Sunday, February 17, 2008

What can I say to convince you that you simply must read "Three Cups of Tea"?

To be honest, I haven't even finished this audible book yet (I have about 2 hours remaining of a 13 hour book). But can already say that this story of a seemingly ordinary man - Greg Mortenson - who accomplished extraordinary things through sheer determination and good intentions is amazing.

As I wrote before about Three Cups of Tea, the website describes the book as follows:

"In 1993 Greg Mortenson was descending from his failed attempt to reach the peak of K2. Exhausted and disoriented, he wandered away from his group into the most desolate reaches of northern Pakistan. Alone, without food, water, or shelter he eventually stumbled into an impoverished Pakistani village where he was nursed back to health.While recovering he observed the village’s 84 children sitting outdoors, scratching their lessons in the dirt with sticks. The village was so poor that it could not afford the $1-a-day salary to hire a teacher. When he left the village, he promised that he would return to build them a school.

"From that rash, heartfelt promise grew one of the most incredible humanitarian campaigns of our time: Greg Mortenson’s one-man mission to counteract extremism and terrorism by building schools—especially for girls—throughout the breeding ground of the Taliban."

Mortenson makes a convincing case that extremists can be best countered by education, and that the key to eradicating poverty is the education of a community's girls. The obstacles he has had to overcome to complete his first school, let alone the 60 since then would cause most people to turn around and go home. Mortenson persisted, through kidnappings, threats and 9/11, to bring a better life to the poor people of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Mortenson puts a face on good people who don't deserve to be lumped in with the Taliban and Saudi Arabian extremists.

It may be a cliche, but Mortenson proves that one man or woman can make a difference. His story is important, not only for being an inspiration, but as a lesson about a part of the world we know mostly from soundbites on CNN.


Blogger GetFlix said...

I am trying to remember where I had heard of this man before. I think 60 Minutes did a special on him. Fantastic story!!

6:48 PM  
Blogger Auburn Kat said...

Thanks for the suggestion, I'll have to add it to my list.

7:19 PM  
Blogger sage said...

I will have to put this on my audible list--right now as you know I'm listening to Haissen, next I've downloaded Willa Cather's My Antonia (I read Death Comes to the Archbishop years ago, but have never read any of her stories set on the Plains).

12:01 PM  
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