Saturday, December 04, 2010
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
This is my book club's current month's selection. I didn't expect to like it as much as I did. I knew it would be a somewhat interesting story, but I generally prefer reading novels to non-fiction. But this wasn't a somewhat interesting story; it was fascinating. Greg Mortenson wandered into a small rural village in Pakistan after a failed attempt to climb K2 in 1993. The villagers took him in, fed him, and nursed him back to health. When he learned that the village didn't have a school, but the children met in the open, kneeling on frosty ground, to practice lessons that a neighboring village's teacher left for them, he promised to build them a school. The book traces how Mortenson kept his promise. Mortenson is now the director of the Central Asia Institute (CAI), which has built at least 55 schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. It has also awarded scholarships to graduates who wish to further their education, assisted in teacher training, and provided resources for clean drinking water and sanitation. CAI's motto is Peace and Hope Begin With Education: One Child At A Time. I highly recommend this book.