Tuesday, October 27, 2009

3 Cups of Tea

Recently I read "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson. In 1993, while descending after a failed attempt to climb K2 in Pakistan, Greg got lost and wandered exhausted and sick into a small village called Korphe. Nursed back to health, he promises to build a school for the children of the village who at the time called a barren field their classroom. Fast forward 15 years, Greg is still building schools (131 to date), vocational centers, and infrastructure in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

While at times I wish that the writing style had been more objective (Relin the second author uses quite flowery language to describe Mortenson as a hero), I very much enjoyed the book and felt inspired by Greg's conviction.

The reason that I bring this up now is that parts of the book take place in Waziristan, the area in Pakistan where current military action against the Taliban is underway. Having read this book, this area is not the nameless, faceless place it would otherwise be. I really recommend this book as it provides context, contrast, and depth to the news stories flooding the papers about Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the roots of terrorism.

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