When your grandson’s birth is preceded by eleven days of street protests in the heart of Quito, does the smell of tear gas penetrate the womb, do the whir of helicopters and the boom of explosions echo inside the uterine wall, does all of it presage more disruptive events in his life? Ilio’s was not …

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When you spend five weeks in a city not your own, sometimes its heartbeat can become yours. I was a visitor and, in many instances, a tourist in Quito. Not to mention a habitual eavesdropper on a language in which I have yet to gain fluency. Every day I walked among Ecuatorianos, straining to discern …

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