#184: Planning the trip to Japan - 2010-08-02

The week had been quite intense, more so for Hugo and Eliana, who worked very hard at the project, to that point named “X-25”. As we already saw, on Sunday Carola joined, after a month of vacations in Italy, in order to work at the mechanics of the device. Hugo was the electronic circuits designer and assembler of all electrical parts, while Eliana devoted to programming in machine code and to assemble the circuits that Hugo couldn't assemble, while also verifying that everything was right.

Saturday, 29 January 1995.


“ Clara, my children. ” - so Juan started with his speech that morning. - “ They finally paid me the settlement for the months I worked at Radio FM. With that money we'll eat during these days and also we will buy the school uniforms and supplies that we could need. Kids, ¿whose of you need a new uniform? ”

Rosa and Pedro raised their hand.

- “ My past year's uniform ” - said Hugo - “ was a bit too big for me, so I think now it'll fit me okay. I think I can keep the same uniform during this year. I already have new shoes, those I bought in November. ”
- “ I'm practically the same size as last year. I don't need a new uniform. ” - added Eliana.
- “ I need new jumper dresses and socks. ” - added Rosa - “ My blouses and shoes still fit me, and they haven't teared yet. ”
- “ And I need everything new. ” - finished Pedro.
- “ Okay. Rosa and Pedro, today we're going to buy uniforms. ” - Clara pointed out - “ Between tomorrow and next Monday we shall buy the supplies. ”
- “ Thanks, Mom. ”

They all paused during a moment, while they drank milk and ate some sopaipillas pasadas (fried pumpkin pastry with chancaca sauce) that Clara made. Later, Juan continued:

- “ Also, last night my beloved mother called. She said she already had bought our plane tickets. They're for February the first at 21:45. ”

They were all overwhelmed with emotion, even more than in the day the passports of the whole family were renewed.

- “ This is the plan. It's six hours in bus from here to Santiago, plus two hours to the airport. We will leave from here at eight in the morning, so if God permits we will be in Santiago at fourteen o'clock approximately. Later, we will eat lunch and we will go to the airplane. We will have plenty of extra time in case something happens on the road. ”.

Everyone nodded.

- “ The plane will make a stopover in New York. We will arrive there in the morning, and around noon we will leave to Japan. There we will arrive during the afternoon of the following day. ”
- “ So much time to reach Japan? ”
- “ Yeah, but it's not so serious because there's a 13 hour difference. It's about 15 hours, plus 12 hours from Santiago to New York and three horas at the stopover, total 30 hours. Then we'll reach the International Airport of Narita, near Tōkyō. ”
- “ And from there it's like eight hours in train. ”
- “ Not this time, Clara. It's an hour in train from Narita to Tōkyō, but later we'll take the bullet train, which will bring us to Ōsaka in only three hours. ”
- “ Really? ” - interrumpió Eliana - “ Did the bullet train become operative after the earthquake? ”
- “ Mom said that the service was partially restablished, but only to Ōsaka. From Ōsaka to Kōbe there's no train. When we reach Ōsaka we'll decide what to do. In any case, I can call her by phone if we get lost, and they'll come to find us. But she wants us to go now, not for the next vacations. ”

A little time later after the breakfast was over, Carola arrived to the house. Hugo welcomed her with a kiss, and they quickly put their hands to work. Eliana was already at the workshop, working silently at the robot's circuitry.

- “The photos I took in Italy will be ready on Monday. Some squares, parks, monuments, things like these. I already told you it was very boring there. I ordered a copy of some photos, so you remember me when you're in Japan.”
- “Oh, yes. Japan. Anyways, we're leaving on Wednesday.”
- “Wednesday, so soon.”
- “Yeah. But it won't be long before we finish this. I plan to have everything ready for the first working test this Tuesday.”
- “Tuesday! But I need to work on all the mechanics of it!”
- “It's not that bad as we thought. There are 16 movable parts, and Eliana already computed the force that each part needs so the robot moves.”
- “Really!? But that part is so complicated! I don't know if we have enough knowledge of Physics to do...!”
- “Eliana said we don't have it, indeed. I already told you that my sister is a genius. She spend a whole morning at the library, and before going to sleep she already had finished the diagram of the arms and legs, in great detail.”
- “I don't believe it. I won't believe it until I see the robot standing up and moving.”
- “I can't believe we're already this advanced, either. Also, look at this.”

Hugo showed Carola a circuit located inside the metal box that Carola was assembling.

- “...”
- “What's going on, Carola?”
- “Hugo. I think it's time to tell you... I decided I will study Industrial Mechanics instead of Electricity.”
- “Really?”
- “Yeah. I took this decision in Italy. The husband of an aunt I have there is a Mechanical Engineer. I was with him at the plant where he works. It's a factory that makes industrial equipment and power generators. He's in charge of all the production process.”
- “Oh...”
- “Of course, there also works an Electrical Engineer. Who knows, maybe we will end up working there when we grow up...”
- “Yeah, who knows. But I'll stay studying Electricity. Though I like Electronics more.”
- “I already noticed.”