Hello, friends. War is first of all about pain, loss, grief, and horror. It takes away the lives of millions of people, forcing the nations of different countries to confront a horrible battle. Breaking into ordinary people’s lives. It always brings suffering and disrupts their usual life. However, it would be wrong to assume that things go back to the way that they were. As soon as the war is over. It often happens that the aftershocks of war have a strong effect on the present.
That’s what happened to the characters of our story today. A lot has already been saying about the Vietnam War, but it was 1972 that turned out to be one of the most difficult years. A small village where Hovantan lived with his family didn’t escape the awful fate until the very last moment. The man kept hoping that their village wouldn’t be affected by military action. But unfortunately, life had other plans. On that tragic day, the war came to Joe Van Tan’s village, and most of his family had been killed. Realizing that he could no longer stay in the village, he had no choice but to save himself and his son, the man grabbed the boy in his arms and fled into the surrounding jungle.
I can’t remember how long we were running. Time seemed to have stopped. A few days had probably passed before I realized we were safe. But what could we do next? And how were we to survive? I couldn’t answer any of these questions, but I knew that I had to pull myself together, the man later recalled. Left in the wild with a two-year-old in his arms, HavantAN realized that they simply wouldn’t survive without shelter. And so he set about building a small hut, and sometime later he even built a camp in the lowland at a mountain riverbank. Ho Ventana realized that this place was both comfortable and far from danger.
I couldn’t recover from what had happened for a long time. I lost everything. But looking into my son’s eyes, I understood that I had to move on. Using what he had at hand, the man built a hut in the trees a few meters above the ground. This hut became their new home. He had no idea how much time they would have to spend there, but he knew for sure that it would be at least several months. And life went on as usual.
Over time, Hovantan adapted to living in the wild. At least, finding food wasn’t a problem. There were many berries, fruit, and vegetables in the jungle. The man also learned how to catch and cook fish, frogs, lizards, bats, birds, and even monkeys. Moreover, the man had to take care of his little son, so whenever he would go out hunting, the boy would always stay inside. The Hunt was intentionally located at a height out of reach of predators. At first, it was hard to get by without some regular things. Their small but loving family had to use sticks to eat, and leaves and grass for bedding and blankets.
That’s how the first weeks in the jungle went by. About a month later, Hovantan was wandering through the forest and stumbled upon a wrecked helicopter. It turned out to be a useful discovery. They found many things that came in handy later in their everyday life. The most challenging part was to keep the fire burning, but we quickly learned how to do that. Days went by and I had already lost track of time. Ho vent and recollected. Nevertheless, living in the wild had its benefits. Clean air, healthy food, crystalline clear water.
All these things made them stronger. The little Lang was growing up quickly. It might seem difficult to even imagine, but without realizing it, they felt that they’ve already been living in the jungle for years and not months. Oven Tan had lost track of time. He could only observe it by how his son had matured. Cut off from civilization, Lange grew up virtually wild. The little hermit was completely fenced off from reality. He didn’t know what kind of world was hidden behind the mountains and forests. He had only a vague idea about it from his father’s scanty stories. As I said earlier, life in the jungle had its benefits.
Lange grew up big and strong. He could easily make his way through the vines and get food. But there were also many disadvantages to this way of life. The boy didn’t know things that he was supposed to know. At his age. The father could only teach his son to count to ten, as he didn’t know more himself. Moreover, Lange had never seen himself in the mirror. He often looked into the river and tried to catch his reflection. But the mountain river was very turbulent and he didn’t get to see himself.
I was very worried, as I understood that over time Lang would have many problems and he’ll start asking me questions. Therefore, I decided against telling him about females to not affect his psyche and to suppress his instincts. And it worked. Lange grew up completely. His father understood, there was no way out. Once in a while, the man and his grown-up son saw people in the distance, but Hovantan forbade Lang to make contact. After such encounters, they’d always go further into the jungle, believing that their country was still at war.
Perhaps if they had dared to face civilization, they would have found out that the war had been over for many years. Unfortunately, fear and the pain from experience had made Ho Ventana fear people. All kinds of thoughts had been running through his head for years. He even thought about going out to people several times, but he had no clue what was happening out there. He thought that those people he saw could be prisoners and he would be immediately handed over to the enemy. He had more questions than answers, and thus he decided to stay in the woods and remain free.
The world would probably have never learned the story of Hoban Tank and his son if it wasn’t for what happened many years later. No matter what people say, fate always has its plans for us, which is exactly what happened for Ho Vantan and his son. Leading a secluded life in the jungle, Ho Ventana believed that his family had died in the military raid years before, but it turned out that his oldest son, named Ho Van Chi, had survived and was trying to find his father and reunite his family. I knew that my dad and little brother managed to escape.
I made it my goal to find them at all costs because I had no one else. Every year I got closer and closer to the place where they lived, but each time they went deeper into the jungle. It took a lot of time and effort to find my family, but I didn’t give up my attempts to reach my goal, Hovanchi said. For more than 30 years, he explored the surrounding woods on his own, creating routes and maps. Sometimes he saw traces of people’s presence or remains of a fire, but he never actually saw any people.
The farthest route was about 90 km into the depths of the jungle. In all those years, the only piece of land left unexplored by Hovanxi was in the most remote area, where, as he assumed, his father and brother lived. Hovanxi never gave up hope on finding his family alive. He knew that his father wouldn’t give in to difficulties, and even though everyone tried to convince him that they were long gone, the man kept trying to find them. I think you already know how this story ends. In 2013, after the incredible 41 years of the surgeon, Hovanxi managed to find his father and brother. They didn’t let him come close.
At first, the father was already old and weak, and he couldn’t recognize his oldest son. But as soon as the man mentioned his mother’s name, the old man’s eyes welled up with tears. He couldn’t have even imagined that his boy had been alive all this time. Communicating with the hermit’s sure wasn’t easy. No matter what you might say, the years of living alone had greatly affected them. Hovancii’s difficulties continued even after he found his family.
As he tried to convince them to return to the big world and start living a full life
I was surprised that my younger brother eagerly agreed to live among people, having spent almost his entire life in the jungle. Meanwhile, my father was totally against coming back, believing he would be better off in the jungle, Ho Van chief told the reporters later. But still, Hovanten was coaxed by his son to return to society. As it turned out, the nearest village was located 40 km away, and when the evacuation began. Hovan was so exhausted that he couldn’t walk on his own. He had to be carried on a stretcher.
Speaking of adaptation, seeing the new world was very emotional for Lang. He was amazed at absolutely everything. You should have seen his eyes when he saw the first car his older brother was driving. He was delighted with electric bulbs. With the fact that people didn’t sleep in trees. And that there was no need to keep the fire going all night. He only knew a few words. And, of course, was initially shocked by the sight of other people. Their speech, even their clothes, and everyday life. And when he first tasted the cooked Seafish. It instantly became his favorite dish. Now, seven years later, we know nothing about Hovantan’s fate.
The man was already old and sick. But Ho van Lange now lives in his own house. Talks to different people and has learned the language quite well. He also participates in various projects and stars and documentaries. Of course, some habits of the wild world remained. But that makes sense. As he did live in the jungle for 40 years. His childish openness and spontaneity appealed to everyone. As for Joe Valentin, unfortunately, he was unable to accept the new reality. And kept wanting to return to the jungle. There are only a few photos of these people on the internet.
Which is understandable as no one followed them with the camera in the jungle.