I looked at the faces of the global VIPs visiting Himalayan Institute Cameroon as the 14 students of the Total Health Center Program introduced themselves. I saw that my eyes were not the only ones filled with mist—at that moment, I knew that this was Africa speaking. Here is some of what we heard:
“You told me to wait but my family and I have heard those words for generations. You said you would bring a medical school to me and you didn’t. You brought something so much better, so much more practical but you did not bring it to me—you brought it to all of us.” A man from Bamenda, addressing the Himalayan Institute Cameroon staff.
“I loved my training as a veterinarian. I love the animals, and I love my profession. I had no idea that my dreams would die simply because I could not buy the medical equipment essential to my profession.” Her voice never wavered and her gaze stayed fixed on all of us.
“My father was the traditional healer of my village. He died two months ago without a successor. Becoming a consultant through this training will end my father’s grief and bring great joy to my people. You have taught me how to blend the old ways with the new—without offending nor ignoring my tradition. There is no way for you to know what a great day my graduation will bring to my family.” His head was bowed and his humility was palpable.