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  • Family Member Employment: One Spouse's Decision
    Shortly after our arrival in Warsaw, I gazed out the window at yet another dreary, gray, sub-freezing day. I looked down at my 11-month-old son, happily playing with the contents of the welcome kit, and wondered how I was going to make it through the long, Polish winter—let alone two years—as a stay-at-home mom. I [...]
  • Tongue-Tied in Surubaya?
    Language Training and the Foreign Service Spouse One of the hardest aspects of being a trailing spouse in the Foreign Service is the challenge of learning multiple languages. As family members, we are eligible for language training at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) and most of us should probably take advantage of this. But for [...]
  • Opinion: It's Reasonable to Expect EFM Access
    See also: Family Member Access to DOS Resources Online: Where We Stand Now. It’s close to midnight and I should be asleep, but I just received an email. It’s the message I’ve been waiting to receive for months: a beacon of light, rays of hope shining in my direction: Yes, my husband just emailed me the [...]
  • Intranet Issues
    Staying connected is one of the challenges of the Foreign Service lifestyle. Not only staying in touch with friends and family around the globe, but also, unfortunately, accessing the various offices at the Department of State that we depend on. For the spouse or partner of a Foreign Service Officer, these challenges are doubled. The [...]
  • Packing Out is Hard to Do
    Please sing along. You know the tune… Don’t take my plates away from me My pots and pans, my cutlery Got more entertaining to do And packing makes it hard to do…. Remember when we first arrived It took so long to get the house just right Now I can’t wait to start anew But [...]
  • Twas the Night Before Pack Out
    (with apologies to Clement Moore) By Francesca Kelly ‘Twas the night before packout And all through the house Not a creature was stirring Except for the spouse. The stockings weren’t washed yet The fridge not yet bare But still, in six hours Men with vans would be there. The children were nestled Like cubs in [...]
  • When Dinosaurs Roamed the Earth
    By Prince Roy The Ralph J. Bunche Library is the best-kept secret at Main State, at least among the A-100 crowd. It is a fantastic resource and the Orientation should not only make sure we know about it, but take us on a quick tour when our classes bring us to Main State. I went [...]
  • Spoused!
    Spouse (pronounced spous, spouz). Noun: spouse Middle English, from Old French spous, from Latin sponsus, from past participle of spondre, to pledge. 1.) A man or woman engaged or joined in wedlock; a married person, husband or wife. 2.) The unpaid half of a Foreign Service partnership, e.g. John Q. Nebbish, Foreign Service Officer (FSO), [...]
  • The Eighteen Cups: A Foreign Service Fable
    by Francesca Kelly, State spouse “I want a divorce,” she said quietly. “I can’t take this any more.” “You can’t leave,” he said imploringly. “What would I do without you? You’re my soul-mate, the love of my life, the mother of my children, not to mention my….” and he began to sing, “Sex Bomb, Sex [...]
  • A Century of Women in the Foreign Service
    Remarks of AAFSW President Mette Beecroft at the December 14th “Century of Women in the Foreign Service” event. Read the entire text of the speech on this page or click on these links to “jump” to the topics listed: Introduction Thanks and Acknowledgements Life in the Foreign Service 1900-2000 The Founding of the Family Liaison [...]

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