Hi, I'm Sarah and this is my blog. With nearly a decade of posts, Novakistan is filled with stories from my early days in Minnesota and then our Diplomatic adventures in the Philippines, Peru, DC and Malawi, our current home. I'm glad you're here and hope you enjoy our overseas adventures as much as we do!

The Rules of the Road

Foreign Service LifeMalawi

I’ve been driving all of 10 days by now, so I thought I’d share what I’ve learned about the rules of the road here in Malawi: 1. Avoid hitting livestock that’s crossing the road (remember, that’s someone’s livelihood!) 2. Along those same lines, avoid hitting PEOPLE, now matter how close they may walk/bike to your car. […]

August 23, 2016

My First (and LAST) Trip to the Market

Foreign Service LifeMalawi

So last week my neighbor Alison decided it was time for me to visit the fabric market. The fabric sold here is very unique – it’s all brightly colored and has wax in it. They call it chitenge. I had been hearing about this massive fabric market for weeks and was eager to go. We […]

August 21, 2016

The Good and the Bad of Having Household Help

Foreign Service LifeMalawi

I know I’m not going to get much sympathy on this one, but I’ve been super stressed the last two weeks trying to find the right staffing fits for our household. If you remember back, I hired Davie (our Gardener) prior to getting here and he showed up for work the day after we arrived. […]

August 18, 2016

Nia’s 1st Day of School (with tour!)

Foreign Service LifeMalawi

Today was Nia’s first day of preschool in Lilongwe. School starts early here, around 7:15 AM, and gets out around noon. I am the family chauffeur now, needing to get Nia to preschool and Nick to work by 7:30. I am insanely proud of myself for pushing through the nerves and getting my family delivered […]

August 15, 2016

Our First African Safari!


As many of you know, I like to jump right in when I get to post. If you remember, I was at Photography class on Day 5 in Manila and Spanish Lessons on Day 7 of Lima. In Malawi, my goal was to get out to see some legit African animals as soon as possible. […]

August 14, 2016

The Trouble with African Power Surges

Foreign Service LifeMalawi

Apologies for the delayed post, the internet has been a bit wonky the last few nights when I’ve been trying to write. That’s Africa, I guess. Speaking of Africa, we’re coming to the end of our second week here. Crazy, huh? We’ve been at some fabulous posts with incredible customer service, but this place takes the […]

August 12, 2016

A Few Short Malawi Anecdotes

Foreign Service LifeMalawi

Hey All – I’m beat after a long day but didn’t want you to think I forgot about you… as a compromise, I’m just going to share a few funny stories today and then I’ll get you a longer post tomorrow when I’m fresh. Story #1: I was introducing myself to someone who was working […]

August 10, 2016

Come Take a Tour of Our Yard!

Foreign Service Life

Hey blog readers – Thanks for all the interest in our adventures. I’m really enjoying sharing our experiences with you. Thanks especially to those who’ve left comments on Facebook. Keep ’em coming! We’re coming off a wonderful weekend. We had 2 great parties, met 20+ new embassy people and Nick even drove successfully on the […]

August 8, 2016
Get New Posts Delivered to Your Inbox!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Let’s Connect!
Follow Me on Pinterest!