Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Title: Three Cups of Tea, One Man's Mission to Promote Peace One School at a Time
Authors: Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin
Year of Publication: 2007
Category: Non Fiction
My first experience with “Three Cups of Tea” was about a year ago when I picked up this book for some fun reading. I read a couple of pages and was not able to get into the story. Thus, this book ended up at the bottom of my ever growing “TBR (to be read)” pile next to my bed.
Then about two months ago, my husband & I moved into our new home and all my books were packed away in boxes except this one. I picked it up again for lack of a better option and I have been hooked ever since. I didn’t get to finish it until now due to a crazy work schedule & moving!
Greg Mortenson is a failed K2 climber who gets lost on his way down from his climb and ends up in little village of Korphe. He befriends the leader of the village, Haji Ali and wants to pay back the people of Korphe for their incredible hospitality to an American. He decides that he wants to help improve the village’s school and provide the children with better school supplies. What he finds out, he wasn’t expecting. The village didn’t have a building dedicated to school because they were unable to afford building one or hiring a teacher—and the Pakistani Government was not willing to provide them with the finances. He is shocked to see little boys and girls sitting outside under the cold blue sky and practicing their lesson without a teacher, who Korphe shared with a neighboring village. The teacher would come to Korphe twice a week and teach the children their lessons; the rest of the week, the children would sit down in their make shift school and practice their lessons on their own. Mortenson was so touched by this that he promised Haji Ali that he will come back and build his village a school.
Mortenson comes back to America, where he worked night shifts as a trauma center nurse, and devised a plan to build a school for Korphe’s children. Through many struggles and donations from some angles, he collects enough money ($12,000 USD) to build a 5 room school and buy the necessary school supplies for Korphe’s children.
One things leads to another and Mortenson finds himself on a path that leads to education for Pakistan’s most isolated and poverty ridden populations, the Balti Shias of the Northern Region.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about Pakistan, especially the people of the Northern Pakistan. Also, if you’re looking for an excellent non-profit to get involved with, especially one that promotes education and literacy as a way to combat terrorism in poverty ridden regions of Pakistan & Afghanistan, this book is a must read.
Central Asia Institute (CAI), Greg Mortenson’s non-profit organization, works in northern Pakistan & Afghanistan, the main breeding grounds for Taliban due to severe poverty, and provides a balanced, secular education to children, especially girls, up to grade five.
To get more information about CAI, please visit their website at www.ikat.org