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.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

RESUME WORKSHOP - Foreign Service Youth Foundation

FSYF Resume Workshop- THIS WEEKEND

Sunday, January 03, 2016 1:00 PM / Lisa Mooneyham (Admin)

FSYF invites high school juniors and seniors as well as those already attending college to join us for our first Resume Workshop. This three hour event will cover best practices and techniques that will give you the tools to document your education, prior work experience, and highlight the special skills you have accumulated as a Foreign Service youth. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Unaccompanied, But Not Alone.....

Unaccompanied, But Not Alone: Diplomacy at Home for the Holidays - DIPNOTE 
(U.S. Department of State Official Blog)

December 24, 2015

The nature of diplomacy has changed since the events of September 11, 2001. Today, a number of State Department employees serve around the world in roles where their jobs and living situations lack many of the simple creature comforts and normalcy we are generally accustomed to. And in many cases, for matters of safety and security, these employees are asked to serve in difficult circumstances without their loved ones nearby. The individuals who choose to serve on unaccompanied tours – whether in Kabul, Islamabad, Baghdad or any number of other high-risk posts – are doing an amazing service for our country.

Holiday ornaments hang on a Christmas tree in the Blue Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., December 3, 2014 

As we approach this holiday season, we are reminded of the importance of keeping the children and families of our diplomats serving on unaccompanied tours in our thoughts. Although these family members are not deployed themselves, they – like loved ones – are serving their country and also deserve our thanks for the sacrifices they make in the name of diplomacy.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry poses for a photo with the families of U.S. government employees on assignment at unaccompanied posts around the world, who endure long periods of separation from their loved ones, even at the holidays, at the annual Unaccompanied Tour Holiday Family Reception at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on December 16, 2015. [State Department photo]

This sentiment is the driving force behind the Office of the Chief of Protocol’s annual holiday reception for these important members of the State Department family. It allows us to extend our thanks in person for the sacrifices these family members are asked to make when their loved ones take on duties that require them to be apart for extended periods of time. Secretary Kerry captured the sentiment well in his remarks last week when he said, “I express my personal, deepest affection for and gratitude to every single one of you for serving your country the way you do. It’s a remarkable gift, and we treasure it.”
This year, we were proud to host a performance by three members of the Tony Award®-winning Broadway hit “Matilda the Musical.” It excited us to see the joy in the eyes of the children in attendance as they decorated craft keepsake boxes to preserve their most treasured items for sharing with their parents upon return from their tours abroad. Our annual reception is only one way the State Department recognizes the sacrifices of these children while their loved ones are serving abroad. As Secretary Kerry noted, “We aim to help people through difficult times here at the Department.” 

The cast of the Tony Award®-winning Broadway hit Matilda, the Musical, performs the popular song "Naughty," at the annual Unaccompanied Tours Holiday Reception at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on December 16, 2015. The holiday reception honors the families of U.S. government employees on assignment at unaccompanied posts around the world, who endure long periods of separation from their loved ones, even at the holidays. [State Department photo]

Through the Medals and Certificates Program, the Family Liaison Office (FLO) has arranged for nearly 6,500 medals to be awarded to children as symbols of our appreciation for their service to our country. The medals are a tangible recognition that children are doing their part here at home while their parents serve this country abroad. FLO also provides year-round support to these families through workshops, counseling and coping skills sessions, networking activities, and offers online resources to support the unique challenges parents and children involved in unaccompanied tours may face.
I join Secretary Kerry and the broader State Department family in expressing my personal, deepest affection for and gratitude to the growing number of employees and families who are separated during unaccompanied tours. Know that you are in our thoughts today and every day of the year, and we wish you a joyous holiday and happy New Year.

About the Author: Ambassador Peter A. Selfridge serves as Chief of the Office of Protocol at the U.S. Department of State.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Happy, healthy holidays

'Tis the season of joy and togetherness - and crowds, lines, overspending, and too much togetherness, at times. It's little wonder that so many of us feel stressed during the holidays.
This month's Member Pulse digest features tips on how to have a healthy, happy holiday. Just click on the titles below to go directly to the articles.

  • Ahhh....mazing gifts to soothe stress
    So, you've made your list, checked it twice, but still don't know what to get for that special someone? If the last few months have been stressful for him or her, a soothing gift may be just the ticket, especially during a busy holiday season. Read on for some ideas to relieve stress.
  • Stress, depression and the holidays: Tips for coping
    With the holiday season comes increased demands on your time - such as hosting, shopping, baking, cleaning, and visiting, just to name a few. These practical tips can help keep stress and depression at bay.

  • Wellness coaching for stress management
    Is the stress of the holiday season wearing you down? A personal wellness coach can offer extra support to help you make a plan for stress management.*