The Backstory…well part of it
Had the opportunity to become intimately acquainted with NBO airport for 48HRS due to priority bumping. You know that feeling you get when you thought you had priority boarding but you weren’t showing up in the system as prioritized. That’s when you know there is a high likelihood of not boarding your flight if you’re not showing in the system. Seeing as that happened 2X in a row, I figured not to waste an opportunity sulking about why I’m not boarding, but to instead plan out the next 24 HRS of my stay.
Sometimes, when you’re attempting to make your connection, you like many others will find yourselves “jog-running” through the terminal. As you're bobbing and weaving the crowds to get to your next gate; with tunnel vision, you never really get a chance to see anything. Everything at that moment exists as a blur. It’s not until you have a moment to spare, that you begin taking in everything around you.
Well my moment to spare, came as a result of being priority bumped. What seemed to be a bumping delay inevitably presented an opportunity for me to revisit my jog-running steps. I had flown passed so many boutiques and didn’t have a chance to really see anything. After all, I’m in the motherland, the Origin of mankind. I’m missing a whole lot right now.
The first 24HRS was interesting. I was attempting to figure out where my quiet resting place would be in the airport. I knew I needed to move expeditiously because quite a few others had already found their 24HR lounge chairs for the evening, had pulled out blankets and plugged in phones. It was a matter of time before I finally found my own. Now, considering my location, I opted for a cubby corner of which I found. Tiptoeing around a few snoozers, I found the perfect corner spot equipped with an outlet, a great window view of the tarmac and wonderfully lit downtown Nairobi skyline in the distance. After pulling out my travel scarf covering, it was time to mark my territory and close my eyes for a moment to rest.
After coffee, I ran into some other fellow “PAX-bumpees” from my flight. After exchanging dialogue, I decided to explore the shops and boutiques throughout NBO again. This time, I was able to take in what I missed the night before. After being okayed to take pictures at one boutique, the shop-keeper went on to inform me that there were issues with some who would come in to take pictures only to do nefarious things with them. I was absolutely familiar with what she was divulging as it reminded me of this very topic I had wrote about on the safeguards of infinite creative types.
That is to say, when you have a creative gifting ability, you never run out of it, it just keeps going and going…
The second 24 hours got interesting when I was priority bumped again. I think that time, it got a little interesting because some of the airport staff was like, “You still here?” I’m like, “Yes!” I told one that I decided to take the position that Kenya wanted me to stay just a little longer.
So, another night it was to chill out in my lounge chair and interact with fellow transit from across the Continent. I had some really nice dialogues with the young sisters representing everywhere from the UK to Zimbabwe. At this point, I was beginning to see and experience what I needed to experience.
By this time, the assembly of my pictures and video footage was being stored. By mid-day, I had one of those confirmation moments as to what I had been experiencing up to that point. Sitting across from me, in another lounge, was an elder brother who happened to be listening to the news from Nigeria and playing music on his phone. All of a sudden, he played a rendition of Michelle's “Say Yes” At which point, I hollered out a “Heeeey” and before I knew it, threw the can-I-get-a-witness hand in the air. He looked over and smiled. It's amazing how we can just make that connection sometimes.
Priority Boarding Top-listed
I had finally connected with a supervisor to get my priority boarding status corrected. While there, I had advocated for another of my Ghanaian sisters for the same. After completing that step, there was still time before boarding.
So I took the opportunity to visit one more shop on the final day of my short-stay at the NBO. I’m glad I did. I had already taken in so many symbolic expressions that I know kept me guided in the knowing that, “…all things were working for my good…” even though the experience of it felt surreal, I knew that my stay for a time would bless me in some way. It did and for which I'm most grateful.
That evening I boarded after having saluted the gate agents who confirmed my priority status. I then awaited boarding and afterwards, headed down the jet-bridge to board my flight. My appointed time had come and it was time for me to finish putting it all together and head back to the States.
In closing...putting it together
So, months later, I put together a little compilation of appreciation for the transit through NBO and how 2 bumps gave me a few spare moments to take in some wonderful artwork! I’m a witness, “YAH works out delays for our good.”
Featured: Spare Moments at the NBO
So, stay encouraged and know that even a “bump” if it’s in His will, will work out for His greater plan and purpose for your life! Mine afforded me the time I needed to not only avert a storm that was vastly approaching my destination but a spare moment to receive my confirmation!
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