Living with the Mek Responses 21May08

Sorry I’ve been offline for so long… been making an investigative series in China, then in Southern Africa and now in South East Asia. Never seem to stop. Ug! I cant quite believe how many people have written to Mark and I about the Mek series! I am completely bowled over and certainly not use to such public scrutiny… But thank you all for finding the time and having the inclination to write. It really means a great deal to Mark and I and is a wonderful thing to kno that others can share in our ridiculous experience…. I will try and write back to everyone of you – but sorry if it takes a while! So many people have asked such interesting questions that I will try and put together a Q and A on the most common ones…

The good news is that we are planning another journey – but I cant tell you anything more at the moment …. Sorry!

23 Responses to “Living with the Mek Responses”

  1. Karina Says:

    You’re an amazing person. Keep on the good work!

  2. ROSIE Says:

    Heey,It’s so great to hear from you,two weeks already without Mark and Olly….Our tv…it’s been boring.
    Show us more of that amazing heart of you!!!
    Keep it up!

  3. John Says:

    ni hao 你好, I studied in China 7 years ago, so it is always interesting to see new shows on how fast it is changing.

    But I have a question regarding medicinal cures that these tribes have knowledge of. Specifically for cataracts of the eye. Do the people in these jungles ever develop these problems of modern society? Just how good is their eyesight without glasses or sunglasses?

  4. joyce Says:

    Thank you for showing me God’s children around the world.
    as if i had wings and could travel the world myself, yet mortal i see through your eyes with God’s understanding.
    i so wish to be of use, to serve,
    my journey started with questions from the time i was 3 and i’ve been asking them more and more since.
    now…a grandmother of 6, mother of 3, wife of 40+ years, and one who believes that i’m related to everyone on this earth….
    my heart jumps for joy, a rejoycing, for the word is true, and JESUS, the son of GOD, LIVES
    i have seen His hands move across this planet. making good out of bad. Breathing life into the hearts of man/woman and giving hope to those who had none.
    i have seen with your eyes, i saw you cry,
    being excepted with love, feels good, feels even better when it comes from the strangest places.
    What is mystical, what is faith, what is oneness
    it’s family, all over the world, one family.
    it’s love, more powerful that all the things that man can understand
    God Bless you and keep you safe.
    one who believes

  5. Patrice Says:

    Hi olly!

    Just wanted to say i loved the last two series and am delighted to hear ye might be planning a further one! Its really great what ye are doing and ye seem like very good humoured and kind people! Please visit Ireland at some stage would love a chance to meet you!

  6. Alex Says:

    Cool another series in the making – look forward to it!!!:) Love the blog too, glad am not the only one who wonders what the bugs are thinking!!! – there’re so damn big and scary – give em anything they ask for and run or poke from a distance with a big stick!!!!!!!;)
    By the way to the guy above – about cataracts – they just keep going till they can’t see and either a)get family to look after them or b)get contacts from Boots!!!!!!!!;) – sorry couldn’t resist!!
    I don’t think they live as long as we do (too many arguments with scary bugs) so don’t get so many worn out parts and diseases associated with our increased life spans – give me a shorter life span any day – better than sitting in an old farts home talking to what you think is a kind relative but what is actually a pot plant!!!;)

  7. Alex Says:

    ……or a budgie with a mirror for ‘company’ for that matter!!!!! Aaaagh!!! – Oh I really shouldn’t type after a glass of wine!!!

  8. Kathy Says:

    Hi, Olly! I have loved watching the programs! Both you and Mark seem to be kind, gentle men. Thank you for showing other peoples of the world that we foreigners are not horrible people. Can’t wait to see whatever you bring us!! Thank you and take care!!


  9. Nitaya Says:

    Love your show, I have been watching and following you and Mark. It’s amazing what you’re doing to show the world and you’re both look really good doing it, especially you, Olly! I want more and many of my friends love you show, we want more!!! You’re my inspiration and one day I’ll be a traveller like you, thank you.

  10. Carol Says:

    I hardly think your adventures are ridiculous. I’d say more along the lines of admirable. You have introduced us to people, places and cultures that we may have never had the opportunity to learn about. Cultures that are unfortunately sure to change as modern influences are injected into their societies. I wish I had your determination, passion, courage and drive to do what you do. While I’m sure it is difficult at times, I’m sure it is both exciting and interesting as well.

  11. Mike Says:

    Thanks for the accurate picture of life with the Mek (at least in the interviews). I am still in Indonesia working with the Mek (based from Sentani), so I haven’t had a chance to see your documentary, but have enjoyed reading the interviews and your thoughts. I look forward to seeing the video. One of our friends in the US passed along your link to us. I was actually at the airstrip when your team was in Merengman. Sorry I didn’t have a chance to meet you on your way through. Until next visit. Can’t wait to see that Winnebago on those trails :)

  12. Emilly rosario Says:

    Hi Olly,America has a knew pressident Obama,i voted for him.

  13. julie Says:

    Hey Olly,
    Great show! Very interesting to learn about a different world and their lifestyle, and you are not bad to look at either!!!! Sorry, couldn’t resist.
    Take care and I look forward to more wonderful shows.

  14. Rose Marie Says:

    Hi Olly! I have only praise for both series you and Mark have done in West Papua. Truly an adventure most of us could never experience. I’ve been as far as Moorea, Tahiti, and long to return someday. Traveling is a gift which thankfully, you and Mark gratiously share with us. I can’t wait until your next adventure. One question, would you ever consider re-visiting either the Mek or Kombai tribes? It was so sad when you left each of the villages, the people really came to love you both and you became part of their family! I’ll leave you with one of my most cherished quotes, “If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home.” by James Michener. Thanks again for sharing!

  15. Virginia Says:

    Hey Olly,

    I am a newcomer to your glad I stumbled upon it. I loved your adventures with the Mek tribe. I found myself watching reruns of it even while I was on a treadmill at the gym. I am so happy that their are people like you and Mark who really care about cultural preservation. I miss that so much. Live in the boring mundane Northern Virginia lifestyle in the U.S; so your adventures are refreshing.

    I always wanted to be an Antrhopologist, but family discouraged me from my dream. …..Know you are a busy man, but do you have any suggestions on how one could get started on living in preserved communitites? Any websites or the like?

    Thank you and please keep doing what you do!

  16. karen Says:

    Greetings olly, just wanted to say I loved both living with the mek and the kombi I never missed a show hope it runs for a while longer now my daughters watch also they love the shows also it great to see and learn about these wonderful people I felt they were very smart the women seeemed to work very hard and are happy doing so the show where the woman had a baby look so small do their babies survive often or do they die alot being born with out medical treatment I seen mark taking the womans bp after she had her baby? anyway please make more shows they are loved and watched yours turely karen

  17. Elvita Says:

    You guys are great !
    I love watching the adventures with the tribes .
    The show makes me both cry and laugh. keep up the great work

  18. Linda Says:

    I had never seen your show before today, but the Travel Channel ran the Mek series all day and I watched it with my 6 year old grandson–we were both glued to the TV. I just had to tell you how much we both enjoyed it. You and Mark are certainly special people, and so is the Mek tribe. I wish you happy and safe travels.

  19. Cindy McGuine Says:

    Love your show!

  20. Dave Says:


    My warmest regards to you and Mark.

    I came across Living with the Mek quite by accident.

    I was absolutely absorbed by the adventure.

    I volunteer as a Scout Leader and appreciate the challenge of wilderness survival.

    Best Wishes and Keep up the Great Work,


  21. Paul Says:

    Hi Olly,

    Have watched your travels with keen keen interest, delight and amazement. How you could ever settle into a normal routine after such adventures escapes me – I see from this site that your still travelling – restless feet are a wonderful thing.

    Great to know that tribes such as the Mek still exist and that despite their sometimes-strange beliefs that they are good decent people at heart. Sometimes wish that life could slow down a pace so that we too could enjoy the simple pleasures of life.

    Best of luck to you and to Mark on your new ventures. Really looking forward to experiencing the fruits of your labour.


  22. COOKI O'CONNOR Says:




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