TROY - Hannah Houseknecht, 11, a student at Troy Intermediate School, has a big plane ride ahead of her.

And an even bigger adventure after that.

Next summer, the sixth grader will be taking part in a "People to People" ambassador delegation to Australia. A total of 40 students are going on the two-week trip at the end of June, though Hannah is the only one from Troy.

Recently, I talked to Hannah about her plans.

"I think it's going to bring me out of my comfort zone," she commented. She thought the experience would make her braver.

At the recent craft fair held at the intermediate school, Hannah was selling baked goods as a fundraiser for her trip. She also works at her family's farm in Columbia Cross Roads to earn money for the excursion.

She is excited about it.

"I think it's really awesome."

If you would like to make a donation for Hannah's trip, you can call her mother at (570) 297-0185.

Her mother, Stacy, said they've been talking about safety and travel, and the experience of going through an airport, in an effort to prepare Hannah. They've also been researching the Land Down Under. As farmers, they were delighted to find out that the country does have some ranching operations.

She noted that Hannah was nominated for the "People to People" program, and had to fill out an application and go through an interview process, before she was selected.

Hannah, a member of the student council, also received three recommendations, one each from teacher and student council advisor Michelle Manning, band teacher Brianne Carpenter, and 4-H advisor Kristy York-Morse.

Stacy thinks the trip will benefit her daughter because it will show her a different culture and show her the importance of peace. Hannah said her favorite subject in school is World Cultures, which makes the trip appropriate for her.

Hannah is looking forward to going backstage at the Sydney Opera House, taking a plunge in the Great Barrier Reef, spending some time on a farm, and meeting the Aborigines. In addition, Hannah, who is interested in becoming a veterinarian when she grows up, would like to see a koala or a kangaroo.

I'm sure she won't have any problem hopping to it.

Do you have an idea for the Western Bradford Notebook? You can reach Eric Hrin at (570) 297-5251; email: