I dare you not to love Ron and want to be him when you grow up. It’s not possible because he is one of the greatest humans ever. I met Ron while in Bolivia as he is a dear friend of my professor and has been living in Bolivia since the 70’s. When you meet Ron, you may think he is soft spoken but but his mind anything but. He is one of those people who has truly lived; in every essence of the world and is still going. His style is something to aspire too, always with a hat on top and smile hiding underneath. He is forever a student, fascinated with the happenings of every day, from the mundane to the complex questions he continues to inquire about. If there is one thing I can say about him it’s that he is one of kind.
I started the interview in a very bumpy and short taxi ride from our hotel to the stunning restaurant Sol de Luna at the top of the hill in Coroico. Ron had been tagging along on our trip for a few days and I knew the second I met him in his shop in La Paz that I needed to talk to this human. As I started my interview, the pungent scent of the coca leaf permeated the air as Ron had a wad in his cheek. It’s moments and smells like this that will be in my memory and always remind me of this special time in an extraordinary country.
Kaila: Tell me about your upbringing, where you were born and how you ended up in South America.
Ron: I was born in the Sierras in a mining town and moved to South America when I was twenty-three.
Kaila: Why did you leave?
Ron: I was escaping the draft and wantedt to see the world with adventure.
Kaila: How long have you lived here?
Ron: Half of my life, thirty-five years.
Kaila: What is something you would change if you could?
Ron: I wish that I had been more skillful with dealing with people and that would have saved me a lot of trouble.
Kaila: What is your favorite part of Bolivia?
Ron: The women. Just kidding, I am not as enthusiastic as I used to be.
Kaila: What would you tell anyone?
Ron: Don’t sacrifice your idealism. Find what you love it and live it.
Kaila: Any last thoughts you want to share?
Ron: I feel blessed being able to be here now.
Where have you been?
Ah, hm, reminds me of a Grateful Dead line; what a long, strange trip it has been
Where are you now?
A very nice place with very nice people.
Where are you going?
Back to La Paz