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Three Cups of Tea

August 19, 2010 | Comments: 0 | Views: 127

When Greg Mortenson traversed Pakistan's rugged terrain in 1993, it was to climb and conquer the indomitable K2. He left the country without conquering the peak, yet he left with something more important - a promise. A remote village called Korphe had taken in the weary mountaineer and helped him recover after an arduous expedition. When Mortenson saw 82 children (only 4 of them girls) attending school outdoors, "kneeling on the frosty ground, in the open," he knew what he wanted to do for these people who survived on so little and had given him so much. He promised to return and build them a school.

He didn't know that fulfilling his promise would direct the course of his life and lead to building 130 more schools that would educate 51,000 students in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Today he is the director of Central Asia Institute, an organization formed to accomplish Mortenson's goal of creating schools for girls in remote regions. Three Cups of Tea documents the challenges and successes of the finding the funds, of transporting roof beams by hand for 18 miles, of persevering through religious resistance and hostile environments. Mortenson is kidnapped, spied upon, and stuck in the middle of a showdown between opium smugglers.

Through these epic adventures, the story maintains a deeply personal tone. Korphe's town leader becomes a surrogate father for Mortenson. He falls in love and has children. Men vow to die to protect his life. Mortenson cultivates relationships that transcend barriers of tradition, religion, and race amidst the complex cultures of Pakistan and Afghanistan. He approaches each new people group and school building project as a learner.

Armed with this attitude and the conviction that education will change lives, Mortenson serves some of the world's most impoverished children and fights terrorism in his own way. If you want to learn about Pakistan and Afghanistan beyond what you hear on the radio waves, if you want to see a successful grassroots model of education in undeveloped areas in progress, if you want to believe that one person's life can make an impact, then read Three Cups of Tea.

Julia Phillips blogs regularly about social justice issues and parenting at [].

Source: EzineArticles
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Three Cups Of Tea

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