A {new} Refreshing Makeover at My Sardinian Life

Welcome to the new and slightly improved My Sardinian Life. After a much too long hiatus, I thought it was time to give my much-beloved blog a refreshing makeover. I am back in the writing-blogging saddle to share my experiences with the culture, traditions, and people of this enchanting island I now call home.

Keep your eyes peeled for new posts on cost of living, working in the hospitality industry, colourful and vibrant snapshots, short stories of a wandering waitress, expat tales, and bloopers that are best only when shared.

Sardinia, Italy has been my home for the last ten years, and it’s only here where I feel truly me, and feel home.

Please let me know in the comment section below what you think of the makeover regarding fonts and font size, headline and title. All improvements are a work in progress. Thank you for following along. There will be more of me in your inbox in days, weeks and months to come. Until then … Ajo, Eh!

From Sardinia with love.

Jennifer Avventura

An ode to the island of Sardinia

An ode to the island of Sardinia

Jennifer Avventura Sardinia 2012

Gosh, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen your face, twenty-one months precisely. I can only imagine your sun-kissed shadows, the way the wind whips in the cold winter months, the sound of your animals going out to pasture and the lingering sensation of a well aged mirto sipped between my lips. For one day soon, I shall return to your green pastures, and help seed our own garden, made from love.

New life, New blog

I’ve had a few long time followers of My Sardinian Life email me asking how I’m doing in the great white north, and if I’m blogging about it. The good news is that YES, I am blogging about Victoria, Canada and you can check it out here:

Victoriaology – by Jennifer Avventura
The sights, sounds and adventures of my new life in Victoria, BC, Canada.

Jennifer Avventura

 My latest post on this beautiful city is about stealing sunshine and how Victoria and Sardinia are very similar. I hope you have the time to stop by and check it out – even give Victoriaology a follow.

A big shout out to those that have emailed me about my new life here in Victoria, I am eternally grateful and wish you well.

Vote for My Sardinian Life in the 2013 Canadian Blog Awards

Just like the Emmy’s, Golden Globes and Music awards there are awards for bloggers who but effort, thought and heart into their blog(s). This year is the second year that My Sardinian Life has been nominated for the 2013 Canadian Blog Awards.

My Sardinian Life was nominated for Best Travel and Expat Blog. It would be fantastic to bring home the gold this season, and only you can help me do that.

To vote, just click the following link 2013 Canadian Blog Awards then scroll down the to the bottom of the page. Under Best Travel and Expat Blog click on My Sardinian Life.

Voting closes on February 22nd, 2014 so hurry before it’s too late.

A special thanks to Jonathan Kleiman who took copious amounts of time to organize this award for Canadian bloggers across the globe. Jonathan is a Toronto Business Lawyer and a Small Claims Lawyer and his side gig is organizing fantastic blogging awards. So, thank you Jonathan. I appreciate all the hard work you’ve done in the last year to make this award a reality.

So, what are you waiting for? Go on and vote. I am eternally grateful.

Sardinia’s Golden Hour over the Bay of Asinara

When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.” Mahatma Gandhi

Jennifer Avventura My Sardinian Life 2014 (3)

Last night’s setting sun and the calm after the storm.

Do you prefer to watch the sunrise or the sunset?

Update: How you can help rebuild Sardinia, Italy in the wake of Cyclone Cleopatra

Update: How you can help rebuild Sardinia, Italy in the wake of Cyclone Cleopatra

On November 18th, 2013 a powerful cyclone crushed Sardinia killing 16 people. Nine days have passed since that dark day and islanders are still coming to terms with the loss of lives and damage to homes, roads, businesses and schools.

Schools are without chalk, paper, pens, books and hope. Makeshift schools have been set-up as the cyclone shattered the dreams and walls of young hopefuls.

Entire communities have stopped daily activities to help in the aftermath of this deadly cyclone. People from all walks of life have given the warm clothes off their back to wet and dreary survivors.

It will take years to rebuild Sardinia. Six months of rain crushed Sardinia in twenty-four hours causing landslides, mudslides and severe flooding. The most affected areas are in the Gallura and Olbia. Sixteen people are dead, including two children, about 2,300 people have lost their homes, forty-three people wounded, including three seriously, and one family is still desperately searching for their missing relative.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Share this message with your friends and family via the social media buttons at the bottom of this post. I can’t begin to tell you how many people have written me stating they have not even heard of the cyclone that hit Sardinia.
  • To make a monetary donation to the comune of Olbia follow the banking details: Account: n. 0540 – 070361388
    IBAN: IT72U 01015 84980 000070361388
    BIC/Swift Code: BPMOIT22XXX
    Reference: Comune di Olbia Emergenza Alluvione
  • Visit the following site SardSOS: Emergenza It’s a fabulous site, complete with map of affected areas, how to help and survivors stories.
  • 60 communites were hit by Cleopatra, to donate to other areas in Sardinia please visit Donazioni Alluvione Sardegna: Ecco come fare, tutti i Numeri e i Conti Correnti utili!  here you will find an entire list of bank details.
  • Visit the Red Cross Italy site for more information on how to donate.

***The above links are all in Italian, if you need help translating please let me know, I’d be more than happy to help.

There has been an abundance of solidarity between the islanders in the wake of this natural disaster, a solidarity so strong it can only be called Sardegna.

Sardinia needs your help, and the children need schools rebuilt.

Please donate.

BREAKING NEWS: A fire ripped though a laundromat in Olbia destroying the donated clothing for those displaced.

It’s time to make a difference, it’s time to make a change. Donate.

Dear Santa Claus: Let Sardinia smile again – In the aftermath of disaster

Dear Santa Claus: Let Sardinia smile again – In the aftermath of disaster

Dear Santa Claus,

Make a great gift to us sisters, that Sardinia will smile again, as always.”

Photo by Debora Deiana

**This photo was circulating Facebook early this morning, and it hit the soft spot we all carry in our hearts. I emailed Debora to get her permission for this photo and she happily obliged.

On November 18th, 2013 Sardinia was hit by a deadly cyclone, killing 17 people and leaving thousands homeless. Islanders have come out in full force in offering beds, clothing and a shoulder to cry on. The solidarity seen between the communities of Sardinia in the aftermath of cyclone Cleopatra just proves how strong, united and committed the islanders are in the wake of disaster.

The following map shows areas which were affected by Cyclone Cleopatra, people offering help, evacuations, emergency services, news, flooding, volunteer help, and stories.

Sardegna Cyclone Cleopatra

Click to visit site

60 communities were crushed by Cyclone Cleopatra:

11 communites in the Gallura: Arzachena, Berchidda, Budduso’, Golfo Aranci, Loiri Porto San Paolo, Monti, Olbia, Oschiri, Padru, Sant’Antonio di Gallura, Telti.

16 communites in Nuoro: Bitti, Dorgali, Galtelli’, Irgoli, Loculi, Lode’; Lula, Nuoro, Oliena, Onani’, Onifai, Orgosolo, Orosei, Posada, Siniscola, Torpe.

8 communities in Cagliari: Armungia, Ballao, Decimoputzu, Escalaplano, Siliqua, Vallermosa, Villaputzu, Villaspeciosa.

8 communities in Medio Campidano: Gonnosfanadiga, Guspini, Pabillonis, San Gavino Monreale, Sanluri, Sardara, Villacidro, Villanovafranca.

7 communities in Ogliastra: Arzana, Lanusei, Seui, Talana, Tortoli’, Ussassai, Villagrande Strisaili.

Here’s how you can help Sardinia pick up the pieces:

To make a monetary donation to the comune of Olbia please follow the banking details:

Account: n. 0540 – 070361388
IBAN: IT72U 01015 84980 000070361388
BIC/Swift Code: BPMOIT22XXX
Reference: Comune di Olbia Emergenza Alluvione

Alluvione = Flood

Forza Sardegna. Forza.

Santa is listening.

Philippines Typhoon Relief and Renewal Fund – How you can help

The death toll of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda in the Philippines) that ripped through parts of the Philippines is nearing 10,000. Thousands of houses have been destroyed and many areas are still cut off from transport, communication and power.

Hundreds of thousands of people are still coming to terms with this devastating storm and are trying to cope with the lack of clean water, shelter, food and medicine.

A good friend of mine recently married a beautiful woman from the Philippines. They now have nothing. There are young children without a roof, water and food. There are entire families and communities that are suffering from this natural disaster and they need your help.

Words from my friend Chris:

“Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda in the Philippines) is the most powerful Typhoon/Hurricane in recorded history. My wife’s family is from a rural fishing and farming village. The family home was destroyed by the winds and they, like many others in her village, will need to completely rebuild their homes. I do not know what the cost to rebuild a home is in the Philippines but I am certain any money will help.

If we can raise enough to get their house framed in, I will ask T. to start helping others in the area who have lost their homes as well!”

UPDATE: November 11th, 2013

“I have just been on Skype with Theresa (She is in Iloilo right now) and she said that they have been told that they are probably going to be out of power for 4 months.  She is trying to get a generator so that they can power a refrigerator and have some lights and use some power tools.

They will need the generator and fuel for it.  I have transferred some money and am waiting on the Fundraiser site to complete the transfer of what has already been raised. They said it will take a couple of business days for the transfer.” Chris Faulkner

How YOU can help rebuild Banate, Philippines.

If you are able to give even $2.00 then please click the following link:

Banate, Philippines Typhoon Relief and Renewal Fund

Your name, amount donated can be kept confidential or you can choose to publish your name and amount donated.

If you can’t donate then please help spread this message by sharing to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and any other social media tools.

I thank you. The Faulkner family thanks you and the citizens of the Philippines thank you.

An attempt to learn Italian prepositions

An attempt to learn Italian prepositions

For anyone new to learning Italian – it’s not easy. I’ve been in Italy since May 2008 and I still haven’t wrapped my head around the Italian prepositions. Plus, I’m a little lazy. Okay, I’m a lot lazy. The first two years in Sardinia I studied and I studied hard with Italian workbooks, Italian learning CD’s, repetition and more repetition. Then it got boring and I studied by watching TV, listening to the radio or having a coffee at the local bar each morning.

Jennifer Avventura Learning Italian My Sardinian Life

I should know these off by heart by now, but I don’t. My husband speaks to me in Italian or Gallurese, and depending on my mood I’ll respond first in English, then Italian, and sometimes I’ll throw him for a loop and respond in Gallurese. The look on his face is priceless when I respond to him in his first language and the giggle that escapes from his lips makes me want to do it all over again.

So, in a haphazard attempt to fully memorize the Italian prepositions I wrote them on a white-board magnetized to the fridge.

I’m not sure it’s working.

What are your study tips?

Poll: What do you think of the new WordPress Reader?

This past week the folks at WordPress went and changed the scope of how we read our favourite blogs, and there’s a lot of people angry at the changes. If you click on a title in the reader an annoying pop-up window shows up, we can comment, like and share but we can’t read the entire post. To read the entire post we must click yet again to open the blog post, very annoying.

Not only that … in the last few days I have noticed a dramatic decrease in visitors to my site!

I know of other bloggers in the WordPress community who feel the same way, losing readers, likes and comments because of this new change does nothing for the bloggers who blog at WordPress.

Just two weeks ago I spent $99 at WordPress to customize my site and make it more reader friendly. Then the kind folks at WordPress pulled the wool over my eyes designing a new reader that is not reader friendly, in any way shape or form.

I’m curious what you all think? Take my little poll below and leave comments in the comment section.

I look forward to your responses.

(Now I wonder how many people will click twice to read my entire post. Time and stats will tell.)

Happy blogging.

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