September sure put some miles on the Bus! Since its inception, we’ve visioned the Bus as not only a service provider, but a mobile classroom where we could teach by example, inspiring others with the feasibility of offering a no-cost, earth-based, community clinic.
Last month I finally had the chance to do just that. For their final student clinic of the year, the Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine hosted The Herb Bus. After giving the students a preliminary training (using the Herb Bus Service Manual as our guide) about how to run a free, mobile, herbal clinic, we set up the bus at a community in Asheville to allow the students a chance to work in this type of health care model. We had a great time serving the folks at The Landing.
During a post-clinic feedback session, I was asked, “Do you need a VW Bus to do this type of clinic?” And while I am clearly partial to this little Bus, the Herbalista Free Clinic would function out of the back of my Honda hatchback if need be. Good healthcare (just like good health) requires both flexibility and creativity to serve the needs of the community with the resources available.
To see more from this clinic, check out the album in our Photo Gallery.
Just a couple of days later, I loaded the Bus for a trip to Arizona. My final destination– the Herbal Resurgence Rendezvous. This conference did not disappoint, from its beautiful location in the Coconino National Forest to its eclectic and deeply knowledgable class offerings. I visited with old friends and teachers and made new connections. Sitting under that bi, western sky I was reminded of the strength it requires to survive such impacting conditions. Those plants have developed potent defenses from which we benefit when we receive the gift of herbal medicine. If you would like to see some of the plants, lands, and people I spent time with on my travels, you can click here.
On my way back through Flagstaff, I was invited to Ponderosa High School to share a little bit about herbal medicine and the adventures of the Herb Bus with their gardening/permaculture class. Ponderosa High is an accommodations school that enrolls and mentors students who have faced difficult challenges in their lives. I was inspired by the students’ ability to transform desert concrete into an oasis of creativity and sustainability, and enjoyed sharing with them some of the herbal uses for the plants growing around their school. In honor of the Elder tree near where the Bus was parked, we passed around a touch of Elder Berry glycerite for them to try. For more photos of the program at Ponderosa High, please click here. It was a lovely morning and I am grateful to my friend, Jonathon Taylor, for inviting me to meet with his class.