She's going away again, but with far less drama this time. No underage Spanish girl told at the last minute that she can't come here, which means that Chloe can't go there. No searching for State Department loopholes in a post-September-11 world. No exhorting generous volunteers to be even more generous and to spend even more of their time on two kids they don't know and will probably never know. No worrying about long-time organization members being more concerned with rocking the considerable boat than following through on promises made to kids. Looked like there might be another trip to San Francisco to apply for a visa in person, but there are simple ways to get around that, I've been told. About fourteen times, because I've asked about twenty times.
Chloe's been accepted and has turned in her last application, and so far this has been a non-event. We're waiting to see how financial aid will affect the total picture and we can't do much until that's sorted out. She's going through an agency that gets paid to do this sort of thing and the few people we've talked to there have been friendly and helpful. Turns out there's a big difference between being 15 and being gone for your junior year of high school and 19 and being gone for half of your junior year of college.
When Chloe was in elementary school I said, after much whining, that she could have a fish when she went to college (fish creep me out - the tropical-fish-eating scene in A Fish Called Wanda gives me nightmares, so there will never be one in this house). A document stating as much was produced and I was asked to sign it. Shortly before moving into her house at school this year, we were talking about how exciting that was going to be and a friend said, somewhat facetiously, "Now you can get a pet, like a fish!" Until that moment, Chloe had forgotten all about the damn fish deal.
So, the document was produced again and now she has a goldfish. I don't know which was more important: the fish, or the making me pay up after all those years. Not really, of course I know which was more important. She has discovered that fish provide little in the way of interactive companionship, and the culmination of the long wait for that fish has proven to be anti-climactic, although that's not something she's keen to admit, at least to her mother the fish-hater. The fish is, however, still alive. And if it is to stay alive it will have to find new living quarters because it ain't coming home while his (she's decided it's a he) indifferent owner is studying abroad.