“So how do you say this?” said the man eagerly as he pointed to the scrawl on his napkin. He repeated carefully back to me: “Wiggalswort.” Curiosity got the better of me and I asked the elderly but sprightly man who he was referring to. After all it was the first time that introducing myself as English (something that happens several times every day) had elicited that response.
I should have taken greater note of the gaudy yellow book under his arm: “Amazing true stories of the world’s greatest miracles!!!” Half an hour later I was still trying to feign polite interest at his recounting of the life of every 19th Century British missionary that had stepped foot on Latin America soil.
Victor, the Argentinean evangelical priest who cornered me in a café in central Cochabamba, had a knowledge of mission history that may well feature as one of the miracles in his book. I also have no doubt that it outweighed his insight into the history of pre-colonial peoples from either his home country Argentina or Bolivia.