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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A Hodgepodge of Updates

Foreign Service Life

 I have a whole bunch of unrelated things that I wanted to update you on, so just know in advance that this post is going to be all over the place. I CAN promise that it will be full of tantalizing updates though! British Influence  What post would be complete without a Nia story? Here’s […]

March 29, 2017
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Ladies Day Out

Foreign Service LifeHealth/BeautyMalawi

I took Nia to a Malawian beauty shop for the first time two weeks ago. We started with a basic trim because, although she’d like it short again, we have to grow it out for her ballet recital this spring. The best part was that her stylist surprised us by insisting on a full blow-out after […]

March 22, 2017
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Stinker Alert

Foreign Service LifeMalawi

I’m not sure if it’s just Nia getting older or her acting out because I’m gone more now, but we’ve seen a dramatic rise in what Nick and I like to refer to as “stinker-ish behavior”. Some recent examples include: 1. Locking her nanny out of the house when she couldn’t have a 2nd popsicle […]

March 20, 2017
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I’m a Lean, Mean CLOing Machine!

Foreign Service Life

Just back from a week of CLO training in Johannesburg and boy oh boy am I REVVED UP! Not only was the training amazingly comprehensive and well-delivered, but there were movies, food and shopping galore. Learning + Big City Perks = HEAVEN The Family Liaison Office (FLO) at the State Department puts on 4-6 trainings […]

March 6, 2017
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My Two Loves

Foreign Service LifeMalawiRecommendationsRestaurant Reviews/Food Topics

Happy belated Valentine’s Day, my beloved blog readers. Just think about this – if you’ve been reading the blog since I first started – we’ve been ‘in a relationship’ for nearly a decade now. That is some serious commitment to each other! Hard to believe I’ve churned out some 851 posts thus far. Who knew […]

February 15, 2017
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My First Month as CLO

Foreign Service LifeMalawi

Hey all – Did you miss me? Sorry about the lack of blog posts. Turns out this work/life balance thing is WAY harder with an office job. Go figure. Speaking of jobs, I’ve been asked for more details on how things are going. Happy to oblige! For starters, I still don’t know how to get […]

February 8, 2017
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Settling In (and Reluctantly Letting Go of Control in the Process)

Foreign Service Life

I’ve completed 3 weeks of work now and am slowly but surely starting to find my groove. I can’t emphasize enough how much I’m enjoying the daily interactions and connections with colleagues. The solitude was definitely my biggest complaint about working at home. It was just too isolating, no matter how amazing the work was. The […]

January 30, 2017
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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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