Radmila_PetricRada Petric tells Elizabeth Baker why she found nature comforting during the Bosnian War.

EB: It sounds like you have a really deep personal connection to nature already. What would you say started that? Did you have any specific experiences when you were a child that you remember or influences?

RP: My grandma used to live in the mountains and I would go to her every summer and winter and I would spend some time there. But one other thing that deepened my roots is I was born in Bosnia, and during the Bosnian war I actually got separated from my parents for a number of years when I was seven years old. I ended up living with my aunt at the time and they, I mean, they provided for me, but they just didn’t give me love and care. And I had a lot of nightmares as a result of all the bombing and shooting. And when I would get scared and wake up in the middle of the night, the only safe place that I could find was a barn where all the animals were, and they would all come and cuddle with me and they would make me feel safe. So that’s really the place where I really I bonded with nature and animals.

EB: What a story. Did you have a favorite animal in that barn?

RP: It was a big old fluffy dog. He was a whole bunch of different breeds, a mutt. And he would always come and curl up next to me on the bed of hay and we would sleep together.

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