Reporters on the Job
• Chasing Noboa: Staff writer Sara Miller Llana and photographer Alfredo Sosa followed one of Ecuador's presidential candidates on the campaign trail. But they didn't know how harrowing an assignment it would be. "Our driver was charged with keeping us close to Alvaro Noboa so we could take photos of him hurling T-shirts onto rooftops, into bus windows, and to every hand that reached out for one," says Sara.
"While we appreciated our driver's dedication to keeping up, it quickly turned dangerous for all involved. We had 10 near misses in 101 minutes (I timed it). Children on the side of the road were falling in front of cars in pursuit of the free T-shirts."
But the NASCAR-esque campaign didn't end after the T-shirts were gone. In fact, the pace quickened. "Noboa's convoy, with a police escort, was drag-racing down the Pan-American highway. We thought we were rushing back so Noboa could make a plane, though it was clear that all these drivers and police officers were thoroughly enjoying themselves," says Sara.
The real destination? An Italian restaurant. "He likes to eat," an aide told Sara with a shrug. "Responding to my look of incredulity, he added, 'It's also for security.'
"Whose security?!" Sara wondered.
David Clark Scott