Forgive me for not posting this sooner, especially since it is good news.
The week after Christmas I was in the office at Hanna’s school when suddenly Hanna appeared – with her grandmother. Fortunately my co-teacher was there to translate. She explained that Hanna had been selected (for real this time) to receive a scholarship to attend after school academy classes. They were there to accept the funding and sign her up!
My co-teacher introduced us, and I was very polite and deferential to granny, as is proper Korean custom with elders. Of course part of me wanted to grab a broom and beat her — see how she likes it — but I decided charm was the better weapon. I made her a cup of coffee, then sat on the couch with Hanna, who looked very glad to see me. Then the biggest shock of all, granny went into a long speech, which my co-teacher summarized by saying granny was very grateful to me for the gifts, and for taking care of Hanna at school! When we parted I took both her hands in mine and bent in a low bow. I am hoping that this may have thawed the cold war, and she will agree to let me see Hanna on weekends. I noticed that Hanna’s clothes were dirty and she was not wearing any of the things I got her. But it was obvious that she loved her grandmother and was happy that we met.
The next day, even though she was not in the special winter camp classes, Hanna was at school. I was walking down the hall when I heard a high-pitched “MEEEELLERRR!!” and turned to see her running down the hall toward me. This time she was wearing the pink polka-dot sweater. I knelt down and she gave me a big, heart-melting hug. It seemed like having granny’s approval made it easier for her to open up to me.
I haven’t seen her since then, but I am looking forward to school starting in February, and continuing Project Hanna.