Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Three Cups of Tea

I have been hearing so much hype about this book that I decided to read it for myself and see what it was all about. I had the general gist of the story before I picked it up. A man almost dies trying to climb K-2 and when a Pakistani man saves him he promises that he will return and build a school for the girls of the village. Well, that man was a 6' 4" mountaineer from Montana named Greg Mortenson who I have to say is a pretty amazing person. Three Cups of Tea was yet another foray into non-fiction that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Greg's story is inspiring and terrifying. It gave me chills and made me angry. He received solid support and bitter opposition. Certainly he had his flaws, but his desire to help children is just so...pure is the only word I can use for it. The subtitle of the book is One Man's Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations...One School at at Time, but the terrorism part only became an issue after 9/11, Greg's quest to build schools in Pakistan began in 1993. It was when he saw what happens when the only choice for education was a maddrass (a school that teachs Islamic extremism and turns out terrorists) that he pointed out that providing children with non-extremist semi-secular education will create a population of young adults with futures and opporunities worth living for.

Greg did not work only in Pakistan, he worked in Afghanistan as well. This part of the story was especially interesting to me because while my husband was serving there after 9/11, he and his fellow soldiers helped furnish a girl's school in Jabar Serat. In fact, with the help of members of my church, we sent 25 enormous boxes of school supplies and chalkboards for those girls. My husband sent me home a video and some pictures of these girls he said they always wanted to see themselves in the LCDs of the digital cameras the soldiers had. These are some of those kids.

Perhaps I got a little off topic, but the idea that education of girls is the way to save the world is just fantastic. Honestly. Believe the hype, give this book a try.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

I totally agree: it is a fantastic way to save the world. (Even if the book is only so-so.)