Wednesday, 19 August 2009
My Thoughts: Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
This book was doing the blogsphere rounds last year when I signed up to recieve it as part of a bookcrossing bookring, the copy visited many people in many coutries before it arrived here with me, I'll be sending it off to the next person this weekend so it can carry on its travels.
Greg Mortenson was a mountainer who whilst attempting to climb K2 become horribly lost and stranded, he was rescued by his untrained Pakistani carrier and led safely back down the mountain. He stumbled across an tiny village in Baltisan, a place where white men never visited as it was too far off the beaten track. Whilst there Greg was nursed back to health and made to feel welcome by all. He was shocked into admiration when he saw the local boys and girls trying to educate themselves on a patch of land - they had access to a teacher just once a week, the rest of the time they taught each other. Greg, touched by this promised to build the village a school.
Back in America Greg sent out letters asking for the $12,000 he needed to build a school, no replies came back, so he set about working to save the money himself. Luckily a doner was found and Greg ploughed himself into buidling this school, he faced many problems with stolen goods, travel issues, the weather and numerous others.
Greg soon realised that this village was not the only one to need help, his doner created a charity for his as a way that Greg could create schools across the region. Greg's main focus was on educating girls as they had a greater impact on the wealth and wellbeing of a village. He also set up community working areas for women so they could create goods to trade using the skills of their communities.
And his story goes on. It was particularly moving reading about the rebuilding of schools in Afgahnistan after hearing the news of the bombings in Kabul this last few days.
This was an extremely moving book, and very open minded. The issues in Pakistan where highlighted truthfully - the warring between people to gain American help, but also the desperate need to educate these children and the rights of every child to gain an education. I would love to give a copy of this to the disengaged bright kids at school to show them what they are freely given and take for granted, and the worth that others put to it.
If ou haven't read it you should. I'll certainly be getting my own copy and lending it out, and copying sections for use in school.
World Citizen Challenge
In their shoes.