22 March 2011

Three Cups of Tea

This has become less of a monthly thing than I thought it would have when I started it. But I want to get back to a good habit. So when my laptop broke at the grandparents' house, I had alot (!) of free time.... to read. My sister-in-law gave me this book that she had liked. We exchange books very often. The book was:Three Cups Of Tea, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin.

Here is a link to Amazon, in case you have heard good things about the book already, and if you would like to purchase it:
Three Cups of Tea.

If you remember, I will not write a summary because you can read that on the back of the book or an Amazon - all by yourself. I will just tell you what I liked about the book.

First of all, I like that the book is not a fiction, but a real life story. The guy, Greg Mortenson, who wrote the book actually lived through all these ordeals. Amazing. The very first page is captivating - climbing the K2. If you know, the K2 is the second highest mountain in the world, and it harder to defeat than his single major rival, Mount Everest. On top of that, Greg, tried to go up the more dangerous route; the route starting in Pakistan. And this is how his adventure starts - building schools in very remote areas of Pakistan. It is an extraordinary story, really. It shows perseverance, human strength, and what I would call faith.

I find it especially essential for Americans to read! You can learn so much about what is really going on over there, I mean Pakistan and Afghanistan, and even other Muslim countries; stuff that politicians don't tell you. The media is not telling you what the people are going through. But this guy has been there, lived among these people, the nicest people he claims he knows! That is a statement to dwell on....

None of us can change the world, single-handedly, but we can all do small steps at a time, to change someone's life - in Greg Mortenson's case, the life of children in remote areas of Pakistan that never went to school. He provides something that is so 'normal' over here: an education. He didn't want to change the world and yet that is exactly what he is doing-- one cup, one student, one school, one village at a time.


Oh, by the way, if you want to learn more about the author, here is his website and his blog. There is also a page just for the Three Cups of Tea Mission here. He wrote a second book about his adventures in Afghanistan, the book is called Stones into Schools.
A friend of mine actually met him twice, at her local college. She said: "I am building a school in Afghanistan." Now that is something to be proud of. And she actually knows where her money is going - not to the military, but to little schools in order to educate them. So cool.

Also,after reading the book, I wanted to know what 'remote' is. And what the landscape looked like. Living in the western hemisphere of this world, it is hard to imagine under which circumstances these people have to live. So I found this website, it's a blog, and the person that wrote the blog actually climbed and succeeded to climb the K2, from the Pakistan side. There are lots (!) of pictures on this blog, exactly what I was looking for. So amazing and striking - it makes me wanna go out there to see the beauty of the landscape!

Keep Reading.

Post Update: a month later:
I bought the book for myself. What I didn't realized at the time is that I bought the young readers edition from 2009. Not that it makes a difference. The text is supposedly simplified and there is an interview with Greg's daughter at the end. I read that, and it seems that this young lady is very remarkable as a twelve-year-old, stepping into the footsteps of her daddy....
This edition has more pictures, especially colored ones - something that I had missed in the original. I am a person that needs visual aids.... that's why I had found that one website I talked about.
Here is the link to this edition on Amazon.
In the interview, the little girl, her name is Amira, mentions that she loves to sing and that she actually co-wrote a song called 'Three Cups of Tea' that was then recorded with a singer in Nashville, Tennessee, Jeni Fleming. Here is the link for the CD also available on Amazon. Selling the CD helps raise money for her Dad's mission, still building schools halfway around the world where pupils are eager to learn and are waiting to learn in an actual school house.

Disclaimer: I am not a representative from either Greg Mortenson or Amazon - the guy just totally rocks in living his life's mission, and Amazon is just where I thought everybody shops these days.... So no, I do not get points for mentioning it here!


C. Beth said...

That does sound interesting. And as I get more into the book I'm listening to (the one I told you about, with Indian twins growing up in Ethopia), I really think you'd like it. It's gotten much more interesting, and it really sheds light on on various cultures.