Read This Book
16th Aug 2010
For some reason I'd ignored this particular book my folks had recommended for some time. I can't tell you why. Perhaps it was the cover which isn't inspiring. Perhaps its the main title which does a good job of masking the subtitle and what the book is really about. I finally picked it up a couple of weeks ago and finished it on the train back home today.
Three Cups Of Tea is a book about an American mountaineer called Greg Mortenson. His name was familiar to me from the days I used to write the news for planetFear. I even received an email from somebody else who read the book and contacted me to see about organising a lecture tour for Greg over here in the UK. He was obviously moved by the book in a similar manner to me. Frustratingly I can't find the email to follow up on, but I will certainly be contacting Greg at some point to discuss doing some lectures here in the UK. Anyway, Greg was coming down off K2 after a failed attempt to climb the second highest mountain in the world when he ended up, quite by accident, in a very remote village way off the beaten track (he was lost). He fell in love with the place and pledged to go back to the States and raise $12,000 which was how much money he and the village elders had decided would be necessary to build a school there. Through sheer dedication, hard work, and doggedness he set up the Central Asian Institute (a strange name really given it's similarity to the CIA, a very distrusted agency in the very part of the world that it seeks to do good!) and has arguably done more for fighting the war on terror than the trillions of dollars the US and other countries have spent on their military efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq. How? By building schools and concentrating on educating young girls in Pakistan and, more recently, Afghanistan.
A mind-blowing book about a truly inspirational man. I'd be interested to know how many of us Brits have heard of him and what he is doing. Read the book and make up your own mind.
Here's a recent BBC radio interview with Greg.