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.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Another fun article on happiness is Time Magazine's top twenty ways to stay happy...I think one of my my favorites is number six...curious?...browse here.



Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.
- Buddha

Everything is material for the seed of happiness, if you look into it with inquisitiveness and curiosity. The future is completely open, and we are writing it moment to moment. There always is the potential to create an environment of blame -- or one that is conducive to loving-kindness.
- Pema Chodron

Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open.
- John Barrymore

BBC has a collection of articles and videos on the study of happiness, from the science behind happiness to the politics of happiness--- all of which are very interesting.   Take a look.  

Monday, March 28, 2011

Makes me hungry!

Check out Kerri's WeHeartFood contribution about shawarma here.   Don't forget you can contribute too...Send us pictures of what you are cookin' up in the kitchen! 


Thank you to everyone who joined us for our monthly coffee event.  Hope to see everyone again next time. :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

This coming Thursday, March 24th at 1:30 we will be meeting again for UT Coffee at Ballston Common Mall Starbucks.  

Please RSVP to FLOaskUT@state.gov for details.  We hope to see you there! 
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Because we heart food...

Do you find yourself taking pictures of food on your smartphone almost more than you take pictures of friends or family?  Join the club.  Check out our new page dedicated to foooood!  If you have any food pictures to share and happy memories associated with them, please send the pictures and the story to FLOaskUT@state.gov and we will be happy to post it on the blog.  Please share!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Thoughts and prayers to Japan.....

Remember always that you are just a visitor here, a traveler passing through. your stay is but short and the moment of your departure unknown.

None can live without toil and a craft that provides your needs is a blessing indeed. But if you toil without rest, fatigue and wearness will overtake you, and you will denied the joy that comes from labour's end.

Speak quietly and kindly and be not forward with either opinions or advice. If you talk much, this will make you deaf to what others say, and you should know that there are few so wise that they cannot learn from others.

Be near when help is needed, but far when praise and thanks are being offered.

Take small account of might, wealth and fame, for they soon pass and are forgotten. Instead, nurture love within you and and strive to be a friend to all. Truly, compassion is a balm for many wounds.

Treasure silence when you find it, and while being mindful of your duties, set time aside, to be alone with yourself.

Cast off pretense and self-deception and see yourself as you really are.

Despite all appearances, no one is really evil. They are led astray by ignorance. If you ponder this truth always you will offer more light, rather then blame and condemnation.

You, no less than all beings have Buddha Nature within. Your essential Mind is pure. Therefore, when defilements cause you to stumble and fall, let not remose nor dark foreboding cast you down. Be of good cheer and with this understanding, summon strength and walk on.

Faith is like a lamp and wisdom makes the flame burn bright. Carry this lamp always and in good time the darkness will yield and you will abide in the Light.



Book Lust to Go

Looking for an unusual book about a particular area? This is the book for you. This book "Book Lust to Go" does a good job of listing areas of the world, topics and books about them. Everything is easy to find and there are both fiction and nonfiction titles listed. This is one book of a series and I would recommend them all. I think the author Nancy Pearl has done a great job assembling interesting books about interesting areas. This is a great book to buy or check out so you can plan your next 10 years of reading. The cover says "Recommended reading for travelers, vagabonds, and dreamers."

Expat ladies...

Check out this site dedicated to helping expat women overseas.  It includes tons of articles, country specific information and over a thousand blogs written by women all over the world.  A great resource---even if you are currently residing in the States.

Want to get involved?

Do you love animals?  If you are looking for a way to get involved in your community, consider volunteering at your local animal shelter.  They are always looking for help.  Just Google "Animal Shelters + your zip code" to find your local rescue groups. 

There are tons of different ways you can help.  This website has numerous creative ideas about how to get involved.  Do you love photography?  You can volunteer to take the pictures of the homeless animals used online for adoption.  Are you good at blogging?  Volunteer to create a blog for the shelter.

Don’t forget you can always foster (or adopt) an animal too!  I visited a shelter this weekend and was overwhelmed with the amount of adorable animals.    


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Breathe...just breathe...

For some quotes about how to best deal with stress check out this website...


Warning:  Make sure the volume on your speakers is not too high!

Don't forget this Friday...

We will conduct an interactive in-person and virtual "Orientation Session" with MHN on Friday, March 11th, 2011, at 09:00 AM EDT in the FLO office.  Participants may call in to participate virtually.

Please email FLOaskUT@state.gov for details.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


To start your day with a laugh...check out this short YouTube video...It is bound to make you smile! 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Ideas for advocacy?

Do you have something to say about the Foreign Service or unaccompanied tours that you wish were different?  Do you have a great idea that should be heard?  Voice your concerns, ideas, and issues for advocacy here. 

We can advocate for you, but first we need to identify the important issues.   Share your comments here and we can brainstorm together.  

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A unique website to help relieve stress...

Release your worries to the fire...Check out http://www.myinnerworld.com/.  Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.  Some of the things on the site are a little funny, but there are some relaxing (but fun) portions of the page to explore.