Even for seasoned travelers, arriving in central Nairobi, Kenya, during afternoon rush hour is a hectic experience. Local ‘matador’ buses spew exhaust, revving their engines as if picking a fight with the snaking queues waiting to board. The traffic is packed so tight even motorbikes are jammed. How do ambulances get around in this city? I don’t have to wonder long. Within a few days I’m on one.

Stellah Sakina, EMT with St John Kenya, gets out of her ambulance and moves deftly between stuck vehicles, asking drivers to move just a little more left, another to take some vacant space against a gutter. We can squeeze ahead, bit by bit, a fraction closer to our call. Slowly we follow behind Stellah as she walks through evening traffic, lane splitting on foot to guide us through.

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