Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace...One School at a Time
ISBN: 0670034827 Global Overview for this book
4 journalers for this copy...
"One evening, he went to bed by a yak dung fire a mountaineer who'd lost his way, and one morning, by the time he'd shared a pot of butter tea with his hosts and laced up his boots, he'd become a humanitarian who'd found a meaningful path to follow for the rest of his life."
Mortenson had signed on as the medical person for a team ascending K2, one of the world's tallest peaks. After failing to summit and feeling like a failure, he took a wrong turn and got lost – twice - while descending the mountain. He was emaciated and exhausted when he chanced upon the village of Korphe in northern Pakistan. The first person he met was the village chief, Haji Ali, who extended the hospitality of his tribe to this lone traveler. Though members of his team found him, he felt an affinity toward this village and chose to remain in Korphe to recuperate.
He was accepted into the chief's home and got to know the villagers. He was moved by the children, eager to learn, taking their lessons outside and writing in the dirt. There was no school; the Pakistani government cannot meet the educational needs of its children, especially in the remote areas. Mortenson promised to return to Korphe and build them a school.
There is a tradition of climbers taking on humanitarian projects. Sir Edmund Hilary's first was a three-room school in Nepal built in 1961. He went on to built 27 schools, 12 clinics and 2 airfields. But that was for Buddhists. Mortenson was looking to build a school in Muslim Pakistan. As Mortenson's benefactor is reported to have said, "Americans care about Buddhists, not Muslims. This guy's not going to get any help. I'm going to have to make this happen." Jean Hoerni financed Mortenson's school in Korphe, and he financed the bridge to get the school building materials to the village. He also financed to set up the Central Asia Institute, which continues to build more schools under the directorship of Mortenson.
Through this book we see Muslims, rural Pakistani Muslims, as parents trying to do the best for their children, willing to physically build the schools to give the children an education. Mortenson's premise is that by making available schools that provide good basic education, there is a choice over the militaristic, terrorist training camps.
Not many people could endure two or three-month absences from home, not abduction and detention, nor transport in the bed of a pickup truck hidden under a pile of goat carcasses. Mortenson barrels through on conviction and determination. What he asks of us is this: suggest this book to reading groups, ask your local library to shelve a copy, keep the buzz going, write a review. I can do that!
Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Midge Bork, 2007
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Going to the Oakville bookcrossing meeting today.
Looks good - thanks Chronic!
Once home, Mortenson writes hundreds of letters to try and get the money to make good on his word. He eventually flies back to Pakistan with just enough money to build a school. The rest of the book shows his trials and tribulations with funding, building, culture, connections, ignorance, and terrorism.
Mortenson's story is amazing. Talk about a mission in life! Mortenson gives a strong message of promoting peace through education, particularly of females. As one of his friends from Pakistan says: "the enemy is ignorance". The argument is presented that if we were to educate rather than drop bombs, we'd likely be much more successful at preventing terrorism. Mortenson's wife should also be commended for putting up with his continuous absences so that he can help make the world a better place.
This is the best kind of advertisement that Mortenson could ever hope for his organization. Mortenson is an inspiration and it's great to know that people are out there doing things like this for the world.