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, June 23, 2016

Introducing the New NCE Registry
The Bureau of Human Resources is pleased to introduce the Department of State’s Non-Competitive Eligibility (NCE) Registry, which will allow Department of State hiring managers to identify eligible family members returning from overseas who have earned non-competitive eligibility or who have Civil Service reinstatement rights.

Why an NCE Registry?
Family members who have earned NCE or who have CS reinstatement eligibility can use it to non-competitively apply for positions in the Civil Service. Under Executive Order 12721, Executive Branch agencies have the authority to non-competitively appoint to a competitive service position in the United States, family members who have completed 52 weeks (or 2087 hours) of service in certain positions overseas.

How does it work?
Eligible family members enroll by filling out and submitting the registry application. Their information will then be added to the registry. When a hiring manager has an open vacancy, he/she can request a list of potential applicants based upon their skills and experience.

                    Learn more about the registry and download the application on                              FLO’s NCE Registry webpage

Email FLOAskEmployment@state.gov with questions.

NCE Registry Webinar on June 29 at 9:00 a.m. ET

Join FLO and HR Shared Services on June 29 at 9:00 a.m. ET for a webinar to learn about the NCE Registry, including eligibility and how to apply. To participate in the webinar, go to https://deptofstatehr.adobeconnect.com/_a1002391156/flo/. Enter as a guest and type your first name and post. You will need a computer with a high-speed internet connection and speakers. (Webinar recording will be available after the event. Email FLOGlobalWebinars@state.gov).

Monday, June 20, 2016


Travel Safety Series

American women are increasingly traveling all corners of the globe. Their destinations range from the unusual and exotic to more common destinations for American travelers, such as Europe. Europe is often painted as an ideal international travel destination—due to the fact that relatively few communication barriers exist, cultural differences are manageable, and European countries generally espouse similar societal principles and values as the US (i.e. freedom, democracy, tolerance, etc).

Furthermore, most prime European travel destinations enjoy generally positive reputations in terms of safety, security, and openness—including for female visitors and residents.

Despite these popular conceptions and narratives, 
violence against women in Europe—like so many other places in the world—is a keen reality.

Carrie Knori Pasquarello, CEO Global Secure Resources Inc.
Jennifer Surface, Founder and Principal, Vantage Intelligence

Read the full post here.  

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Children's Resources

Resources for Transitioning Back to the U.S. with Children

FLO’s publication Bouncing Back: Transition and Re-entry Planning for the Parents of Foreign Service Youth provides parents with guidance on how to help their child transition to the U.S. The publication includes research and resources from professionals in the field of youth mobility and was written by adults and children who experienced the Foreign Service lifestyle firsthand. For more information on transitions and the Foreign Service child, visit FLO’s website.

Parents may be interested in signing up their children for the     Youth Security Overseas Seminar held throughout the summer by the Transition Center at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI). The Transition Center also offers courses for adults, including Encouraging Resiliency in the Foreign Service Child and           Raising Bilingual Children. For questions about education and youth resources, email FLOAskEducation@state.gov.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Passport Acceptance Day at the Washington Passport Agency

On Saturday, June 25, the Department will host a Passport Acceptance Day at the Washington Passport Agency from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.  This event will offer appointment and walk-in services for first-time regular (tourist) passport applicants, all minors, and individuals who are ineligible to renew their passports by mail.  Service will not be available for individuals who are eligible to renew or request an extension of their passport by mail (Form DS-82 or Form DS-5504).  Customers with appointments on this day will receive priority.

Customers must be eligible to complete, execute, and submit the passport application form DS-11 and have no immediate travel plans.  Routine passport processing time is currently up to six weeks.  Expedited processing time is three weeks.  Expedited service will be available for an additional $60 fee per application.  Will Call service and same-day passport issuance will not be available.    Individuals who want to renew a passport using Form DS-82 must apply via U.S. mail.

Event:                         Passport Acceptance Day
Date:                           Saturday, June 25, 2016
9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. 

Where:                       Washington Passport Agency
                                    600 19th St, N.W., Sidewalk Level (middle entrance)
                                    Washington, DC 20006

                        Appointments:           Toll-free number at 1-877-487-2778  

Payment:                    Check or money order only


For more information on how to apply for a U.S. passport, including necessary documents and fees, please visit travel.state.gov. U.S. citizens also may obtain passport information by phone, in English and Spanish, by calling the National Passport Information Center (NPIC) toll-free line at 1-877-487-2778.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Meditation for Kids

Research consistently shows the positive impact of meditation. For developing brains, meditation has as much as or perhaps even more promise than it has for adults and studies have confirmed the cognitive and emotional benefits of meditation for school-aged children. While there are now apps, classes and books that guide children in meditation, it doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult.
Here are some exercises that Jillian Pransky, director of therapeutic yoga teacher training for YogaWorks and the mother of a          12-year-old, recommends trying with your children:
  • Elevator down: Imagine an elevator going down three floors. (Older children may prefer to imagine more floors.) Imagine now that the elevator is in your body. When you are sitting, imagine the top floor is from your head to your chest. The next floor is from your chest to your belly, and the third from your belly to your seat. Begin at the crown of your head. On your next exhale mentally chant “three” as you imagine the elevator lowering from your crown to your chest. Pause for an inhale. When the doors open, imagine your breath coming in and freshening up the elevator, the way opening a window brings a fresh breeze into the room. On the next exhale, mentally chant “two.” Imagine going down another flight to your belly. Continue to the ground floor, chanting “one.” Pause and feel your seat on the ground floor and enjoy landing fully.
  • Finger-counting breaths: This is a useful do-anywhere exercise for the middle of the day to calm a child who is having a meltdown at a birthday party or just to re-center. Create gentle fists with your hands, and with each breath, unfurl a finger from your palm. For example, on your first exhale open your left thumb from your fist. Pause and enjoy an inhale. On your next exhale, unfurl your left index finger. Pause and enjoy an inhale. Continue until you have two open palms on your lap. Sometimes we “om” for each finger unfurled, or use a personal mantra that evokes the feeling we are looking for, like peace, love, quiet, calm or relax. When children make up the mantra, it helps them have self-awareness of what they may need, as well as how they can take charge of how they want to feel.
  • Deep breaths before bed: Take a deep breath in through the nose, and on the exhale chant out loud: “three” (thrreee). Enjoy another deep in-breath, and on the next exhale, chant “two” (twwooo). Take a last deep breath in and exhale, chanting: “one” (onnee). Relax for a few breaths, and enjoy feeling your body sitting or lying on the floor or your bed. Repeat if desired.

Follow Beth Payne's blog Fostering Resilience

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Make Time for Those Who Matter Most

Learn to be the best spouse, parent, friend, coworker you can be with WorkLife4You’s help.