Welcome to our unaccompanied tours (UT) blog, Foggy Bottom Rambles! We can share information, programs, and resources quickly with you and since blogs are a two way street, we (and the other readers) can hear from you. What's in a name you say? This blog reflects how we (back here in DC, Foggy Bottom area) provide information (rambles) to you. Find tips from the field, websites and information, home is where the hooch is suggestions, upcoming programs and events and follow our book club. Let us know what you think: contribute to the blog or email us at FLOaskUT@state.gov.

Polly Baker- Monterrey


Whether you are posted to an unaccompanied tour, getting ready to go, or just thinking of bidding, you may have questions about life before, during, and after an unaccompanied tour.  We have assembled a group of people that are either serving or have served at an unaccompanied post.  They are ready to answer your questions and make suggestions about rules, regulations, and everyday life.  This is a great opportunity to ask real people, FSOs, EFMs, contractors, and others what life at these posts is really like.  Remember “to know the road ahead, ask those coming back”.

Below meet our panel of guest writers.  We know their real names; however, we have provided them with pseudonyms so they will feel comfortable responding honestly to your questions.  If the pseudonyms look familiar; good for you, they were first made popular by Ben Franklin.

We have already received the following questions and answers from Polly in Monterrey.  Email FLOaskUT@state.gov with any question you would like answered by Polly.

Here is what Polly has said so far...
 
What suggestions do you have for families preparing to go to posts that show “signs” of becoming unaccompanied in the future?
Families should talk about the real possibilities of having to be evacuated and what you would do if that happened.  Where would you go?  Do you have a support network to help?  Have a bag packed with key items (e.g. birth certificate, immunization forms, change of clothes, etc.) if you need to leave unexpectedly.
What were some challenges your family faced? 
They had to find a temporary residence for my family.  I was had to parent from afar.
Were you prepared?
Eventually everything worked out, but no we were not prepared for this to happen so quickly after our arrival.
What were you most concerned about in Monterrey? 
The potential to be at the wrong place at the wrong time or mistaken identity.
 What was life like outside of work? 
I usually stayed at home.  There were some opportunities to go to restaurants, the moves, bars, etc.  I would also meet at other friends' homes from dinner.
Did you live in a compound? 
No. 
What was the most positive experience of working in Monterrey? 
Most of us that were affected by the unexpected evacuation bonded well and came together as a group.  Also, I gained new professional experience that I wouldn’t have gained elsewhere (or at least unlikely).
Most negative?
Having to be separated from my family and missing out on all the important events (birthdays, some holidays, school events, etc.)