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!

African Ingenuity at Its Best

Foreign Service LifeInspirationMalawi

I remember when we lived in the Philippines I was impressed by how resourceful people, especially children, could be. One of the memories that sticks with me most was from my visit to Tondo, Manila’s trash dump, where 1.5 million people lived. It was here that I truly realized that every object could have a […]

August 10, 2017

Finding My Rhythm

Foreign Service LifeMalawi

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. That is the sound of a big happy Sarah sigh. I’m just so dang content right now folks. Never mind that we had to part ways with Davie or that the new gardener/driver crashed the car yesterday or that Nia told an adult that they smelled and should go take a bath. These things pass. […]

August 9, 2017

R&R Recap

EuropeForeign Service LifePhotographyTravel

Ahhh, home sweet home. Was great to get away but oh-how-fantastic it feels to be home. And with a sweet welcome from the girls too! Our last two weeks in Denmark and Greece flew by. In Denmark we filled our time with some castle-hopping, and canal cruising. Check out how low the clearance was on […]

June 26, 2017

Cruisin’ the Norwegian Fjords


Howdy all – I’m finally back with pictures and stories about our cruise through the Norwegian fjords! Thanks for your patience while I got things edited and organized. We started our adventure on Friday, June 2nd. Our flight path was a doozy – Malawi to Nairobi to Frankfort to Copenhagen. Unfortunately, our bags couldn’t keep […]

June 17, 2017

Princess for a Day

Foreign Service LifeTravel

Hello friends! Greetings from Denmark! On Sunday we concluded our week on the Disney Magic sailing through the Norwegian Fjords. I am still working my way through editing photos, but I took the liberty of prioritizing the Princess photos, as I knew those would be of high interest. :) One of the peak moments of […]

June 12, 2017

Nick’s Status+ Other Random Updates

Foreign Service LifeMalawi

I know you all are dying for a little Nick update, so here goes. The first few days were rough. He only felt comfortable on his belly because that relieved the pressure on his spine. We were fortunate to borrow a massage table from a friend and rigged up this design for him to while […]

May 25, 2017

The Night Nick Broke his Back

Foreign Service LifeMalawi

Last night Nick and I were on the way to a party for Norway’s National Day. It was 6 PM when we arrived, which in Malawi means that it’s pitch black (streetlights are few and far between here and often, even when installed, they aren’t on). We got directed to park by a parking guard. […]

May 18, 2017

On Spirituality (and Getting My Hands Dirty)

Foreign Service LifeInspirationMalawi

I’ve been noticing some very cool shifts happening in me lately which have, quite honestly, taken me by surprise. No huge revelations or changes in my path, just a growing awareness of things I’ve ignored for a long time. It began with the realization that I was very disconnected from my spirituality. After some exploration, […]

May 11, 2017
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