Monday, May 26, 2008

Three Cups of Tea

I read this non-fiction book several months ago. I had heard of it many times. It is about a US climber in Pakistan returning to the lowest base camp from a near successful climb of K2. He inadvertantly got separated from his guide, nearly died, and stumbled into a "town"/settlement that changed his life (and saved his life). He vowed to come back and build a school for them and did, and has gone on to build many schools in Pakistan and now also Afganistan. He has done this initially with little help (now has a website and some staffing and was able to get sponsors initially that have spread). He has recognized the value of education, particularly for girls, as they are very influential in their children's (and thus son's) lives and through this comes a greater chance for stable families, stable communities, jobs, and thus a peaceful nation. (This message is somewhat echoed at the end of the movie "Charlie Wilson's War", for those who have seen that. Perhaps if the miniscule amount suggested to be spent on Afghan education had actually been spent, we would not now be in the mess there and in Iraq - and 9/11 would have been averted?). Greg Mortenson (whom the book is about) lives in Bozeman, MT. His name has been casually tossed around for a Nobel Peace Prize. The reading is compelling, and captivating.

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