Hey there, hope you’re all doing great. I wanted to give you all an update of how things are thankfully going well as both me and my brother are underway on our fifth month here.

Little by little, we’re more settled in this small Italian town after that really hectic first month in Turin. We’ve also now spent our first month of this apartment’s 12-month rental contract, and now I’m more used to sleeping on that couch — even though I don’t quite fit on it and I often wake up with paresthesia on my right arm from sleeping sideways.

The biggest and most beneficial change for me so far is definitely having access to water 24/7. This is such a life-changing experience for me after all of those years of water rations. There are some things that I’m still not fully used to, such as the slower pace in life, and the fact that the sun goes down close to 10pm these days, to name a couple.

I’ve recently started spending some of my savings obtained over the past six years to get myself a desk, and begin building a new desktop computer to replace my 12-year old build that’s still back in Caracas. I also got us a pair of fans (very important to have ahead of the impending Summer).

No joke, I definitely needed the fan blasting my face to sleep better, as I relied on one to sleep in Caracas after power surges killed my AC. This fan sure doesn’t change the circumstances of the couch, but it does help. The fan in the bedroom helps my brother sleep so much better as well.

We, of course, won’t be using them during Winter, but for now…

We even got our Italian voter IDs, and now the power and gas bills for this rented apartment are under my name, so it’s safe to say that we’re Italians from all document-related intents and purposes. Taxes are something I’ll have to start dealing with after we officially have six months here in late July, when about 20-percent of my income will start to burn every month thanks to it. 

My current efforts are mainly going towards helping my brother figure out what he wants to do, as that was another part of the promise I made to my mom. She always wanted him to do something that he wanted to do, to find his passion and exploit it to its fullest and never be completely limited by his mental condition.

That’s something that I, acting as the only thing he has close to a father figure, have failed time and time again at. Around 2019 my brother was starting to learn how to program, and despite getting stuck in some stuff, he was nonetheless making progress. Unfortunately, after the pandemic began he for some reason just lost all interest, and went back to his usual isolation and inflexible routines.

I’ve spent the past weeks talking to him about what he wants to do, but by no means forcing him to choose by reminding him that it’s not up to me to decide and that there are no wrong answers in this, as I’d still take care of him until my last day in this world.

With his birthday coming up next month, however, I’ve told him to pick what he wants me to buy for him, whether it’s a laptop that he can use to both game and learn, another device such as a Steam Deck, or anything else. As of a couple hours ago, he’s “not 100% decided yet” but is leaning towards a laptop.

When it comes to the Italian language, he’s far ahead than me, and he’s making great use of his abundance of free time to tap into Duolingo and similar tools. I’m very proud of him in that regard.

One of the people helping us here spoke to a few groups, as there may be some possibility of him getting an easy part-time job that he can do. 

Him being able to get his own money and perhaps beginning to understand the concept of him being able to get things on his own would be a huge plus too — but above that — it would mean that he would be able to speak to others and socialize, perhaps open up some more to the world while at it. 

That would definitely be a great thing for my brother because other than me, he doesn’t really have anyone else to talk to and thus spends most of his days in the bedroom, withdrawn into his own inner world, pacing around while sometimes humming words to himself.

My work on Sword continues, slowly but steadily. The changes that I’m making to the final draft won’t change the plot or message, but rather improve the setting and make it cooler. There’s also the fact that in the three years of me having paused work on it I feel much more confident in my English, and that reflects in the much more improved dialogue so far.

As for my young cousin back in Caracas, and who as of last year is somewhat my responsibility too, I’m happy to announce that she passed her 2nd semester at Nursing school. Much like with that semester, I’ll be helping her pay her 3rd semester tuition very soon, but for now she’s going through a well-deserved break before classes restart in July/August.

All in all, things are going great. There are some ongoing personal stuff such as the feelings of isolation and loneliness that I’ll touch upon in another post very soon, but those are things that are part of my ongoing process to heal myself up after going through such a turbulent decade.

Until the next one,