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!
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Safaris Aren’t for the Faint of Heart

Foreign Service Life

We’ve been fortunate in that during our first 6 months here we’ve managed to go on 1 – 2 hour boat safari, 1 – 4 hour walking safari and 9 – 4 hour driving safaris. Not too shabby for 6 months in, aye? The coolest part of it all though is that the awe of […]

January 18, 2017
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South Luangwa Animal Inventory

Foreign Service LifeTravel

Hi everyone – We just got back from an amazing 4 day safari in Zambia. I’ll be writing a more in-depth post about our experience tomorrow, but in the meantime, I thought I’d do a little inventory of the animals we saw. Here goes… Vultures Lots and Lots of Lions! Giraffes Buffalo Hyenas Baboons & […]

January 17, 2017
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Sarah Novak, Government Employee

Foreign Service LifeMalawi

It was a BIG week people. I know I say that a lot, but I really mean it this time. You see, this week was the first time in 8 years that I was back in an office job! Yes, it’s true. After 5 months of waiting, they finally let me start. Of course with […]

January 12, 2017
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Tooth Fairy Hiccup

Foreign Service Life

It’s been an exciting start to 2017. Turns out our 5 year old is growing up. Can you believe she lost her first tooth?! It feels so early to be losing teeth already. Whoa. We ran into a bit of a stumbling block with the tooth fairy though. Michelle’s last family (Michelle is the 9 […]

January 6, 2017
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Christmas Recap + Santa’s Big Surprise

Foreign Service LifeMalawi

Our first Christmas in Malawi has come and gone and was quite delightful, if I do say so myself. The weather cooperated (mid-80’s, no rain) as did our little lady (mostly). I still struggle with the whole tropical Christmas thing. There’s just something about hot chocolate and sweaters and snow. Christmas is definitely the time […]

December 27, 2016
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The 2016 Novak Staff Appreciation Party

Foreign Service LifeMalawi

For those who have been following the blog awhile, you may remember back to the staff appreciation party we threw in 2010 for Rudy, Norma and their families. For some reason we didn’t do this in Lima (one year we were traveling in Galapagos during December and the other I think we were just overwhelmed with […]

December 21, 2016
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Nia Steals the Show

Foreign Service LifeMalawi

Last Friday we attended an embassy holiday party at the Ambassador’s House. It was a lovely affair and included holiday traditions like cookie decorating, eating copious amounts of food and my personal favorite, singing Christmas Carols. The Ambassador had assembled a random but awesome band. We had a french horn, violin and guitar. I’d estimate […]

December 20, 2016
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Can We Just Be Done Already??

Foreign Service LifeMalawi

So last week when we “talked” I updated you on the deck project. What I failed to mention was that the deck project was just one of MANY large-scale projects happening on our compound. We found out in November that a portion of the Quarters (HQ, as Nia likes to call it) where Schorasticah and her […]

December 14, 2016
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