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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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