Sunday, December 2, 2012

i only came here for 20 reasons

Happy Sunday!

In lieu of doing some very important finals work, I decided to blog instead. (Maybe doing this will clear my head and I'll be able to concentrate more!). All I've been able to think of lately is my semester in South Africa.

I was also thinking that I should maybe create a separate section of this site solely dedicated to my SA posts and pictures...that way it's easier for other people to find them and I'll be able to look back on that section if I want to just see those posts. Definitely some food for thought, and I'll probably sort that out once I'm back home (2 more weeks!!).

So, without further ado,
(Almost) 20 Reasons Why I'm Pumped for South Africa

  1. The plane ride. Yes, it's 20+ hours long and will be my first time on a plane, but it'll be an experience to remember, right?
  2. The culture. SA has a very rich culture and history - both good and bad - and I'm excited to be fully immersed in it.
  3. Stellenbosch University. The campus is gorgeous...no other words to describe it. And, while Lesley has about 2,000 undergrad students, my new school will have about 20,000. Talk about a culture shock. It'll be so nice to have a different campus scene for a few months!
  4. The courses. Sometimes I forget that I'm studying abroad and this isn't just a 5-month-long vacation...but a semester full of interesting South African electives, from HIV/AIDS history to art to language? Yes please!
  5. My housing. I'll have my own bedroom and bathroom (score!) and will be sharing a living space with 1-3 other AIFS students.
  6. The social scene. I'm so excited to get to know my fellow AIFS peers, as well as other international students and South African locals! 
  7. Food...wine...and more food. I won't have a meal plan next semester, but I will get a card with money to eat out and make my own food. (Make my own food? It's a joke, I know...I will probably starve). Eating out in SA isn't as expensive as they would be in the US (about $5 there),   so I'll definitely be looking into different restaurants and cafes. Plus, I will be of the legal drinking age, so...you know...yeah.
  8. Volunteering. I'm all about it, and when I learned that Stellenbosch has a program where students can volunteer with the people of a local township called Kayamandi, I was so excited.
  9. Sports. It's no secret that I love soccer, and SA is clearly a great place to watch and play some football (World Cup 2010 anyone?). Rugby is also something that I've never seen, but it's apparently huge in the country, so I'm excited to watch!
  10. Weather. While everyone New York and Boston will be freezing their asses off with below freezing weather, I will be enjoying some January rays with temperatures up to 95 degrees Farenheit. The seasons in Africa are the opposite of ours, and although I'll be experiencing fall and winter there, the weather shouldn't really be anything below 60 (I think I'll manage...).
  11. Excursions. There are several AIFS trips that I'll be able to participate in and three of them are: the Garden Route tour, the Cederberg Mountain excursion, and the Kalahari Transfrontier Park excursion. All really awesome trips that I will definitely photograph and post about throughout the semester.
  12. Shopping and souvenirs. I'm sure that there will be unique little stores and vendors who have some really great handmade pieces, like clothing items or jewelry. I definitely want to shop around and find cool things to bring back home to friends and family!
  13. Blogging. This experience will be a good way for me to really get this site going, and I have no excuse to not post, because I'll be sharing everything I do with friends and family, and I'll have all of these posts to look back on when I get back home.
  14. Day trips. I'll only be in South Africa for 5 months, so I should make the most of my time! No time to be lazy and stay in bed. Another day, another chance to explore!
  15. Fashion. Much of the fashion in SA is very European, and the fashion blogs that I like (http://anthonybila.tumblr.com/ and http://www.missmollyfashions.com/) show really cute and eccentric outfits. Despite my usual lazy efforts (sweatpants, t-shirt, sneakers), I should probably dress nicely while I'm away, since the weather will be beautiful and most of the girls dress up on the daily. So, expect many fashion posts while I'm away!
  16. Lifelong memories. I feel cheesy writing this, but I know that this will be one of the best - if not the best - experiences of my life. I'll learn so much about myself and this amazing country, create some great friendships, and have so much fun.
I can't think of enough to make this 20, so I'll stop at 16 - my favorite number. Maybe I should do some homework now? Maybe.


'Til next time,
Christina

Sunday, November 25, 2012

too long of an absence

Considering my last blog post was when I first made this site, I'd say that an update is way overdue! I come bearing good news, though: next semester I'll be studying abroad in South Africa! It still sounds crazy to me and I don't think that it'll hit me until I actually get there, but needless to say, I'm so excited. I've never been out of the country or even on a plane before, so this will be an especially interesting experience.

I know that a lot of people keep blogs regularly when they go abroad to keep family and friends posted, and I've decided that viatina.com is the perfect place to do just that! I've always loved to write, so blogging about my South African experience will definitely be a creative outlet for me. I hope to post at  least twice a week, but of course that depends on my schedule when I get there. 

While I'm on the topic of future plans for viatina.com, I'll explain the different sections of the blog:

Via Tina: More of a personal journaling section. All of my South African blog posts will go there!
LifestyleMiscellaneous posts about fitness, food, etc.
FashionPretty obvious. I'll be updating this section with trends and different clothing/accessory pieces that I've been into. If I can, I would love to post pictures of South African fashion, because it's absolutely amazing!

I really look forward to posting more on this site and I want everyone to go on this adventure with me!


'Til next time,
Christina

Thursday, June 7, 2012

happy birthday!

So I guess that it's only appropriate to say congratulations to myself on my newborn website, viatina.com! I've always wanted to make a nice blog or even a YouTube channel to occupy my spare time, but naturally I was too lazy to put any effort into it. BUT, my older sister Michelle told me yesterday that I should make a blog, and I thought, She's right, I should make a blog! 

So I did. Well, she did. I just bought the domain, but my sister did all of the Blogspot/web hosting business because that's honestly way over my head. But once I Googled some things, I got really into it: background, template, layout, graphics, everything! I made the header and sidebar graphics myself on PhotoFiltre. I don't know if anyone's heard of it but it's an amazing editing program and it's completely free! (The only thing that sucks about it is that it only works for PCs, so I can't use it on my Macbook.) I used to have some MySpace experience with layout sites, HTML, and graphics, so this stuff is right up my alley.

Anyway, I just wanted to post my first actual entry say happy birthday to viatina.com! More posts will definitely be coming soon!

'Til next time,
Christina