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, September 25, 2017

FLO Website Feature: Adult Education Programs 

Visit the Family Liaison Office’s (FLO) Adult Education Programs webpage for information on the College-Level Examination Program, adult education opportunities abroad, federal employee and family member education discounts, and more! Email FLOAskEducation@state.gov with questions.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Sheryl Sandberg: How to Build Resilient Kids, Even After a Loss

Posted by Beth Payne in her Fostering Resilience blog
Director, Center of Excellence in Foreign Affairs Resilience (CEFAR)
Contact FSI for more information at  FSIRegistrar@state.gov.
Re-posted in Foggy Bottom Rambles

Two years ago, the lives of Sheryl Sandberg’s two children changed forever when their father died suddenly from a cardiac arrhythmia. In the fog of those early and brutal weeks and months, Sandberg’s biggest fear was that her children’s happiness would be destroyed by their devastating loss. She searched for what, if anything, she could do to get them through this. Working with Adam Grant, a psychologist and professor who studies how people find motivation and meaning, she set out to learn everything she could about how kids persevere through adversity.
Here are some of the things she learned. Read her New York Times article or her book Option B if you want to read more.
  • Show your children that they matter. Sociologists define “mattering” as the belief that other people notice you, care about you, and rely on you. It’s the answer to a vital question that all children ask about their place in the world starting as toddlers, and continuing into and beyond adolescence: Do I make a difference to others?
  • Walk alongside your children and listen. When parents cannot fix a child’s problems, it can be frustrating and parents often feel helpless. In these cases, remember the value of being a trusted companion who will listen, share in your children’s feelings, and remind them they are not alone. Just being there will often do more for a child’s resilience than solving the immediate problem.
  • Keep memories alive. Talking openly about memories — not just positive ones, but difficult ones, too — can help kids make sense of their past and rise to future challenges. It’s especially powerful to share stories about how the family sticks together through good times and bad, which allows kids to feel that they are connected to something larger than themselves.
  • Practice gratitude. At the end of each day, talk about what happened that day for which each of you is grateful and remind yourselves that even after loss, there is still so much to appreciate in life.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Bidders on PSP assignments - please remember that there is a special ISMA-plus-Education benefit per DSSR 262.5  available to EFMs who are officially approved for an alternate foreign ISMA location.  See DSSR 262.5 below:

262.5 Education Allowance for Involuntary SMA Location
When SMA is granted for the Government's convenience (ISMA), and a foreign area is authorized as an official ISMA location, an employee can be authorized an education allowance within the applicable "school-at-post" education allowance rate for the officially authorized foreign ISMA location on behalf of a child authorized to reside at that ISMA location, unless the child has arrived at a selected educational institution under educational travel authority within the last 12 months (see 282). (Eff. 5/23/2010 TL:SR-734).

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

It's Hurricane Season. Are You Prepared? 

We can all take action to prepare! Check out www.ready.gov/September and garner tips and ideas for kids games, tool kits and more.

Having a Personal Preparedness Plan will help you and your family to be ready to leave post at a moment’s notice. FLO will be there for you, before, during, and after a sudden departure from post, providing guidance and support along the way.
Take a look at:
 72 Hour Emergency Kit—A duffle bag or backpack that you can grab in an instant with supplies to last 72 hours.
 Go-Bag—Ready to grab during an evacuation.
 Pets and International TravelNew airline rules impact shipment of pets from post to post!