Story told by Vladimir Bondarenko – Ukrainian journalist and political scientist
I have met Baba Vanga twice – the first time was in 1972 when I was still in second grade. Unfortunately I couldn’t see her, as I was blind at this time. In the same year me and my parents moved from Koblevo to Herson. I started a new school. Everything was going well until the day when an older student from my school beat me very badly. I had a terrible headache for a couple of days, and then I started to lose my eyesight gradually. My eye doctor prescribed me to wear glasses, and told me not to strain my eyesight. All this sounded like a sentence to me. I loved reading, and I didn’t stop with hours. I loved reading the books of Mayne Reid, Jack London, Cooper Green…Hiding from my mother, using a flashlight I was reading these books under my blanket for whole nights. My disease was getting worse, and even doctors in Moscow started to show signs of helplessness. They were telling me that there isn’t much else they can do, as atrophy had developed on my optic nerve. They offered to sign the papers that will give me the disability status. For a 10 year child, that was a very heavy blow. Very soon, I completely lost my eyesight. I had the feeling that my life had ended. I couldn’t go to school, I couldn’t read, I couldn’t play with the other kids on the street. I went into deep depression lying on my bed for hours.
This is when my mother started to take me to fortune-tellers and mystics. Unfortunately all these meetings were a waste of time, but nevertheless my mother didn’t give up. She had heard about Baba Vanga and decided to take me to Bulgaria to visit her.