Traveling with Pandit Rajmani Tigunait and the Himalayan Institute team is a one-of-a-kind experience. Those who joined Panditji this summer on the trip to Cameroon ended their two-week service pilgrimage with nothing less than that. The trip was filled with adventure, selfless service, great food, and a peek into an authentic West African culture. The bumpy dirt roads leading to the Himalayan Institute Cameroon (HIC) Community Center is always a test of patience, but as soon as the guests arrived in Kumbo they found themselves spontaneously overcome with an appreciation for this new land and culture. Upon arrival, the HIC staff greeted our 30 excursion participants with huge smiles, songs, and vibrant dancing.
The HIC Public Library was as active as ever and continues to serve thousands of community members of all ages. The excursion was all about humanitarian service. Over the course of their stay, volunteers read and played with children while enjoying the facilities. Additionally, HIC outreach efforts with local schools gave visitors a taste of what growing up in Kumbo is like. The one-room classrooms were full of children wanting to interact with all of HIC’s guests, as they handed out coloring books. Meanwhile, the Total Health Program, the School of Carpentry & Construction, and the Women’s Empowerment programs continue to teach healthy and sustainable ways for the people of Kumbo to improve their living conditions. With hearts wide open, the participants donated their time and watched how their efforts impacted the lives of everyone around them.
Off campus, there was no lack of excitement either. The HIC staff led the group through visits with the king of Nso, dancing with Jujus at the palace of the Nso Kingdom, tasting fresh, organic, locally grown food, taking nature walks to waterfalls, and finally culminating with a stay on a black sand beach of Limbe, near Mount Cameroon. Participants found themselves smiling with wonder and amazement every day. This whole experience was further imbued with the presence of Pandit Rajmani Tigunait’s loving satsanga and guidance on spirituality and selfless service to all the participants. No one walked away empty-handed.
Change is in the air and each day brings the Himalayan Institute’s work in Cameroon closer and closer to sustainably fulfilling its mission. These efforts shine a light of hope, healing, and prosperity to a community who is willing to listen, learn, and share. All this was made possible through our friends, families, members, and donors. We thank all of you for your support!