"Pediatricians have observed that a non-drugged newborn is often more alert during the first day than any time in the following week or two. These alert hours facilitate the formation of the early bonding. When a baby is groggy from medications given to the mother in labor, however, neither the baby nor the mother can take advantage of this God-given period. Or when the baby is whisked away to the isolation of a nursery, this time of acute awareness may be lost as well.
Like the first day of an infant's life, the first two or three weeks of a newcomer missionary's stay is of crucial importance. The initial blush of life in the new environment is when developing a sense of belonging is most possible. During this time, a person may be especially able to cope with the unpredictable situations encountered in the new culture, and cushioning is the last thing needed."
New missionaries are counseled to accept for conditions for their first few weeks:
1) Be willing to live with a local family,
2) Limit personal belongings to 20 kilos,
3) Use only local public transportation, and
4) Expect to carry out language learning in the contesx of relationships that the learner is responsible to develop and maintain.
-from The Difference Bonding Makes by E. Thomas and Elizabeth S. Brewster, Perspectives on the World Christian Movement(3rd Ed.)