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, November 25, 2013

Coping with the Stress of Change
  Wednesday December 4, 2013 @0930-1030

S – T – R – E – S – S….it comes at all of us in one form or another.  However one of the greatest sources of stress is change

The FLO Unaccompanied Tour Support Team knows all about change.

Change of location, change of routine, change of lifestyle, change of parenting skills, changes in relationships due to separation, and the list goes on.  

We hope you’ll join us to discuss coping skills in dealing with change and the stress that comes along with it at our next (virtual) conference.

You can join us two ways:
·       in person in the FLO Conference room or
·   virtually via telephone – see “attendance directions” below.   

There’s no need to RSVP, just mark your calendars and join us for some stress relieving tips.

No matter what kind of change you’re dealing with there’s no reason to let it get the better of you.  
FLO UT Team is here to help!  Conference session will be led by our partners at MHN.

Any questions please contact us at FLOAskUT@state.gov or call 202-647-1076 or 1-800-440-0397.

“Attendance” Directions:
In person:  FLO Conference room 1239 of the Harry S. Truman Building.  If you do not have a state badge or diplomatic passport, please let us know and someone will be available to escort you.

Virtual participation:  Call in from wherever you are by following these instructions:
To call in, dial 1-800-531-3250 and enter 9690198 for the conference code when prompted.  The orientation session will begin promptly at 0930 am EST.

The handbook and powerpoint presentation can be found by following these instructions:
1.      Go to https://members.mhn.com and use 'unaccompaniedtour' as the company code.
2.      Under "Work & Life" tab, click "Unaccompanied Tours"

3.      Download, bookmark, or print the presentation.


AAFSW cordially invites 

you and your spouse to join us 

to celebrate this special holiday by sharing your customs, traditions, and food

Please come to a fun Christmas party
 and bring a small gift of $10.00 to exchange with other guests 

Friday, December 6 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Randolph Towers Building Community Room
 4001 North Ninth Street, Arlington, VA 22203  

Directions:  As you enter Randolph Towers, the elevators are located at the right:  
go down to Level G1. The Community Room is to your immediate left.
Transportation/Parking:  Ballston Metro is 2 blocks away. Parking is available on the  
street, or inexpensive parking is available at Ballston Mall (mall parking  
entrances are on N. Glebe Road and N. Randolph Street).
Please RSVP to Sheila Switzer (sswitzer9@verizon.net 703-623-6695) or 
the AAFSW office at office@aafsw.org or 703-820-5420 
and let  us know what food you are contributing to the party. 
We look forward to  seeing you!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Road to Financial Independence:

 A Guide for Twentysomethings

Join SDFCU for this one hour presentation that will guide you through the fundamentals of financial independence. Hear top tips on money and checking account management, ways to start or boost your savings, how you can use credit to your advantage and the traps to avoid. We'll also cover the most important things to know while you rent, and smart strategies for buying a car. Whether you’re just starting out or would like a refresher on the fundamentals, plan on spending about an hour with us for this valuable and informative webinar.

**This webinar is free and open to both members and non-members of SDFCU.**
Please register for the session on Nov 21, 2013 12:00 PM EST at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5402395761934767362

Please register for the session on Nov 27, 2013 8:00 AM EST at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/9061197724733124354

Friday, November 8, 2013


  Everyone loves a deal and     AAFSW (Association of      American Foreign Service  Worldwide) is offering up a    great “two-fer” this coming:

 Tuesday, November 12th from 6-9 p.m. 

 in the Capitol Room of Oakwood Apartments at 501 Roosevelt Blvd., Falls Church, VA 22044

The always fun and popular AAFSW Happy Hour is combining with an EFM Art and Business Fair to showcase the creative and professional talents of EFMs. 

The evening will be all about show casing the talents of the EFM while enjoying some fun with friends.

It will be a great opportunity to welcome new spouses/partners to the Foreign Service community, Network with EFM artists and entrepreneurs, shop for holiday gifts and great services from EFM businesses, enjoy wine, tapas and great conversation and learn more about useful Foreign Service groups and resources.

For more information or to RSVP, ask questions, or sign up as an exhibitor, please contact office@aafsw.org or (703) 820-5420.  www.aafsw.org/

We want YOU

Just a few minutes of your time to help us, help you better.

The results will help us identify your needs, prioritize our resources, and shape better programs for YOU.
 All Eligible Family Members, Members of Household, US Government direct-hire employees and
 non-State employees and family members are encouraged to take the survey.

Survey closes soon so don’t miss the opportunity to make your voice heard!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Curve Ball….

Sometimes life throws us a curve ball.  We rarely see them coming and even when we do, they always seem to catch us not quite ready.

Divorce and death are two of the biggest curve balls life throws.  As well as the very obvious grief that we go through, we need to financially prepare for the changes that these curve balls bring. 

State Department Federal Credit Union has designed a seminar to address the challenges faced when you get hit by a curve ball and you find yourself single again.

Don’t miss their upcoming seminars, held conveniently at either Main State or FSI.

Financial Planning if Single Again
Through Loss or Death of a Spouse

·        Wednesday, November 13th - 12pm-1pm - Main State Room 1205
·        Thursday, November 21st - 12pm-1pm - Foreign Service Institute Room C-3114
E-mail seminarquestions@sdfcu.org for more information and to register

Wednesday, November 6, 2013



Slowdowns, shutdowns, sequesters.   Doesn’t matter the name, they are all affecting us.  We’re all in cutback mode trying to stretch our dollars and invest wisely during these scary economic times.

However, the best way to feel in control is to empower yourself with information. 

State Department Federal Credit Union has created some seminars to help you do just that.  And they’ve made them convenient by offering them at Main State or FSI.

If you are a member, or thinking about becoming a member, of State Department Federal Credit Union, you won’t want to miss these upcoming seminars:

Get the Most Out of Your TSP 

·       Thursday, November 7th - 12pm-1pm - Foreign Service Institute Room C-3114
·       Thursday, November 14th - 12pm-1pm - Main State Room 1205 
·       Wednesday, November 20th - 12pm-1pm - Foreign Service Institute Room C-3114
E-mail seminarquestions@sdfcu.org for more information and to register

Making the Most of Your Membership 

·       Tuesday, November 14th - 12pm-1pm - Foreign Service Institute Room C-3114
E-mail jbell@sdfcu.org for more information and to register

Friday, November 1, 2013

 AAFSW Happy Hour and EFM Art and Business Fair

When:         Tuesday, November 12, 6-9 p.m.
Where:        Capitol Room, Oakwood Apartments
                   501 Roosevelt Blvd.
                   Falls Church, VA 22044

Welcome new spouses/partners to the Foreign Service community!

Network with EFM artists and entrepreneurs Shop for holiday gifts and great services from EFM businesses! 
                     Enjoy wine, tapas and great conversation
                     Learn more about useful Foreign Service groups and resources.

If you have a business of any kind (including freelance work) or a creative pursuit, whether paid or not, please become an exhibitor!

You are very welcome to sell your work and/or find new clients at the Fair.

The only requirements are current membership in AAFSW and a contribution to our refreshment table.

Even if you are not in the DC area, AAFSW would be happy to display samples of your work, brochures, etc.

To RSVP, ask questions, or sign up as an exhibitor, please contact office@aafsw.org or (703) 820-5420.

See you on Nov. 12 -- because we truly believe we are all in this together!

Come network and make some new friends!

"AAFSW: Where the Foreign Service Becomes a Community"