January 06 2009
I received the book ‘Three Cups of Tea’, the story of Greg Mortenson’s journey to set up schools primarily for girls, in Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is based on a true story - a climber was saved by residents of a small village and he vowed to return and repay them and repay them he did. A struggle for several years to raise funds to establish the first school in this village. He then went onto establish over 50 schools utilising the knowledge of the local people.
The story details this journey and the adventures in some of the wildest parts of the world. I was very moved by the story and learned a lot about the politics of the world. I highly recommend it.
The title ‘Three Cups of Tea’ refers to a cultural custom whereby one is invited for a first cup of tea as a guest, the second as a friend and the third as family.
To support these efforts the Central Asia Insititute was formed. It costs $1 per month for one child’s education in Pakistan or Afghanistan, a penny to buy a pencil and a $1 per day for a teacher’s salary. The first school was built for $12,500, an amazingly small amount compared to a government’s cost or the World Bank due to the efficiency of the organization and use of local knowledge.
So many problems to assuage in this world and thank goodness for people like Greg Mortenson who have the passion and devotion to follow through.