sware when I finally get a job that pays money, I am going to take pity on poor college kids and pay for meals or tax rides and I will say 'my pleasure.' Thanks Paul!

On my last day, Brittany and I took an excursion around town and had a blast infront of the bean at the Millenium park. I mean, Chicago has a rapid transport system and a big art form that you can take pictures at and get the background of the city in your picture... how can one city get better?
I am going to the Hunger Banquet tonight! I am nervous and excited. I feel so much emotional tension. Will I be able to just sit there, without contributing. The Hunger Banquet has been one of my greatest accomplishments (i mean not my accomplishment, but a group project), can i let go? I hear it is best yet! sigh.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Botswana 2010-2012

I have things to say. First, I am going to Botswana on April 7th for 27 months, two years and three months as a Community Capacity Builder with with the HIV/AIDS program. About one year ago I applied to the Peace Corps. There were a lot of events and people that influenced my decision to apply to this organization. I remember going to a career fair with my friend during my junior year. There was a Peace Corps booth but no recruiter so I took a booklet and moved on. That booklet has sat on my nightstand for the last three years. I liked the idea, but I had never meet any one that had done it. I had heard things about volunteers and about the organization but all hearsay, nothing substantial. I remember entering into my last semester at BYU. I had the desire to go to grad school, but I needed time to not be a student. I sat down with my mentor, Joan Dixon, asking her about how I could get into the field of International Development, and she mentioned the Peace Corps and we chatted for a while. Thinking, yeah… I’ll try it out, see what happens.
The application was daunting and I almost didn’t finish it. But then I took this trip to DC and instantly I meet someone on the bus who had just gotten back from Ghana and then my GW contact had gone to South America. I can’t remember their stories, but it was the extra push I needed.
And then I waited, for what seemed forever. I went through a lot during that time- Graduation, Nepal, My Parent’s Basement, Unemployment, Homeless Shelter. But still, at the back of my mind, I always had this looming possibility. I felt qualified, but what if…
I had been told back in June, that in order to become qualified for a potential position leaving around May 2010, I would have to start gaining HIV/AIDS experience. After a lot of set backs, I finally meet Heather Bush at the Utah Department of Health, who opened my doors to brand new experiences. In the training to become a counselor and instructor, I was pushed beyond my comfort level, but challenged to look at my life and my background in a new way.
Just today I received my invitation from the Peace Corps. (I found out a couple of days ago that it was coming in the mail!). I still have a lot to process. But for now, I am excited.

PS Chicago is great. I have had a lot of great tea! Yummy!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Working in the Community

The other night, a distressed refugee came into the shelter, looking for safety for her and her seven kids. An eviction notice was looming in the future and she had no options. A dutiful relief society president was by her side, recording phone numbers and community resources that would assist in their search for hope. I liked pulling out the 211 Social Services directory and watching the panic drain out of their faces. They eventually felt hopeful enough to leave and try their luck with the vast amount of community resources. Do you know that you can call 211 from any phone and be connected to any social service agency in Utah? They are nice and helpful and can answer all your questions. You should just do it. It makes be feel warm inside to know there are such things in this state. Because, more than giving out shampoo, more than coordinating family dinners, more than seeing families move out of the shelter, I like telling people about community resources. I love it! I see community development and collaboration in my future, at least that is what the eight ball told. And it doesn't lie.

People ask me if I ever go home crying, if what I see at the shelter effects me emotionally. When I went to interview, I will be honest, I was scared to be there. But mostly, you get used to it. But I am a firm believer that humans can get used to almost anything. Squatter toilets, no electricity, Nothing distresses me much any more, maybe I have a cold heart. But I think I have learned to decipher what is real. It's sad to see kids living in the shelter, but they love it, they have tons of fun, it is more sad when parents go to the hospital for drug overdose and then their kids get taken away. That is worse.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Bit of a Junkie

Tonight, was the final episode of BBC's newest version of Emma. My mother and I have always been a fan of Masterpiece Theater, ever since I was little. It is where I discovered beautiful stories about suppressed young women plagued by a misfortune of birth, wealth, family or situation only to be relieved by a man. But not really. I mean, some of these women are strong and can break themselves free, it just seems to make the story better when a dashing young man (Matthew McFadyen!) is involved like in the beautiful and heartwarming Litte Dorit. So many films that I have loved. Such as, Wives & Daughters, North & South, The Forsyte Saga, , the new and old versions of Persusion, Sense & Sensibilty, Mansfield Park, and the more recent additions like Cramford and Northanger Abby. These Sundays at 8 o'clock are real treasures for me. And this newest version of Emma is heads and shoulders above the Gwenyth Paltrow version, in fact I never liked Emma until I saw this one. Oh Mr. Knightly...
But tonight, after the final episode, there was this little gem of show. It is called Lost in Austen. It is about a modern British girl who switches places with Elizabeth Bennet. It sound hocky but it actually really funny. If you are a Pride & Prejudice junkie then you will probably love it

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Heart Full of Tea

If you were thinking about being my valentine's day lover could you get me this from adiago teas? I mean, I wouldn't drink it because I have this very hostile relationship with caffiene but I would look at it and perhaps serve others the beautiful tea. In fact, you could get me anything herbal from this website and I would be yours.