By Tiffany Law ’13
During the summer 2012 term at Thunderbird, a group of students attended the Thunderbird Summer Language Abroad Program in Buenos Aires, Argentina. They would forever be known under a title passed down from each group to the next: The Thundercitos.
So began a wonderful adventure in language and culture with the amazing and ever-working Spanish professor at Thunderbird: Carmen Vega-Carney. For two weeks we studied on the Glendale campus until we thought our heads would explode from all the new information. We built relationships, gained nicknames, and planned our excursions for when we arrived in Argentina.
Then, we boarded our planes and took off for Buenos Aires. After a rocky start of miscommunication with our partner, the ECELA or Escuelas y Centros de Español en Latino América, we were all settled in with our home stay families. We started our classes with our professors at ECELA and continued to have tutoring with Carmen.
We went on amazing expeditions while in Buenos Aires including: visiting the US Embassy, going to Tigre and taking a river cruise to a wonderful German restaurant, and going to the famous San Telmo street market! We also took small trips of our own and even managed to participate in a polo lesson!
As the program went on we were all very sad that it would soon be over. We would have to take regular classes and would have no possibility of learning more Spanish from Carmen. We just could not bear the thought of being separated! So we started planning a study group for during the upcoming trimester! We all agreed that we wanted to continue with Spanish to work towards improvement and the ultimate goal of gaining fluency.
We wanted the creation of this group to stand apart and have more meaning for the community of Thunderbird and Glendale. Each student gave an amount for a combined charitable donation of $400, which we would donate to the Boys & Girls Club of Metropolitan Phoenix.
On Tuesday, November 13, 2012, Ms. Kimberly Searles from the Boys & Girls Club joined us for one of our bi-weekly meetings to receive the funds and experience a bit of Thunderbird’s wonderful atmosphere of learning and willingness to help others. We were finally official and we would name our group: the Thundercitos – Sociedad de espanol para celebrar la vida!
Special thanks to Carmen Vega-Carney from your dutiful students: Tiffany Law, Joseph Black, Jon Paul Aultman, Rena James, Nicole Mueller, Ryan O’Neal, Logan Wilson, Mohammed Abu Zeinab, and Gregory Osborne
Pictured in Photo: Carmen Vega-Carney, Kimberly Searles, Tiffany Law, Jon Paul Aultman, Rena James, Nicole Mueller, Mohammed Abu Zeinab, and Gregory Osborne