The past few months have been very busy since I left Ecuador. We have been working hard on the documentary, El Último Hielero (The Last Ice Merchant), and continuing to prepare our book, Train of Dreams: The Passage of Time. I’m delighted to say that, after months of silence, I have returned to Ecuador to continue work on our projects and keep things moving. This time I am here to focus on the book. And, of course, I have reunited with Rodrigo to see what kinds of trouble we can get into.
Once I arrived, we immediately headed down to the coast to collect interviews from railroad workers and descendents of railroad workers, as well as to scout locations for photography. We didn’t realize how quickly we would meet so many interesting people. In fact, we barely had to do any more than walk into Duran, the coastal town where the railway starts, to start uncovering stories.
For now I will focus on only one person, Sr. Davis. Sr. Davis is an engineer in Duran. Though he does not work for the train company, his father did, also as an engineer. His father, like many other railroad workers, felt passionately about Ecuador’s trains. The trains were such a focus in his life, in fact, that he devoted much of his personal time rebuilding miniature working versions of them in his garage. Hand-crafted and fully functioning, these trains are strong enough to carry adults across the miniature, hand-crafted tracks.
Today, Sr. Davis looks after the trains his father built by hand and brings them out of the garage on holidays. He is also always happy to give a tour of the garage and to share a personal demonstration to any passersby. The following is a video of the demonstration he gave us, with Rodrigo happily jumping on top of the train for a ride.