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, March 31, 2014


Foreign Service Youth Foundation Contest Deadlines are April 15!

Foreign Service youth have a unique world perspective and the Foreign Service Youth Foundation (FSYF) contests offer them an opportunity to share their talents and express themselves as artists, writers, videographers, and global citizens.

Cash awards will be presented to contest winners.

The deadlines for the FSYF Art Contest, Essay Contest, Kid Vid Contest, and the Community Service Award are Tuesday, April 15, 2014.
For more information, visit FSYF’s contests and awards page: http://www.fsyf.org/Default.aspx?pageId=1463742

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


DACOR Offers Dreyfus Scholarship 

& Fellowship Awards

DACOR, an organization of foreign affairs professionals, offers Dreyfus Scholarships and Fellowships to children and grandchildren of Foreign Service Officers. 

The purpose of this substantial bequest by Ambassador Louis G. Dreyfus Jr. is to support the education of children of Foreign Service Officers at Yale University or The Hotchkiss School (Lakeville, CT)

Application deadline for the 2014 - 2015 academic year is May 1, 2014

For more information, contact Ms. Brett Alison Gold, Associate Director of Education at DACOR. Call 202 682-0500 x17 or email bgold@dacorbacon.org.

A Great year to make Your Real Estate Move

A Great Year to Make Your Real Estate Move

Date:  Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Time12:00 – 1:00PM

Place: Department of State
            Harry S Truman Building (Main DOS Building)
            2201 C Street NW
            Room 1205
            Washington, DC 20520

SDFCU is happy to provide a Seminar presented by CU Realty Realtor, Arturo Cruz. This seminar will provide a market overview of the surrounding real estate market, ideas on choosing/using a realtor, as well as a basic overview of what you should expect with the home buying process.

Specific focus will be designed to answer the following:

  1. What is happening in the Real Estate Market?
  2. Why should I buy a home?
  3. General Home Buying Process Flow.
  4. What to expect throughout the process?
  5. Questions & Answer period for your personal questions.

A Mortgage Specialist will also be available after the presentation for questions in reference to your home financing!

Please join us for this valuable and informative seminar.

This seminar is open to members as well as non- members of SDFCU.
Non-Members of SDFCU who submit a Membership Application on the day of the seminar will be entered into a drawing to win a $25 gift card!

Admission is free but seating is limited.
Please send an email to mortgage@sdfcu.org to reserve your seat.
Presented by:
State Department Federal Credit Union
CU Realty

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Life in the Hooch

"Hey Roomie!"

Who knew that at this point in life, of living on your own or with your spouse and kids, you may be reverting back to having a roommate??

Welcome to life in a hooch!

Excerpted from DSMP Director, Dr. Chantay P. White's article "The Reality of Living with a Roommate" are some great 'Tips for living in the field' which will help smooth out any wrinkles that may arise from sharing tight quarters with a roomie:

Space:                  be considerate.  You each get 1/2, it's that easy unless otherwise mutually 

Permission:          the golden rule is to ask permission before using your roomie's personal
                               items; no exceptions.

Shhhhh:                it comes down to negotiation.  Schedule when "quiet times" and "activity 
                               hours" are, then respect them.

Cleanliness:          it's next to godliness, or so the saying goes.  But there's no need to be a 
                               'god/goddess' but you do need to keep your space clean.  Agree upon the
                               cleanliness expectation from the beginning.

Moola:                   talk money from the start;  decide how the common household items will 
                               be divied up

Listen:                  be a good listener; be patient; make comprimises; be understanding; be 
                              asssertive (not passive or aggressive)
Communicate:     Don't let things fester.  Repectful communication to solve conflicts 
                               that may arise, will go far to make a happy home.  Agreeing on mutually 
                               acceptable "rules" for living together will make having a roomie more fun!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Register Now!

Upcoming Job Fair for
Eligible Family Members

Registration for the May 2nd GO-TO Job Fair is now open. If you are interested in attending, please visit the registration page. This registration process is password protected and is open only to the eligible family members (EFMs) of the Foreign Affairs community. The event password is: overseas.

Although there is no cost to register or attend this event, you will need to obtain a ticket from the registration site.
The virtual ticket category is for our EFMs who are currently residing overseas and are unable to physically attend. The in-person ticket category is for EFMs in the Washington, DC area.

Once you have registered, please seriously consider creating or updating a LinkedIn profile. You will receive an invitation to join the GO-TO Job Fair group on LinkedIn as soon as your registration is received. This LinkedIn group will also be open to all participating employers. The sooner you join the group, the sooner prospective employers will be able to learn about you and consider you for their openings.

In next week's edition of the GO-TO Job Fair newsletter, we will include many tips on making your LinkedIn profile as effective as possible.

10:00am – 3:00pm

Who should attend?
Any eligible family member of the Foreign Affairs community interested in working on the local economy while residing overseas.

Where and when?
The GO-TO Job Fair is being held at the Foreign Service Institute in Arlington, VA, on Friday, May 2nd.

If you have any questions, contact Debbie Thompson, the GO-TO Job Fair coordinator, at gotojobfair@gmail.com.

Sponsored by the Family Liaison Office and the Transition Center.

Home Buying Seminar

First Time Home Buying

~Free Seminar sponsored by
 State Department Federal Credit Union

Date:   Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Time:  12:00 – 1:00PM

Place: Foreign Service Institute
            4000 Arlington Boulevard
            Kennan Auditorium
            Room C-3114
            Arlington, VA

SDFCU is pleased to present a seminar focused on First Time Home Buying. This seminar will be presented by one of our very knowledgeable CU Realty realtors. This seminar will provide a market overview of the surrounding real estate market, ideas on choosing/using a realtor, as well as a basic overview of what you should expect with the home buying process.

Specific focus will be designed to answer the following:

  • What is the real estate market like now?
  • The purchase process
  • Home values by area
  • Value pitfalls
  • Maximizing value
  • Financing your home
  • Question & Answer period for your personal questions
 Please join us for this valuable and informative seminar.

This seminar is open to members as well as non- members of SDFCU.
Non-Members of SDFCU who complete a Membership Application 
on the day of the seminar will be entered into a drawing to win a $25 gift card!

Admission is free.
Please send an email to mortgage@sdfcu.org to reserve your seat.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Go-To Job Fair!

         Save the Date!

The U.S. Department of State’s Family Liaison Office (FLO) and Foreign Service Institute’s Transition Center are sponsoring the Global Opportunities - Talent Optimization (GO-TO) Job Fair on May 2, 2014. This special event is open to all adult foreign affairs Eligible Family Members (EFM) and Members of Household (MOH).

     Large number of international employers
•     Career advisors
•     Entrepreneurial experts
•     Foreign Service tax expert
•     Volunteer family members telling their personal success stories
•     Work permit information
•     Teleworking information
•     Internet connectivity for employers and job seekers
•     Printing capability
•     Refreshments

    EFM/MOHs located overseas can register as virtual participants with access to:
•     Telephone appointments with the employers
•     Streaming connection for real-time questions to employers

When: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Where: Foreign Service Institute
4000 Arlington Boulevard
 Arlington, Virginia

Pre-registration will begin on March 15th.  We highly encourage all interested candidates to create a LinkedIn profile because all employers will have access to a special group: GO-TO Job Fair.  If you have any questions concerning the GO-TO Job Fair please contact Debbie Thompson at gotojobfair@gmail.com.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

FSYF Community Service Awards

Foreign Service Youth Foundation
Community Service Awards 2014

Accepting Applications
Deadline:  April 15, 2014

 The Foreign Service Youth Foundation is now accepting applications for the Foreign Service Youth Foundation (FSYF) Community Service Awards.  

The Community Service Awards honor Foreign Service youth and teens who have demonstrated outstanding volunteer efforts at home or abroad either in community service or in service to their peers while facing the challenges of growing up in an internationally mobile lifestyle. 

Nominate your child, your friend, or yourself by April 15, 2014.  
Two winners will each receive $2,000

Both winners will also be honored at the Youth Awards Ceremony in June 2014.

Funding for the awards is made possible by Clements Worldwide Insurance

Clements Worldwide

Nominees will be evaluated based on outstanding volunteer effort in community service or in service to their peers.  This award will be administered by the Foreign Service Youth Foundation.

Winners will have satisfied at least one of the following requirements in an outstanding way: 
  • served the needs of a particular group or increased awareness about their needs; 
  • encouraged relations with the host country; 
  • kept alive an American tradition; 
  • met an emergency need.

all U.S. Foreign Service youth are eligible to participate 
(except those whose parents are judges of the Community Service Awards or members of the FSYF Board of Directors)  

The term U.S. Foreign Service youth applies to dependent minors of U.S. citizen employees currently on assignment or eligible for assignment overseas under Chief of Mission authority.

For information, guidelines, and nomination form, go to the FSYF website at www.fsyf.org.

Entry is free to FSYF members.  To join FSYF, visit FSYF website www.fsyf.org
If you are not a member of FSYF (and do not wish to join at this time) you can still enter the FSYF contests for an entry fee of $20 per person.  

If you have questions concerning FSYF membership or the Community Service Awards please email FSYF@fsyf.org or call (703) 731-2960.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Celebrate Women's History Month 

with AAFSW! 

"Emerging Diversity of Women World Leaders" 
Panel Discussion 
Tuesday, March 18 at 10:00 am
AAFSW members and friends are invited to join the sixth commemoration of Women's History Month with a panel discussion on 
"Emerging Diversity of Women World Leaders." 

The event will be held 
Tuesday, March 18 at 10:00 a.m.
Benjamin Franklin Diplomatic Reception Room 
Department of State

 Informal coffee/tea at 10:00 a.m.
Presentation 10:30 - (nlt) 12:00

The panel will feature three accomplished women 
who have contributed to advancing women's causes in important ways:

  • Dr. Alia Hatoug-Bouran, Ambassador from Jordan to the U.S. 
  • Mrs. Sultana Hakimi, President of the Muslim Women's Association       and spouse of Eklil Hakimi, Afghan Ambassador to the U.S. 
  • Elizabeth Becker, an award-winning author and journalist.                                         (See Panelist Bios below)
RSVP by Friday, March 14 
using the coupon in the upcoming March issue of Global Link, or register and pay online

Cost: $15.00. 

Attendees should access the State Department via C Street entrance.
All attendees without a State Department badge will need to submit: 
  • Driver's License Number or passport number
  • Date of birth
For more info contact office@aafsw.org or 703-820-5420 
Dr. Alia Hatoug-Bouran became Ambassador from Jordan to the United States on September 16, 2010. Before her current post, she served as Jordan's Ambassador to the United Kingdom. She has also served as Ambassador to Belgium and to the European Commission, Norway, and Luxembourg.
In addition to her diplomatic service, Ambassador Hatoug-Bouran has also held several Jordanian government posts including Minister for Tourism and Antiquities and Minister of Environment and Coordinator of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.
Ambassador Bouran was also an associate professor of Environmental Science at the University of Jordan. She studied at Moscow University and holds a PhD in Environmental Science and Strategic Planning from the Russian Academy branch Nobosi Perske. She speaks Arabic, English and Russian.

Mrs. Sultana Hakimi, President of the Muslim Women's Association and spouse of Eklil Hakimi, Afghan Ambassador to the U.S., was born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan. She obtained her master's degree in Electronic Engineering at the Kabul Polytechnic Institute. When the political situation in Kabul deteriorated in 1993, she and her husband moved to Orange County, California. While in California, Mrs. Hakimi constantly supported homeless Afghan families, through funding and donations.
In 2006, her husband became the Afghan Ambassador to China. Mrs. Hakimi then engaged in various diplomatic activities with women's associations in Beijing. She acted as an advocate for the educational problems of Afghanistan's children and women with relevant Chinese agencies and organized several exhibitions to promote Afghanistan's unique culture and products.
From 2009 to 2010, while her husband served as Afghan Ambassador to Japan, she was involved in many efforts to raise money for disabled children in Afghanistan. She actively worked with Refugee International to increase support and funding for displaced Afghans.
During her three-year tenure in Washington, DC, Mrs. Hakimi has advocated for women's rights, education, and economic empowerment in Afghanistan. She is currently the President of the Muslim Women's Association, a member of the U.S.-Afghan Women's Council, and on the Advisory Board of THIS.
Mrs. Hakimi is constantly engaged in forums on the importance of education in Afghanistan, as well as women's rights, and  sustaining the progress that has been made in Afghanistan.

Elizabeth Becker, an award-winning author and journalist, has covered national and international affairs at the New York Times, National Public Radio and the Washington Post.
At the New York Times, Ms. Becker covered the Pentagon, homeland security, international economics, and agriculture. As the Times International Economics correspondent, she reported on trade and globalization from Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States.
Before joining the Times, she was the Senior Foreign Editor at NPR where she directed all foreign coverage. She received two DuPont-Columbia Awards as executive producer for reporting of South Africa's first democratic elections and the Rwanda genocide. She was a member of the New York Times staff that won the 2002 Pulitzer for public service.
Ms. Becker began her career as a war reporter in Cambodia in 1972, interviewed Pol Pot and is an expert on the Khmer Rouge and modern Cambodia. She holds a degree in South Asian Studies from the University of Washington and also studied at the Kendriya Hindi Sansthaan in Agra, India. She is the author of Overbooked: the Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism; When the War was Over: Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge; American's Viet Nam War; and Bophana. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


AAFSW Offers Student Merit Scholarships 

The Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide (AAFSW) is now accepting applications for the following scholarships

 1) AAFSW High School Merit Scholarship for high school senior or gap year
      students entering college in Fall 2014 - $2,000.   

2) New AAFSW Current College Student Merit Scholarship for current college freshman,     sophomore or juniors continuing college in Fall 2014 - $2,000.

3) The Judy Felt Memorial Volunteerism Scholarship 
     for eligible applicants in categories 1 and 2:   $1,000.

Please note that all applicants must also be children of an AAFSW member. 
To join, visit www.aafsw.org.

Applications are available online here
The deadline for submission of all materials is April 2, 2014.  


For further questions, email scholarship@aafsw.org 
or contact the AAFSW office: office@aafsw.org or 703-820-5420. 

Calling All Book Lovers!
AAFSW Seeks Volunteers for BookRoom; BookPlace
http://ih.constantcontact.com/fs176/1109815385219/img/10.gifMost State Department employees and family members know about Art & BookFair, the popular AAFSW fundraising event held every October in the State Department Exhibit Hall. But not everyone is aware of AAFSW BookRoom and BookPlace, where used books are sorted, priced, and offered for sale year round in the State Department HST basement.

What - and Where - are BookRoom and BookPlace?
BookRoom is a small area in the State Department basement where a cadre of dedicated AAFSW volunteers sort and price donated books throughout the year, preparing them for the October Art & BookFair. Many of these books are offered for sale in the AAFSW BookPlace, located in  the Foggy Bottom Mall in the HST building (down the hall from Bank of America). In BookPlace, volunteer cashiers are on duty from 12 noon to 2:30 pm, Monday through Friday, November through September. (BookPlace is closed every October.) Books of all kinds are available, and State Department employees and their families are welcome to browse and buy.

Though we are fortunate to have many dedicated volunteers, the needs of the Foreign Service require some of them to leave us for overseas posts. We are always happy to find new people who are interested in helping out. We welcome active duty and retired volunteers.

What Do Volunteers Do? 
Volunteers sort and price the donated books we receive throughout the year. Pricing varies according to each book. Volunteers also shelve the books in BookPlace, and serve as cashiers during the time BookPlace is open. 

When Do Volunteers Work?
Many volunteers put in a few hours each week, as sorters/pricers, shelvers or as cashiers. But if you are available only once or twice a month, we would still appreciate your time!

What If I Don't Have a State Badge? 
If you have a current diplomatic passport, you can go to the State Department Reception Desk and get a special visitor's badge that does not require an escort. Otherwise, new volunteers need to be escorted by the BookRoom manager or a volunteer with an escort badge. If you become a regular volunteer, we can submit a request for a State badge so you can easily enter the Department.

I'm interested in art. Do you need help with Art Corner? 
Yes! Art Corner is a big part of the October Art & BookFair, and our Art Corner team works for much of the year sorting and pricing international art and craft donations. The Art Corner team can always use additional volunteers.

If you'd like to be part of a fun, dedicated group of Foreign Service family members, and can spare a few hours each week - or each month - please consider volunteering in BookRoom, BookPlace, or on the Art Corner team. If you'd like to join us, please contact the AAFSW office at office@aafsw.org or (703) 820-5420.
Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide
(703) 820-5420