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, March 28, 2013

Ideas for Kids

Contest Deadlines are Almost Here!

Kid Vid Contest 
  • Deadline:           Monday April 15, 2013
  • Cash Prizes:       $1,000 to be split among winners
  • Age/Eligibility:   Open to FS Youth of all ages at Overseas Posts
Kid Vids (Post Videos Created by Youth) are a valuable resource for the Foreign Service kids and families because they help children envision and anticipate what their life might look like at a particular post.  Please consider adding to the Kid Vid resource library at FSI's Transition Center by creating a Kid Video about your Post!

For Rules, go to:  Kid Vid Rules
administered by FSI's Transition Center
sponsored by FSYF and Peake Property Management

FSYF / SDFCU Art Contest
  • Deadline:             Friday April 19, 2013
  • Theme:                The World is My Hometown
  • Size & Format:     flat art forms no larger than 22" x 28"
  • Age Categories:   5-8 years old; 9-12 years old; 13-18 years old
  • Fee:                      Free to FSYF Members.  $20 entry fee for non-members
  • Cash Prizes:         In each age category, 1st place = $500,                                                         2nd place =  $250, 3rd place = $100
For Rules & Guidelines, go to: Art Contest Rules
For Entry Form go to: www.fsyf.org

FSYF / McGrath Essay Contest
  • Deadline:    Friday April 19, 2013
  • Topic:          'How is a foreign service child's 'sense of home' affected or                        shaped by the itinerant life and prolonged immersion in                                different languages, cultures, and environments?
  • Ages:          Middle School and High School Categories                
  • Fee:            Entry is free to FSYF Members. $20 entry fee for non-members
  • Prizes:         High School Places: 1st = $800; 2nd = $500  3rd = $300                                Middle School Places:  1st = $500; 2nd = $300  3rd = $150 
For Essay Contest Guidelines, go to:  Essay Contest Guidelines
For Essay Contest Entry Form, go to:  www.fsyf.org

FSYF / Clements Community Service Award
  • Deadline:  Friday April 19, 2013
  • Ages:         Open to FS children of all ages
  • Fee:           Entry is free to FSYF Members.  $20 entry fee for non-members
  • Prizes:       2 awards of $1500 savings bond or $750 cash equivalent
For Nomination Form and Guidelines, go to:  www.fsyf.org
For more details, go to:  Community Service Award flyer
sponsored by Clements Worldwide

Newsletter Contributors Wanted!

Adult Contributors Wanted for Spring Issue of Parent Newsletter 
'Around the World'  
  • Contributions Due:   Monday April 22, 2013.
  • FSYF seeks adult contributions on topics that affect Foreign Service families, including: 
    • Education
    • Technology
    • Foreign Service Life
    • Youth Achievement
    • Parenting
    • information on useful blogs, youth opportunities, family resources
With questions or to contribute, contact us at fsyf@fsyf.org  

Youth Contributors Wanted for Spring Issue of FSYF Youth Newsletter 
'Here, There & Everywhere' 
  • Contributions Due:       Monday May 6, 2013
  • Topics:      We would like to receive submissions about:
    •  your Post, 
    • life as an FS Youth,                                                      
  • and, because summer is approaching, consider topics about 
    • moving,                      
    • keeping in touch with friends, 
    • transitions, 
    • summer activities....
  • We accept contributions of all genres including, but not limited to:
    • reports
    • interviews and profiles
    • comic strip
    • riddles
    • word puzzles
    • poetry
    • recipes from Post
    • tips about moving to your post, school
    • advice columns
    • etc etc
  • Benefits of Participating:
    • Contribute for chance to win $30 Amazon Gift Card  (last issue's winner was Sloan Valen of Vancouver)
    • practice taking risks
    • build your resume
    • provide your peers with useful information
    • Share Your Talents and Inspire Your Peers
    • Improve your writing and artistic skills
  • Foreign Service kids of all ages and in all locations are welcome to contribute. However, we would particularly love to see teens participate more.  
  • We welcome photos to accompany your reports & photos of contributors....

Internships & Scholarship Opportunities

AAFSW $2,000 College Scholarship 
  • Entry Deadline:  Tuesday, April 2, 2013
  • for forms and guidelines, go to:  www.aafsw.org

Internship at Department of Commerce 'Green Store'
  • seeking intern to open, promote and manage 'Green Store'
  • Green Store is store of free, used but still usable office supplies
  • hours and days are flexible and convenient
  • be on the cutting edge of new and innovative concept
  • build your resume
  • Interested?  Contact gogreen@doc.gov

FSYF seeks Graphic Designer for Quarterly Youth Newsletter 
  • FSYF seeks graphic designer to create Youth Newsletter 
  • Build Your Resume!
  • Work from anywhere!
  • Need to have your own software (e.g. Publisher, Pages, etc)
  • Be prepared to show samples of your work
  • Interested?  Contact Jennifer Odlum at fsyf@fsyf.org

With Questions or Contributions, Contact:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

About town

Professional Development Fellowships Available from FLO

FLO is now accepting applications for the 2014 Professional Development Fellowship (PDF) program. The PDF program is open to adult spouses and partners of direct-hire U.S. government employees from all agencies serving overseas under Chief of Mission Authority.  The PDF program is designed to assist spouses and partners to maintain, enhance, and/or develop their professional skills. SUBJECT TO BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS, awards of up to $2,500 will be granted on a reimbursable basis for enrichment activities. Selected applicants must fund a minimum of 25 percent of the allowed reimbursable cost of the
proposed activities while the Fellowship award will cover the additional allowed reimbursable cost up to the $2,500 maximum. Activities can include, but are not limited to, continuing education and distance learning through an accredited university, professional development, and participation in professional conferences. After activities are completed, the selectee will submit the necessary documents to support the reimbursement request and will be reimbursed accordingly.  Application deadline is May 15, 2013.
For detailed guidelines and the 2014 PDF application form, go to: www.state.gov/m/dghr/flo/c21642.htm.
For questions or more information, email: FLOAskFellowship2014@state.gov.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

MHN workshop on Reintegration

The Ten Top Immediate Reentry Challenges for the employee
                                  (taken from MHN's reintegration participant handbook)

1.  Boredom- the excitements and challenges of the UT are gone
2.  No one wants to hear about your experiences
3.  Difficult to explain the UT experience
4.  Reverse home sickness
5.  Relationships have changed
6.  You have changed & people aren't happy about it
7.  People misunderstand your words and actions
8.  Feelings of alienation
9.  Inability to apply new knowledge and skills
10.  Compartmentalization and loss of experience
Agree?   Disagree? 

For a copy of the handbook write us at FLOaskUT@state.gov

Want to learn more?
Visit our webpage at http://www.state.gov/m/dghr/flo/c14521.htm

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Foreign Service Kids

FSYF Winter 2013 Youth Newsletter Now Online Hear what Foreign Service kids around the world have to say about where they are living and what they are doing. Read the Winter 2013 Foreign Service Youth Newsletter for teens: “Here, There, and Everywhere.” In this issue: find thoughtful poetry from Kinshasa and Falls Church; learn how to make a Russian blini and start experimenting in your kitchen; find out what makes Mexico City and Reykjavik special; test your knowledge of Poland with a fun crossword puzzle, and discover what TV show and book your fellow FS kids are watching and recommending.

Foreign Service kids of all ages and in all locations are welcome to contribute, share their talents and earn a chance to win a $30 Amazon gift certificate.

Visit www.fsyf.org

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Employment opportunity in FLO

Family members returning to the Washington area may be interested in applying for the available full-time Division Chief (Supervisory Family Liaison Specialist—GS-14) position in the Family Liaison Office (FLO).

This position provides supervisory management of FLO personnel and programs, as well as policy guidance, program development and outreach, and liaison on advocacy issues. In addition to supervising staff and prioritizing work, the incumbent in this position also assists the FLO Director with FLO’s advocacy agenda, manages the FLO budget, and performs outreach on behalf of FLO in the Department, with other agencies, and at missions overseas.

This is a two-year limited appointment, with potential to be extended up to a maximum of five years (Excepted Service, Schedule A—not in the Competitive Service). The selected candidate will receive a two-year non-career term appointment with benefits (FERS, TSP, FEGLI, and FEHB). More than one candidate may be selected from the vacancy announcement. This position reports to the Director of FLO.

The application deadline is March 21, 2013.

For details and application instructions, visit FLO’s website at www.state.gov/documents/organization/206069.pdf

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Unaccompanied but not Alone!

Are you aware of all the resources, support and knowledge available to you?

Take a moment to look over FLO's website http://www.state.gov/m/dghr/flo/c14521.htm  .  

A little of what you will find on the site....
If you are considering an unaccompanied tour you might want to download The Decision Tree.  It will help you decide where to live and tell you about some of the benefits and allowances.

Be sure and fill out a Contact Form.    We do not receive a list of employees or family members on an unaccompanied tour so we won't know to send you information unless YOU contact us.

Do you have children?  Does your spouse work for Department of State, US AID, Commerce, or Agriculture?  You might want to consider nominating them for a Medal of Recognition.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Tip from the Field

Recently FLO received the following tip:

Hi FLO--

We are currently waiting for my husband to return from Afghanistan...about 50 more days and his year will be finished.  

I saw a friend whose husband is in the military with these "hug a hero" dolls that have a picture of her husband on them, and her twin girls each had one to carry around.  I am a mother of three young girls, and this is something that would priceless for the State Dept. to employ.  http://www.operationhugahero.org/tag/free-hug-a-hero-dolls/

There is also another military idea of making life-size posters of the service parent to put on the wall in the house...that would be a great thing as well.

Thanks for thinking of adding something like this for UT families.  The children really need reminders and something physical they can see and hold.