17 hours ago
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Three Cups of Tea - By Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
I've recently finished reading Three Cups of Tea. Back whenever I purchased this book, my attraction to it was the word 'tea' in the title (yes, I do judge a book by it's cover). I love tea - all kinds of tea! And if you know me, then you know my favorite is Chai! But, I digress. I recently discovered that the book club at my church was reading this, and I thought it was about time to pull it out and give it a shot myself. It was, afterall, on my 2010 book list.
Three Cups of Tea is about an American mountaineer named Greg Mortensen. Greg takes a trip to northern Pakistan to attempt to climb K2 - one of the highest peaks in the Himalayas. However, Greg doesn't make it to the top because a fellow climber falls ill, and they are forced to quickly descend the mountain. Upon their descent, Greg gets lost and eventually ends up in this Pakistani village where he is taken in by the village leader, Haji Ali. The village is so gracious to Greg that he promises to build them a school as soon as he can raise the money in return for their generosity. Throughout the next 10+ years, Greg manages to raise money continuously for the building of schools all throughout Pakistan. Greg's first trip took place in the mid 90s, so as time goes on in the book, eventually it brings us to September 11, 2001, and the chapter titled "A Village Called New York" addresses the events of that day from the perspective of a small village in Pakistan. This was one of my favorite chapters because it really showed the innocence of many people in the Middle East, which I think is something many people in the U.S. don't think about or don't realize. This chapter is titled as such because the village leader where Greg was staying during this particular visit was listening to a very staticky radio broadcast that day, and heard about the attacks. He ran to wake Greg up, and said to him: "Greg, Greg - a village called New York has just been bombed." I just found it heartbreaking reading this chapter and that sentence. It just goes to show how many innocent people in the Middle East are being affected by this war our country is fighting. That village didn't even know what New York was! The different towns where Greg built schools helped him realize that the key to solving terrorism was to educate the Middle Eastern children - essentially helping them learn right from wrong so they can make an informed decision when extremists come their way attempting to entice them with their radical ways.
I really enjoyed the book - it wasn't always a page turner, but I did learn a lot about the Middle East. It was also very inspiring - if everyone had the determination that Greg did/does, much would be different in this world today. Out of 5 stars, I would give it 3.5/5.
My next book is Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult! Happy Reading friends!
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