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.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Sewing Circles of Herat by Christina Lamb

Christina Lamb does an excellent job explaining the history of Afghanistan while giving the readers a chance to understand the beauty of the country and its people.  

Imagine a time when women cannot wear lipstick, go out in public, wear white shoes or shoes that click.  Women cannot laugh out loud or be seen from the window not even their silhouette.   A time when not even parks can be named for women, when no music is allowed and the only entertainment is public amputations and executions.  This according to Ms. Lamb is life under Taliban rule. 

In Herat, once the centre of Persian culture ruled by a powerful queen, the oppression of culture and women is the worst.   It was in the city of Herat that Christina Lamb came across the Golden Needle Ladies Sewing Circle.  This group of heroic women was teaching something the Taliban approved of, sewing.  But in between stitches the ladies are teaching something very much forbidden; they are teaching literature to the women of Afghanistan. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Don't forget...

...the UT coffee this Thursday at Ballston Mall Starbucks at 10:30am!  See you there!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Celebrate Earth Day on April 22

This relaxing video reminds us of the beauty of our planet...  

Check out the Earth Day website and learn how you can get involved and make a difference (even if it is small) in your home or office.  

"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children."
  ~Native American Proverb

Monday, April 18, 2011

Meet me halfway...

Planning your next R&R?  Want to do something a little different?  This website has a great choice of vacation homes all over the world.  If you have a big family and like to cook together (like my family does), sometimes renting a house or an apartment is a much cheaper (and usually nicer) option to consider over a hotel.  If you meet "halfway" in London, click here for a list of apartments and homes or for Paris click here.   

Some pictures from London and Paris for inspiration!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tiny houses, but BIG ideas...

Check out http://tinyhouseblog.com/ or http://thistinyhouse.com/...

Need ideas on how to maximize your hooch space?  Look at what this New Yorker did with her 90 square foot apartment!  Click here for the video. 

As Maya Angelous says, "I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself."

Friday, April 8, 2011

                                                         Get togethers in Brussels

Partners Apart:

All those trying to maintain a long-distance relationship are welcome to attend our meeting on Thursday April 21 in the basement conference room. Our group is especially supportive to those with loved ones serving in the Near East. This month our special guest will be Steve talking about his experiences in Afghanistan. For more information please contact Dodie or write FLOaskUT@state.gov

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

21 ideas...

 This website shares 21 tips on how to most successfully deal with being apart from your significant other during an unaccompanied tour.  
Click here to read.  

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Monday, April 4, 2011

Mark your calendars...

We will be meeting for coffee again on Thursday, April 28th at 10:30 at Ballston Mall Starbucks.  We have changed the time in hopes that more people will be able to join us!  Please email FLOaskUT@state.gov if you have any questions.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The cutest lap pet...


To learn more about adorable (but unfortunately not real) creatures, check out this site.  Send it to your friends as an April Fool's joke and you will be surprised by how many of them think it is real...