Get to know me: 20 Questions

Happy Sunday!

I recently read about this challenge put out by Caitlin Kelly (BroadsideBlog). Get to know me a little better!

What are some of your passions, hobbies or interests?

Learning new languages is a big part of my life – English, Kiswahili/Swahili, German and Japanese in order of strength of command. Travel and starting new projects at home and for work are very interesting especially since I started keeping my own home in the last 4 years only. I also write constantly either using pen and paper, which I love, or on a device like laptop or smartphone. I am a happy lifelong reader, and I am never without 3 or 4 books I am tackling at any one time. Currently reading Children of Blood and Bone – a first by Tomi Adeyemi and The Confidence Code  by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman.


What were you known for in school?

I was well known for academic excellence, and also picking an interesting mix of subjects. In high school I was one of only two students who picked Computer Science and German, and aced both. In university I studied the Growth and Structure of Cities at Bryn Mawr College, a liberal arts degree combining urban anthropology and economics.

Scariest moment?

Walking onto a street just as two Matatu (public van)  drivers in Nairobi were racing out of their parking slots in the Central Business District and missing being knocked over by inches only because they came to a complete stop upon hearing me screaming for my life through their open windows. Phew!

Best job?

I worked for four years on an exciting film and media project coordinating film screenings in support of women leadership. You can check it out at Women and Girls Lead



Stuffed animals or dolls or…?

Currently only at one stuffed animal and I am thinking it is enough for now. Unless I get a Hidden Figures doll set

Do you have siblings? Are you close to them emotionally?

Yes, I have one sister who is my bestie and we are very close.

Are you outdoors-y — or, as humorist Fran Lebowitz wrote, is the outdoors what you step through between the restaurant and the taxi?

I am not an outdoorsy person. Any hiking and ambling and camping has been incidental and rarely planned by me. That being said, I think this will change as I start enjoying being outdoors more and more in green, filled-with-parks Germany.

Are you married or partnered? If not, do you enjoy being single?

I am married and live with my husband here in Germany.

What’s your nickname?

My 10 letter long first and last names have yielded many nicknames over the years. Josephine Karianjahi. Jo, Jojo, Njahi, FineFine, Jos, JK. And I love them all.

What would we typically find in your fridge?

Assorted jams, sweet peppers, lemons, milk (low fat), apple cider vinegar, and at least 1 full meal that can be heated up as leftovers.

Do you enjoy entertaining friends and family?

Absolutely. I am happy to get to do that more and more as the weather continues to warm up, and of course winter is always indoors time. I love fancying up every day meals with cutlery, napkins and decorations. I am always learning from how other friends and family host us when we visit, and it makes my heart sing to break bread with friends.

Are you a highly social and outgoing person — or happier alone at home?

I am an extrovert and enjoy networking and meeting new people. Alternately, I love being home, and my own company too.

Most beautiful place you’ve visited?

It has to be Cabo da Roca, the most westerly point of Europe which I wrote about for Medium  in Europe so far. In Kenya it has to be Shela Village in Lamu, Kenya, which we visited in 2016 for the very first time. Shela Village boasts an amazing beach and Swahili culture like no other.

Secret hope?

To publish some work that tells stories I have been aching to share about the world from my eyes and experiences living, studying and working in Kenya, the USA and Germany.

Have you achieved the goal(s) you set for yourself when younger/in university?

Not yet. I am 6 years out from my last university course and I am not yet there.

If so, what was it/were they?

….Answer Loading…

If not, are you OK with that?

No, but that gives me fuel to keep working on my goals long term.

Do you struggle with/manage a chronic medical condition?

I do not, and I am thankful for each day of mobility and good health.

Do you follow a spiritual or religious tradition/faith?

Yes, I do follow the Christian faith from the Anglican/Episcopal tradition, and this is a great source of fulfilment in my life.

What makes you laugh loudest and most often?

My husband. One of the best parts of being married to him.






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