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, April 30, 2012

If you have kids...

This website has some good ideas about how to help your young children best cope during the employee's time away from home.

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Give your stress wings...

....and let it fly away.  ~Terri Guillemets

If only.

Since most of us can’t do that, on Thursday April 26, 2012 we will host a tele-conference with MHN covering the  topic of “Coping with the Stress of Change”.  We will discuss the challenges of change, identify different aspects of the change process and describe different ways to modify your stress responses to change.  RSVP to floaskut@state.gov.   Please provide your name and employee’s post of assignment and let us know if you would prefer to call in or join us in person.  If you do not have a state badge or diplomatic passport, please let us know so someone will be available to escort you.

I like this extract from Wikipedia defining stress, because reading it, I actually start to feel stressed:  

The ambiguity in defining this phenomenon was first recognized by Hans Selye in 1926 who loosely described stress as something that "…in addition to being itself, was also the cause of itself, and the result of itself." First to use the term in a biological context, Selye continued to define stress as "the non-specific response of the body to any demand placed upon it." Present-day neuroscientists including Bruce McEwen and Jaap Koolhaas believe that stress, based on years of empirical research, "should be restricted to conditions where an environmental demand exceeds the natural regulatory capacity of an organism."  

Some more fun quotes about stress…

Stress should be a powerful driving force, not an obstacle.  ~Bill Phillips 
There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them.  ~Sylvia Plath 
Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.  ~Ovid
 For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.  ~Lily Tomlin
The mark of a successful man is one that has spent an entire day on the bank of a river without feeling guilty about it.  ~Author Unknown

Read these 41 random, alarming facts about stress.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Cheers to Happy Hour!

You invited to an Unaccompanied Tour Informational Happy Hour!  It will take place on Wednesday, May 2, at the Oakwood Falls Church. It will be held in the State Room, and will run from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. or so.

Like other AAFSW happy hours, this will be a time to relax, meet other folks from the Foreign Affairs community and ask questions of current AAFSW members.  Since a greater number of employees and families are considering UTs,  the Unaccompanied Tour will be the focal point of the discussion.

The tentative agenda is as follows:

6:30 p.m Refreshments, mix and mingle 
7:00 p.m. Presentation by FLO (UT TEAM), followed by a Q&A
7:30 p.m. Presentation by Transition Center (FSI) staff, followed by Q&A
8:00 p.m. Panel of EFMs who have experienced or are currently experiencing an unaccompanied tour
8:30 p.m. Wrap-up

There is a great panel of EFMs lined up and we are very excited that so many will be attending the event.  Please remember that this is a no-cost event sponsored by AAFSW and please feel free to attend even if you are only toying with the notion of a UT. 

If you will be in the area and have any interest in attending, please send a note to jdinoia@yahoo.com or FLOaskUT@state.gov with your name and your UT status (considering, anticipating, in the middle of, completed & would like to offer assistance/advice).  See you there!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

It's a Kodak moment!

                 UT Team with our Director and Secretary Clinton on December 14th, 2011