Friday night was the annual Kijabe staff party, a time to dress up and celebrate with the Kijabe team, now of 1000+ people.
This year was unique, because in addition to the pageantry, Arianna received the Director General merit award, nominated by her colleagues as a staff member who exemplifies Kijabe values by continuously going the extra mile to love patients and their families.
She swears she was shaking on stage, but I didn’t notice. . .and we could always blame it on the cold, though the spotlight is not a place that she typically gravitates toward.
Arianna gravitates toward the sickest patients, always seeking them out, with the sixth-sense developed over the years to know who needs intervention and of what sort.
She does, as Ken Muma shared, take time to care for mums after a death, to truly grieve with them, to show them tangibly that their child was dearly loved.
But I think it is important to note that Arianna hates death, and sees it far less frequently than when we first came to Kijabe. The endless teachings and trainings, the mock codes, the pediatric emergency and critical care curriculum, the amazing contributions of her team from nurses to pediatricians. . .the hard work simply works.
Much beyond healing, it is team that truly motivates Arianna. Her phenomenal colleagues in pediatrics and Peds surgery, Sarah, Ima, Esther, Mardi, Anne, Mary, Wayne, Pete, Ken, Erik, Alain, Amon, Emmanuel. Her tremendous clinical officers, her medical officer interns, her nurses. Nothing she does is in isolation, and there is significant effort in ensuring that schedules align, each teammate is happy and supported, working in their sweet spot, being challenged but not stretched too far.
Our home is frequently full, and our dinner-table overflowing as we share time with each of these friends. We keep a freezer stocked with samosas, ready to share at a quick lunch. Coffee is always available, we drink and share more than is healthy!
Arianna makes little delineation between medicine and friendship, they go hand in hand. I think this is as it should be.
It is this sharing of life that is the essence of discipleship – walking together, learning together, experiencing together. Spiritual moments, mundane moments. Chai and codes. Loss and gain. Tears and laughter.
We are surrounded by amazing people, and Arianna truly loves and leans on them.
I think that is worthy of recognition.