Re-Entry. This word is used in space travel. Let me use it in a sentence: “The astronauts re-entered the burning hot atmosphere of Earth.”
We use this word in the “missionary” world for both the entry back to our passport culture, as well as, entry back into our host culture after a time away.
We just re-entered Nicaragua. Not unlike re-entry into the burning hot atmosphere of Earth, it is rough, hot, bumpy and disorienting. The touch-down onto the Managua runway is a bumpy one and the plane needs to stop in what feels like a distance of 10 yards. The first place you visit is the immigration/customs desk where lots of document checking has to happen (not to mention pulling Spanish from the sleepy recesses of your brain to speak with the customs agent). After that, you go to find your bags. In our case, 4 of our checked bags didn’t make it. After gathering what bags did make it, you lumber through the baggage x-ray process praying that nothing looks ‘taxable’ or ‘take-able’. Then you pass through the double glass doors into swarms of people waiting for their travelers. Everyone is in their own world and so a lot of pushing through hugging groups happens while trying to drag your luggage and kids through the masses. THEN, you enter the burning hot environment of a tropical climate and you promptly start sweating from places that were previously dry during your time in the land of air conditioning. After getting everyone and everything into the car, the harrowing drive home starts. On our drive home, several cars felt the need to share our lane, a pedestrian felt the need to test physics by nearly running into our car (an object stays in motion until enacted upon by an outside force), and we were reminded of the importance of a working car horn.
Finally arriving ‘home’ was familiar yet foreign. I awoke several times throughout the night completely unaware of where I was. Falling asleep in the time zone I left and awaking in the time zone I now found myself meant only a few hours of sleep.
Rejoining life here in Nicaragua post the stress of re-entry feels like you are a wind-up toy that has been carried in the hand of a toddler and has been fully wound and then set down on a very flat surface in which it promptly takes off!
So there you have it: RE-ENTRY. Now, go use it in a sentence.