Three Cups of Tea - book review

Author: [ xtremepeaks ]   Contact Author: xtremepeaksSun Nov 22 01:55:50 UTC 2009

One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time

In 1993, Greg Mortenson got lost while descending from a failed attempt to climb K2 in the Himalayas. He landed in Korphe, a village where life was hard but where “they also lived with a rare kind of purity.” The village lacked a school building, and the children scratched their lessons in the dirt.

Mortenson was so moved by the villagers’ generosity that he promised to build them a school. They’d heard such promises before, from foreign climbers who passed through, used the people as laborers, and never returned.

But Mortenson kept his promise and eventually founded Central Asia Institute, whose mission is “to promote and provide community-based education and literacy programs, especially for girls, in remote mountain regions of Central Asia.”

Greg Mortenson was a featured speaker at the Banff Mountain Book Festival couple of years ago, and his Central Asia Institute was a sponsor of this year's Film Festival in Banff. It was a pleasure to personally meet Greg when he was in Banff.

The book's central theme, derived from a Baltistan proverb is: "The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger," a villager tells Greg Mortenson. "The second time, you are an honored guest. The third time you become family." An inspirational story of one man's efforts to address poverty, educate girls, and overcome cultural divides.

Mortenson's new book: Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan will be released on December 1, 2009. In this dramatic first-person narrative, Greg Mortenson picks up where Three Cups of Tea left off in 2003, recounting his relentless, ongoing efforts to establish schools for girls in Afghanistan; his extensive work in Azad Kashmir and Pakistan after a massive earthquake hit the region in 2005; and the unique ways he has built relationships with Islamic clerics, militia commanders, and tribal leaders even as he was dodging shootouts with feuding Afghan warlords and surviving an eight-day armed abduction by the Taliban.
He shares for the first time his broader vision to promote peace through education and literacy, as well as touching on military matters, Islam, and women—all woven together with the many rich personal stories of the people who have been involved in this remarkable two-decade humanitarian effort.

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