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 websites and information, upcoming webinars, programs and events. FLO does not endorse organizations or companies linked-to in this blog, the views they express, or the products/services they offer. Let us know what you think: contribute to the blog or email us at FLOAskUT@state.gov.

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver

This book has received mixed reviews, however I believe everyone that enjoyed reading The Poisonwood Bible will enjoy this novel.  Born in the United States but raised in variety of homes in Mexico, the protagonist Harrison Shepherd finds himself divided between the two nations.
The first half of the book takes place in Mexico and will provide you with just enough Mexican history to make you want to research more.  Kingsolver does an excellent job describing the colorful towns and lush tropics of Mexico.  She weaves the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera and his wife, painter Frida Kahlo, with their contentious friend Leon Trotsky into flamboyant stories that come to life.  The story spans three decades, two continents and is written as a collection of memoirs, diary entries, letters and articles.
This is Kingsolver’s sixth novel; it won the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction and Library of Virginia Literary Award.  It has been nine years since her last novel.

Friday, February 25, 2011

We are so glad to see the safe arrival of all ferry passengers and Embassy colleagues in Malta!  

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Orientation Session for UT Employees and Families Experiencing

We will conduct an interactive in-person and virtual "Orientation Session" on Friday, March 11th, 2011, at 09:00 AM EDT in the FLO office.  Participants may call in to participate virtually.  The Orientation Session is designed for all employees preparing for or serving at unaccompanied posts and their family members.

This service is presented jointly by FLO and MHN, a comprehensive mental and behavioral health services company.  Topics we will cover include: overview of existing FLO services, counseling options, explanation of MHN, specialized training, and navigating the MHN website to find health and work/life articles, assessments, and resources.  

To participate virtually or in the office, please email FLOaskUT@state.gov for instructions.

We look forward to hearing from you,

UT Team

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Stay connected...

Are you a fan of Facebook? Did you know the following U.S. Embassies have Facebook pages? They all include lots of photos and updates about current events and news. It is a great way to feel more connected and also a fun way to share information with the kids.

U.S. Embassy Pakistan http://www.facebook.com/pakistan.usembassy

U.S. Embassy Baghdad http://www.facebook.com/embassybaghdad

U.S. Embassy Kabul http://www.facebook.com/kabulusembassy

Friday, February 18, 2011

I saw this article on the front page of the New York Times yesterday, but didn't get a chance to read it and managed to find it online.  The article discusses the good and the bad of instant communication like Skype and text messaging when separated from loved ones---focusing on how soldiers in Afghanistan are staying in touch with home.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A poem for Valentine's Day...

Happy Valentine's Day! 

Even though many of us are separated from loved ones today, we treasure and celebrate their presence in our lives.


I heard a very unique Valentine's Day poem this morning on the radio and thought I'd share...  Click here to read the poem. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

You are invited to the UT coffee club with the UT Team, fellow UTers and possibly some Embassy Cairo evacuees.

Please join us!

When:  Thursday, February 17th, 2011 at 1:30PM
Where:  Contact UT team please

Call us at 202-647-1076 or email FLOaskUT@state.gov for event details and location. 

See you there!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Valentine's Day gift idea for kids...

Check out Hallmark's recordable storybooks!  The daughter of a friend of mine received one of these books for Christmas from her Grandma and was thrilled.  She walked around everywhere with the book and proudly told everyone, "My grandma is in there!"  

These are a such great way for your kids to hear your voice every night as you read them a bedtime story--- no matter where you are. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Cute pet photos?

This is how my cat stays warm during this winter days in D.C.   Does anyone have any funny pet photos to share?  Email FLOaskUT@state.gov and I will post them on the blog!  Please share!


The UT Team wanted to apologize for our lack of activity on the blog this week- as we are all working hard to assist during the crisis in Egypt.