Burning Bush, Inc., a Nashville-based 501 (c) (3), was founded by nurse Poppy Buchanan, along with the help of her family and friends. For nearly a decade, Burning Bush has been partnering with local nurses, entrepreneurs and concerned citizens to address the needs and dreams of the people in Ndathi, a small farming community near the base of Mt. Kenya (4 hours drive north of Nairobi). The nearest hospital is two hours away over very rough roads. Burning Bush and community members worked together to build a clinic that now serves a population of 20,000 people in and around Ndathi. In addition to the clinic, motivated community members have formed a number of micro-finance groups. Micro-finance groups offer participants sustainable financial leverage to improve their quality of life. The strong international friendships, healthcare and economic initiatives fostered through Burning Bush demonstrate the inspiring change for good that can come from a thoughtful, dedicated group of people.
While in Kenya, I also traveled to the Great Rift Valley and Masai Mara, visited a school at Lake Victoria in the west, and spent a few days on the small island of Lamu off of Kenya’s northeastern coast. My experiences in Kenya exposed me to the tribal, political, religious, economic, and environmental diversity of what has historically been a relatively stable African nation. While aware of some mild political and tribal tension during the lead up to the presidential elections (December 27, 2007), I was heartbroken to receive news of the widespread ethnic violence that erupted throughout the country when the election became contested. I admire the spirit and hospitality of the Kenyans I met and I am hopeful that peace negotiations will put an end to the current political turbulence. My journey through Kenya was overwhelming and inspiring. I feel that I have only begun to scratch the surface of this complex and fascinating part of the world.