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Meanwhile Back in the Jungle

Wow! Just when you thought Ross’ exploits couldn’t get any better “Meanwhile, Back in the Jungle” arrives in the mail and caps off the previous three yarns. In his easy to read style Ross keeps you enthralled with anecdotes involving daring helicopter rides, grabbing a tiger by the tail (well, almost), dodging nasty snakes - and to cap it off - hunting down his mother-in-law! Having known Ross for eighteen years I’m only now realising that he is far more skilled than 'just the guy I used to yarn to down at the marina'. His adventures abound and “Meanwhile, Back in the Jungle” will hold you captivated from start to finish. Can’t wait for book number five!

Alan Morton - Cambridge N.Z.


"Having read Ross Lockyer's three previous books, I was looking forward to the follow-up of his adventures. Meanwhile, Back in the Jungle did not disappoint. I would like to say it was my summer read, but the story was so good I finished it in three days. Ross recounts his adventures setting up camps along the rivers of Irian Jaya (West Papua), meeting and learning to communicate and exchange with the locals. Then he is off to a much tamer Sumatra (with a side trip to South America) where his Javanese wife is able to join him, and even manages to find his wife's long lost mother. As usual the story is full of information on forestry, local culture, flora and fauna. What I appreciate most about Ross' writing is the humanity and the humour, and the use of his wit and determination in any situation. You won't be able to put it down."

Catherine Gossage – Kerikeri NZ


I've so enjoyed this - as have others we've given it to!  Keep on! Looking forward to the next one! 

This is a most interesting and gripping read on Ross's exploits - not only in logging but his association with the locals - hiring them, and dealing with their lifestyles, problems and superstitions in the different regions of Indonesia. This is a great book, well written and well illustrated, with wonderful photographs of logging, the local people and their way of life. Experience the adventures of life in the jungle from the safety of your lounge!

Trevor Ferguson – Kerikeri, NZ


A fascinating look into a green fields business in one of the remotest locations on the planet to a successful forestry business, using modern fast-growing species sourced after a worldwide search. Sprinkled with fascinating stories of the locals- weddings to chasing mother-in-law.

Howard Smith - Kerikeri, NZ


I have just finished reading Ross Lockyer’s new book, “Meanwhile , Back in the Jungle”, which I read cover to cover in one sitting. This book revokes many memories for me as I have been to and worked in a lot of the places Ross described (albeit 20 odd years later!). Ross tells a great story of not only the forestry work he was undertaking but also the people and cultures he has first-hand experienced. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and can’t wait till the next instalment!

Garry Townley – Russell, NZ


I first met Ross in Indonesia in the late 1970's and early 1980's. Ross is one of that band of New Zealand Forest Service foresters who are prepared to accept any challenge and his latest book "Meanwhile Back in the Jungle" tells of his time in Indonesian West Papua (formerly known as Irian Jaya) successfully surveying and planning for a new forest operation in areas where reliable maps did not exist and the only access to the interior was by helicopter landing on river flats in many cases meeting jungle tribes who had never previously come in contact with any non-West Papuan people. The second part of the book covers his time at Lake Toba in North Sumatra Indonesia planning the forestry operations and plantation development for a very successful rayon pulp mill. None of this work would have been possible without Ross's determination to master Bahasa Indonesia which he speaks fluently together with dialects spoken in Kalimantan and North Sumatra. I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who is interested to learn how to operate and develop projects in a developing country .

Geoff Patching - Perth, Western Australia


The Christmas 2022 gift that I enjoyed most was a copy of the latest Ross Lockyer book, ‘Meanwhile, back in the Jungle’, from his amazing autobiographical series. In it Ross continues to relate his experiences of living and working in Papua, in the even more remote, underdeveloped and challenging regions of Irian Jaya and North Sumatra. This after a brief period of relative calm, having returned to live and work on New Zealand’s North Island with wife Lestari, son Kris and new arrival, daughter Sri. The call of the jungle could not be resisted though and within a short period of time Ross was on his way back to PNG for further challenges and plenty of ‘interesting’ adventures. If anyone thought that his recollections of earlier experiences could not be bettered, then think again. This read is full of amazing adrenaline boosting encounters with wild animals, wilder remote tribes, fascinating tales and an authentic first-hand history of how this part of the world was developed in the late 1970s and 80s. The book benefits greatly from Ross’ extensive collection of photographs from his time in the region, portraying a life and times that us city folks can probably not imagine. But the evidence is here. This is another inspiring book by Ross Lockyer and one that I recommend thoroughly.

Keep them coming Ross.
L M Griffiths, Swansea, S. Wales

WOW, What an interesting and exciting period of Ross’s life history! In the early part of this book Ross relates about his life in West Irian after being commissioned by a large Indonesian conglomerate. He sets up an office in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta. Ross travels to West Irian to survey the group’s concession for suitable tree species for milling. He works with local inhabitants and has the use of helicopters. Ross also obtains suitable medical supplies and spends time assessing the health problems of his workers and local jungle inhabitants and giving treatment when he can. He has encounters with the shy forest people….even getting a village chief to go for a helicopter ride. Ross informs the reader about the jungle wildlife: leeches, cassowaries, snakes, etc. He arranges and sets up a portable sawmill in the jungle. At one stage, Ross contracts malaria and has to rush back to Jakarta for treatment. In one interesting chapter Ross and friend, Dick Robson fly from Jakarta to Sumatra to try to find Ross’s mother-in-law (who he had never met). Ross’s wife, Lestari, had been raised by her grandmother and had not seen her mother for 25 years! Ross’s forestry knowledge and experience led to his travel to many countries.  He gets a position with Fletcher Consulting Services in New Zealand and later sets up his own forestry consulting service based in Kerikeri, New Zealand.  In 1987 Ross returns to Sumatra to work as a forestry consultant and then manager of Indorayon forestry operations working with Batak people. Lestari, with children Kris and Sri join him there. To fit in with his family, in 1989 Ross takes up a new position in Singapore, Bell Equipment (SE Asia) Pte Ltd. This is at the end of this book and is leading to a possible new book from the author. Full of action, this book is only part of Ross’s extraordinary life! Best Regards,

Tim Damerell, Tutukaka, Whangarei

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