What’s in a name?

To celebrate 100 likes on my instagram account, as well as my first ever white Christmas, I wanted to answer a question that I’ve been asked by a few times. What one earth does “KATIE_KWAHERI” mean?

IMG_8953I guess that’s a fair question. Let’s break it down. Katie…well that’s my real name. It’s on my license, my passport as well as my birth certificate. Well, technically not, but it is a derivative of the name on those documents. No, I don’t think that the Katie part is what is tripping people up. I think, maybe, they’re stuck on kwaheri. So, let me fill you’ll in.

When I first found out that my visa to work in Canada was approved, my slightly millennial brain immediately started searching for a hashtag for my adventures. A brand new, never used hashtag. Of course, it had to have something to do travel and leaving home and exploration and adventure. And my writer brain really wanted to use an alliteration. So, when my mother tongue failed me, I turned to random languages. Swahili suited me well.

As a child, young(er) person and even now, I have loved the stories of Australian missionary, Paul White who spent his life in Tanganyika (now Tanzania). I read each of his books hundreds of times. And, he included snippets of Swahili in-between the stories and historical facts and that’s where my fascination with the language began. So when the Swahili word for goodbye suited my alliteration dreams, kwaheri it was.

🇹🇿 Kwaheri > > > 🇬🇧 Goodbye

So, that’s the story of #katiekwaheri
You’ve had your little Swahili lesson for the day, and I’ve finally explained my strange name and title. Merry Christmas from snowy Utah and this girl who’s thrilled to be experiencing her very first white Christmas!


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