Bagarap and beauty (Nancy Anderson, PNG)

Posted on August 23, 2010 by Global Mission Support

 Thank you, Creator God, for the gift and beauty of this new day.  Help me trust.  Help me focus on what is important.  Bless the work I do this day in this place.

Soon after arriving in Papua New Guinea, I learned a great new word in Pidgin: bagarap!  The exclamation is used to describe an unexpected and unpredictable situation or the expected and predictable demise of the well-planned day: “Em bagarap!”

Bagarap! is a useful word to know as I learn how to accomplish things in Papua New Guinea.  For example, I recently inherited responsibility as Pool Car Coordinator to manage the care and utilization of the church partnership’s shared cars.  Each Monday morning, with hope more than confidence, I say to myself and to Jonah, our young driver, “It’s a new day!  It’s a new week!” And then, well, bagarap happens.

Thank you for the change; where’s the receipt?”
“Thank you for the receipt; where’s the change?”
“Please remember to lock the padlocks at night.”
“What happened to the Nissan’s taillight?”
“The insurance and registration on the Nissan has lapsed?”

One morning, as I sat anticipating the bagarap of the day ahead, my husband said “look at what I saw this morning when I opened the kitchen curtains!”  He pointed to the vine crawling up our back staircase and there, in resplendent beauty were gorgeous lavender azaleas.  In my distraction I had missed the beauty right under my nose.  My gasp was a prayer of gratitude. 

ELCA missionary Nancy Anderson serves in Papua New Guinea with her husband, the Rev. Rod Nordby.