By Brianne Johnson, Mali Rising's Inspiration Intern
If I’m going to be Mali Rising Foundation’s Inspiration Intern, I should probably say something inspiring, right? If I’m going to say something inspiring, I should probably take you all back to 2013.
That’s when sixteen-year-old Brianne got on a plane to Mali, West Africa. In my blog I was writing at the time I wrote that I thought going there would be like “a big family reunion where you cannot eat or drink anything and you stick out like a sore thumb.” I wish I could describe the trip that simply, but to do so would be to miss out on its beautiful complexities.
Going to Mali meant coming to appreciate Mali Rising in an inexplicably intimate way. It started as being a way for me to show my support for the foundation and quickly became a lesson in adventure and compassion. It was awkwardly “knuckle-bumping” countless students, hiding my near-translucent skin from the harsh Malian sun, and (attempting to) play a game of marbles in the dirt. I believe in what Mali Rising is doing so strongly because I know that when you support Mali Rising , you support Mali’s fiercely strong and wildly dynamic culture that I came to love in my time there.
If you want to hear the story of how I got my Malian name or why gummy bears are an essential part of Mali Rising public relations you ought to visit the blog from my 2013 trip to Mali at Brianneisinmali.blogspot.com. Otherwise, keep an eye out for future posts where I detail stories of going to Mali!