Friday, February 18, 2011
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortensen
Book: Three Cups of Tea
Author: Greg Mortensen
Grade: A +
Recommended To: Philanthropic minded individuals/readers.
I love this book. I love the meaning behind this book and I love everything about the organization that Greg Mortensen started. I finished this book about a year ago and I have been so hesitant to write a review about this book because I was fearful that my complete devotion to Greg Mortensen and the Central Asia Institute might come off as disingenuous.
But, I review everything else, so why not give it a go. I kept seeing this book in Borders on the must-read shelf and never wanted to buy it, so of course I waited forever to get it on paperbackswap.com.
This is the story of Greg Mortensen - the mountain climber turned philanthropist. Greg got lost in the Hindu Kush and was taken in by the people of a small village. While there he made a promise that he would return and build a school for the village children. It took him years to build the first school, but he did it and that school turned into dozens all over the mountainous region of Pakistan.
The schools are mainly for women and girls and the goal is to give the people of the harsh lands bordering Afghanistan an educational alternative to the fundamentalist madrassas that were popping up all over that area and training the residents in fundamentalist Islamic doctrine.
This story wasn't particularly well written, but when I read it, it gave me such hope that a normal person could exert such influence in an area where Americans aren't exactly welcomed with open arms. Though I suppose Greg Mortensen turned out to be anything but normal. I was in tears through out much of this read - not the sad kind of Anna Quindlan tears - but the joyful-I-don't-want-to-stop tears. I have not been so in love with a charitable organization since St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
This is a really fantastic, hopeful work, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a bit of joy.