Sunday, June 28, 2009

Book Review: Three Cups of Tea

Title Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time
Relin, David Oliver
Greg Mortenson
Rating *****
Tags greg mortenson. schools, pakistan, mountain climbing, ngo
Collections Your library
Your review Read this for my book club, and am so very glad. This book hits just right on a lot of things important to me. It gives me a new hero in Greg Mortenson. It helps me understand another part of the world, the Middle East, that is vital in the modern world. It covers Pakistan, a country many consider one of the most dangerous in the world. It talks about ethnicities unknown to most in the West. Most of all, it talks about people, of different countries and religions, working together to make life better for the children of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Mortenson was a young mountain climber in the early 90s. He was part of an expedition to K2, the second tallest mountain in the world. He didn't quite make it to the top, but performed heroic service saving another climber. On the way back he got lost and wound up in the Northern Pakistani village of Korphe. The villagers nursed him back to health, and in return he promised he would build a school for the village. Once home, the task seemed impossible. Mortenson had no money and no experience in raising it or disbursing it. He sent out random letters and through a miracle found a donor. Then he went back to Pakistan, where he learned the ins and outs of buying supplies, transporting them to the remote village, and getting the labor. Then it turned out the villagers decided a bridge needed to be built first. He managed it!

Along the way, he met other villagers whose needs were as great, and his donor set up The Central Asian Institute and put Mortenson in charge. Many schools were built. Things were never smooth, but he learned so much. At one point he was kidnapped and held for a week in Waziristan, the area where Al Quaeda was rumored to live. Mortenson had already decided to move into Afghanistan as well when 9/11 happened, which in one way made it easier to create schools, especially schools for girls, after the Taliban was removed. But the stories Mortenson heard in Afghanistan were heartbreaking.

Please read this book, then share it with others. It is a wonderfully uplifting story of what people can do when they care. Along the way, it teaches a lot about an area of the world many of us need to know more about.

Other authors: Relin, David Oliver

Author – Relin, David Oliver
Publication Penguin Books (2007), Paperback, 349 pages
Publication date 2007
ISBN 0143038257 / 9780143038252

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