Posted June 23, 2008
Book: Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace One
School at a Time
Author: Greg Mortensen and David Oliver Relin
Penquin Books. New York. 2006. Pp.349
An Excerpt from the Jacket:
"Here (in Pakistan and Afghanistan), we drink three cups of tea to do
business, the first you are a stranger, the second you become a
friend, and the third, you join the family, and for our family we are
prepared to do anything --- even die."
In 1993 a mountaineer named Greg Mortenson drifted iinto an
impoverished Pakistan village in the Karakoram mountains after a
failed attempt to climb K2. Moved by the inhabitants' kindness he
promised to return and build a school. Three Cups of Tea is the story
of that promise and its extraordinary outcome. Over the next decade
Mortenson built not just one but fifty-five schools --- especially
for girls --- in the forbidding terrain that gave birth to the
Taliban. His story is at once a riveting adventure and a testament
to the power of the humanitarian spirit.
An Excerpt from the Book:
Norberg-Hodge admiringly quotes the king of another Himalayan
country, Bhutan, who says the true measure of a nation's success is
not gross national product, but "gross national happiness."
On their warm, dry roofs, among the fruits of their successful
harvest, eating, smoking, and gossiping with the same sense of
leisure as Parisians on the terrace of a sidewalk cafe, Mortenson
felt sure that, despite all that they lacked, the Balti still held
the key to a kind of uncomplicated happiness that was disappearing in
the developing world as fast as old-growth forests.
Table of Contents
2. The wrong side of the river
3. "Progress and Perfection"
20 Tea with the Taliban
21. Rumsfeld's shoes
22. "The Enemy is Ignorance
23 Stones into schools