-Pass through immigration -Get a visa (even if i was just going into another flight) -Get my luggage (Emirates Airlines lady in Fort Lauderdale told me I'd have to pick it up in Nairobi and check it in again there) -Check in and pass TSA -Find my gate
All in about one hour. Easy right?
Totally wrong and thank God for Kenya and the people who work at the airport because my idiot self started panicking thinking I wouldn't get it all done. You see, the line to get the Visa and pass through immigration wasn't moving; the line extended to outside the building. I asked a worker if he could help me and he seemed a little hesitant - so I started crying (not crocodile tears, I could already see myself wondering if I should leave my luggage and catch my flight or miss my flight and get my luggage). I could feel myself boiling up because up to now, flying alone for about two days had gone perfectly fine. After like 10 minutes (which felt like three hours) of getting my Visa and the start of me being an absolute disaster, I pass through to get my luggage. Out of all the bags, mine wasn't coming out on the carrier belt and I could feel the same heat start up again. I had about thirty minutes to get to my next flight and the panic was back. The lady at baggage saw me, I explained and the tears were back (trust me, I hate this and also judge myself for it - you're not alone). She legit started running to another lady asking if they can rush my luggage to Kilimanjaro so I can go get myself on a plane!! They checked my baggage ticket and said it was going straight to Kili (@lady from Fort Lauderdale you lie like a rug).
Outside, pass the people greeting loved ones, my sweaty, half crying self crosses two major roads to get to the "departures" side of the airport. A little confused on how to get to Terminal A, I ask this group of four men. They all tell me a different direction. *eye roll*
THEN OUT OF NOWHERE KENYAN WONDER WOMAN CAME TO MY RESCUE
"Honey, never trust men. Come with me."
Kenyan Wonder Woman started actually running with me to the terminal saying I should've looked for someone in uniform. "I'm sorry I'm just a mess right now," was all I could say.
Inside, the airport was your average check in and baggage and blah blah blah. I had about twenty minutes to go at this point but felt much better about my chances of actually getting to Kilimanjaro.
Four TSA checks and about 10 minutes of speed walking (put me in the Olympics, please), I finally get to my gate and the lady checking my boarding ticket takes her sweet little time to get my passport and start talking to another coworker for a few minutes before clearing me. WOMAN.
The waiting room to board was really small and to say there were maybe 30 people on board is being generous. Without the need for a microphone, the flight attendant just came into the room and said "okay time to go!" Walking into the plane, God must've said "aaaaaand here's the punchline" because out of nowhere a staff member came running with my luggage to send it to Kilimanjaro.
Fort Lauderdale lady was right, my condolences.
45 minutes later and I could see Mount Kilimanjaro and all of a sudden, my tears and sweat from Kenya didn't matter.