Skipping a semester of your eighth grade year to go down to Mexico seems astonishing, but an eighth-grader at Key Peninsula Middle School is getting that chance. Hannah Buck will spend the second half of her eighth grade year in Los Barriles, Mexico.

Instead of flying, she will be driving with her family in her motor home. It should take them around four to five days to reach their house, which is in a very tropical location. To keep busy, she has many friends from other families she met on previous trips. Hannah is not fluent in Spanish but it is one of the goals she would like to accomplish while in Mexico, so she will be getting a tutor to help her out.

Hannah is a top student. Only a hard worker such as her can manage to stay on top academically.  When asked about her school work, she said, “I will not be going to school in Mexico. Instead, I will be involved in an Internet program that will help me with my schooling. If I don’t understand some of it, my mom will also help.”

It will be difficult for Hannah to be away from all her friends but she says she will be able to stay in contact with them by calling, emailing, and via Instant Messaging.

“It’s an opportunity to grow culturally, but I plan to relax, and work on my tan as well,” she said of her plans. Her mom, Patty Buck, added, “I want this trip for Hannah because I think it’s a good experience for her living in a different culture. She’ll be living a much simpler life away from her friends, and I hope she will be more involved in the community down there and maybe do some volunteer work.”

Hannah’s mom seemed to search for the right words when asked about her daughter missing four months of her eighth-grade year. “I have mixed emotions about the whole thing. I think that in the long run, it will be a good thing,” she said. “Right now, I’m a little apprehensive. The whole schooling topic could be a problem. Doing four months of homework and learning things on a computer will be no easy job. It’s very stressful for Hannah. She especially doesn’t want to leave her dance classes. So, we have someone in Mexico who will give her private lessons. I’m not sure. I suppose the whole thing is just bitter-sweet.”

This journey for Hannah is a great opportunity because she gets to be in a different culture and learn many new things. Hopefully she will take full advantage of this and experience it to the fullest.

The people closest to Hannah wish her well and hope to see her soon. They look forward to hearing about her trip and are excited to see her in a few months. Well, for now Hannah, it’s Adios!

Kristie Byrd is an eighth-grade student at KPMS and a member of the school’s student newspaper.

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