By Michael Butler
Next month, Erin Dunn might be in for some culture shock. The Tallassee High School sophomore will be in the Outback of Australia.
Dunn is taking part in the People to People Ambassador Program. The opportunity actually came earlier, when Dunn was in eighth grade.
"I would've gone this past summer," she said. "My parents were like, 'Nope. You're too young.' We got another letter last year. I talked my dad into going to the information meeting before you agree to go. He thought it would be a good idea."
The farthest Dunn has traveled previously was just weeks ago when she and members of the Pride of Tallassee marching band traveled to San Antonio, Tex.
That was a bus trip. "It was terrible on the bus," she said of the lengthy ride. "It was an experience. They're heavily influenced by Mexico's culture."
This trip will be Dunn's first on a airplane. "We're flying to Los Angeles, then to Sydney." The flight from L. A. to Australia is about 15 hours.
Dunn says she is a little nervous about the flight, but not the three-week stay which will include time with an Aboriginal family, as well as sightseeing at the Great Barrier Reef. "My dad's been kind of iffy about it with all the drama going on all over the world and plane crashes. He was like, 'If another plane goes down, you're not going.' I was like, 'Dad, I'll be okay.'"
Travel plans and fundraising for the $7,950 trip have been underway since last summer. On Saturday, May 16, a fish fry will be held at Oak Valley Station United Methodist Church beginning at 5:00 p.m to assist with costs.
Dunn departs on June 14.