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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The Day the Truck Arrived

Foreign Service LifeMalawi

It was a big week at the Novak house. Last Tuesday the truck pulled up containing all our Household Effects and Consumables that were shipped by boat. All in all, somewhere around 10,000 lbs. As seems to be the trend in Malawi, the shipment was vastly ahead of schedule (by about 40 days). We were […]

September 26, 2016
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A Star is Born

Foreign Service LifeMalawi

Today we ventured out to Kumbali Cultural Center for breakfast. It’s a hot spot with the expat crowd, as they have a market, decent food and live music. This was yet another one of those classic expat events where everyone seems to know each other. I’m pleased to report that I’m actually starting to know/recognize […]

September 18, 2016
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What’s New on the Homefront

Foreign Service LifeMalawi

Nesting has officially begun at the Novak household. I got the itch this week, probably because we received confirmation that our stuff is arriving Tuesday. And by stuff I mean, all 10,000 lbs of household effects and consumables! In case you weren’t counting, that’s 40 days ahead of schedule folks and we’re thrilled! Since I’ll […]

September 17, 2016
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Africa Perks

Foreign Service LifeMalawi

African posts, while often characterized by the hardships encountered there, come with a surprising ton of perks. These perks (along with the natural warmth of the people) are so enticing that they encourage many a person to serve out the remainder of their tours in Africa. These people have even earned themselves a name within […]

September 10, 2016
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Operation: Get Grace a Car

Foreign Service LifeMalawi

Meet Grace Banda. Grace is a ridiculously talented massage therapist who provides in-home massage in Lilongwe. I estimate that I’ve had around 250 massages in the last 7 years, so I consider myself a pretty discerning consumer. This is good and bad. Good because I appreciate fine technique and bad because my standards are high. […]

September 3, 2016
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Scholasticah and Girls Move In!

Foreign Service LifeMalawi

It’s a big week here at Casa de Novak. Not only does our new nanny Esther start tomorrow, but Scholasticah and her 2 daughters moved into the quarters on our property, where they’ll be living for the next 2 years. Please allow me to introduce them to you. The 9 year old is named Michelle. […]

September 1, 2016
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Expat Overload

Foreign Service LifeMalawi

This past weekend was pretty much nonstop social engagements. We started the weekend with an Embassy-wide party at a mission member’s home. The party started around sundown (around 5:30) and invitees were asked to bring wine or a dish to pass. The Marines were also grilling hot dogs and hamburgers as a fundraiser to offset […]

August 30, 2016
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Let the Trip Planning Commence!

Foreign Service LifeMalawi

One of the things I love most about our life is the ability we have to see the world. Having 2 years on a continent really gives you time to dive deep into your host country and often the surrounding countries too. Nick and I both love to travel, so we make it a priority […]

August 27, 2016
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