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.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Special Invitation:
Panel Discussion on Third-Culture Kids and the Foreign Service Experience
April 2 at 11:30 am
The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) cordially invites you to attend a special panel discussion taking place at AFSA headquarters, 2101 E St NW, at 11:30 am on Monday, April 2.

Four nationally-renowned experts on third-culture kids (TCKs) will be on hand to discuss emotional resilience in TCKs, with a special emphasis on the Foreign Service experience. Why do some kids take well to life in the Foreign Service while others struggle? What sets kids up for success within this life? How can parents best position their children for achievement as Foreign Service brats? Our expert panelists are international educational consultant Rebecca Grappo, cross-cultural specialist Ruth Van Reken, author Julia Simens, and educator/consultant Rebecca Oden. They will be happy to entertain questions from the audience following the formal conversation.

All AFSA events are open to the public and are free of charge. Please feel free to forward this to anyone who might have an interest in the subject matter. We ask that all RSVPs be sent to events@afsa.org. If you are overseas or otherwise unable to participate, the event will be taped and made available on the AFSA web site (www.afsa.org/AFSAvideos.aspx) shortly after the program.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
call to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

            Mary Oliver

Monday, March 26, 2012


I have heard from a lot of people that everything seems to be happening all at once in 2012.  Is this happening to you?  It is to me!  So...  

For ten ideas to make your life easier - click here.  Ideas include, actually eating leftovers, and telling yourself it is ok if your house doesn't look as pristine as Pottery Barn magazines...

To help you sleep, think about incorporating sour cherries into your diet (weird, right?).  For more ZzzZZz food ideas, click here.  

Don't get too caught up in the chaos of every day.  Stay on track and remember what you really want to be doing with each day.  Check out this article on bucket lists.  What is on your bucket list?  As Eleanor Roosevelt famously said, "The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience." 

And remember, check out MHN's website for articles on long distance relationships, marriage, stress, coping skills etc.  You can also call them at any time to speak with a counselor.  For information on how to access the website, please contact us at FLOaskUT@state.gov.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ideas to make staying in touch easier...

Check out this article from Real Simple magazine about creative ways to stay in touch with family and friends while away.

Spring Ahead, Fall Back

Spring Ahead, Fall Back!       

It’s that time of year…. already.  Sunday, March 11 2012 at 2 A.M. you need to move your clocks ahead one hour.  Spring, on the other hand will not arrive until March 20th.

Daylight Saving Time was first instituted to save energy for war production during World War I.  When it was first instituted it occurred between April and October.  After World War I states and communities could choose to continue to observe it or not. During World War II the federal government once again required the states observe the time change.  In 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act standardizing the Daylight Saving Time.  In 2007 the Energy Policy Act of 2005 was put into place, causing Daylight Saving Time to be four weeks longer.   The policy was supposed to save 10,000 barrels of oil each day through reduced power by businesses in the daylight hours.  The reality is it is very hard to determine energy savings and some theorize we don’t save anything at all and we might even use more energy.

You might be surprised to learn Arizona (except for some Indian Reservations) Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the American Samoa do not observe Daylight Savings Time. 

Me I don’t like the change.  Why?  Because now for another month it will be dark when I walk the dogs and the added light at night doesn’t really help me accomplish anything. 
What are your thoughts?  Do you like Daylight Savings?  Do you think it saves energy? 

Friday, March 2, 2012

I get by with a little YELP from my friends...

If you are new to town or just looking for a new place to eat or get your hair cut you may want to Yelp it. This site is a great place to read reviews and get ideas on all kinds of places and things. One person wrote in to say she saved two hundred dollars by Yelping her dog’s veterinarian - seems the first vet with whom she had an appointment was very expensive but with the help of Yelp (www.yelp.com) she found someone less expensive and just as good. Woof! (Note: most Yelp sites are US cities only)