I am sitting on Tipper's dog-cage blanket on a hard, cold marble floor at the JFK airport, exhausted, emotionally overwrought from the good-byes and left-handed handshakes (given in Senegal when you say good-bye for a long-time, something "wrong" to be corrected when you meet again). There are so many finishing stories I must -- and will -- add to the blog about Rachel's magnificent end to the school year with a performance of Beethoven's "The Tempest;" recognition as the most valuable player for basketball and volleyball and best middle school female athlete; and the receipt of a U.S. Presidential award for academics.
We've had going away's, been surveyed for a pack out, only to have the movers changed to get surveyed again. I've written speeches and spoken as school Board chair at a retirement event and at graduation.
But the big news at the moment is that just moments ago, I got an email from the tennis coach at Georgia Perimeter College offering Salif a one-year scholarship in Atlanta! Georgia Perimeter is a junior college, so Salif can play there, live with his aunt and ease into the American educational system. We had the verbal offer, but I've emphasized to Salif that I had to see it in writing,.
And now I have it.
Three years of hard work -- a tennis camp tour, multiple ACT exams, GPA disappointments because of unfair NCAA decisions, YouTube videos, multiple emails and phone calls to coaches, letters of recommendations. The American lesson: hard work pays off. I still have to help him with various immigration forms (even with a scholarship, you can't come to America on a visa without a substantial bank account, which you can't prove simply with copies of your statement, but you've got to get letters from you banker (does anyone have a "banker" anymore?) attesting to your wealth). So more hard work to do, but we know that it will pay off.
What a true happy ending!