Daniel Santos

Week 02, 2024

After a very long time — specially from my older son’s point of view —, we again received news regarding his Japanese MEXT scholarship. And, it turns out, they were very good news! After a hiatus of months without hearing anything from the consulate, he received an email last Thursday, stating that he was, indeed, approved!

This means that he’ll have his dream of studying in Japan come true!! There are yet some documents and preparations to happen between now and the date when he’ll finally travel (in early April, probably during the first week), but the thing is there’s no way to deny how happy he became once he learned about his approval. We were aware that the results were supposed to come out between January and February, and, as they started being published in Brazil this week, my son even had his share of sleepless nights, out of anxiety. So learning about his approval was both the best news and a welcome relief.

I didn’t know it, but looks like all the analysis and results consideration is done manually by the Japanese government. And as this particular scholarship process takes place with applicants from all around the world, that’s why the long waiting time happens. But we’re not here to judge that. We’re all very happy here, for my son and this great achievement!

Of course, this means that I’ll need to restart my Japanese language studies if I eventually want to be able to communicate with native speakers sometime in the future, once we’re set to travel to Japanese lands. I’ll have to see about that and try to come up with effective (self-)learning strategies. But for now, I’ll concentrate on spending the next months creating memories with my son before he departs to study abroad.

I had plans to take a plane with my family and travel to Salvador, as we tend to do at least once a year — my wife’s got family there and that’s when we visit everyone and get to see them face to face and spend quality time together. But it turned out to be impossible for me to do it this time (spending at least a couple of weeks there, as I’m on vacations until the 22nd of January). Air fares are way too expensive now, with air companies blaming it on everything from their supply chain to the COVID-19 aftermath, so we’ll need to replan and delay the trip to the future.

That doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying my vacations. This week, for example, me, my wife and the kids spent every single day going to the club’s pool. It is a very nice pool and everyone here loves it very much to play and enjoy the water. It’s a climatized pool, so as a bonus it means we don’t even need to worry whether it’s sunny or rainy before going there. Fun guaranteed!

I’ve also finished reading two books! Com Sangue, the Brazilian version of Stephen King’s “If it bleeds”, about which I wrote earlier this week, and Steven Novella’s The Skeptics' Guide to the Future, a non-fiction book about futurism and the technology that there can be in the future, both quite interesting and satisfying reads. This means I’m 3 books into my 20 books goal for 2024, making me very, very happy.

Considering my media diet, it wasn’t bad at all this week: We’ve watched four movies in family. Parts one and two of “The Hangover” trilogy, respectively from 2009 and 2011, “A Vampire in the Family”, a Brazilian comedy with Leandro Hassum, released this week on Netflix and “Mafia Mamma”, another comedy released just this year, telling the story of an American woman who, all of a sudden, inherits her late Italian grandfather’s Mafia empire.

On the personal side, I went to my ophthalmologist this week. I had scheduled an appointment back in December, which I did because I was finding it a little harder to see things while driving and reading (age, you know what I mean). I found out that my shortsightedness remains the same, but that it is now accompanied by a little astigmatism, which was causing my view to be a little blurry as of lately. Thankfully, nothing that a new pair of glasses cannot fix.

#english #weeknotes