Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace…One School at a Time, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (New York: Penguin, 2007; first published in 2006)
Three Cups of Tea is a must read for anyone wanting a deeper, more human, view of today’s headlines. First attracted to Pakistan as a mountain climber; it’s people, landscape, and a 1993 promise to build a school in the tiny, isolated, village of Korphe, inspired Greg Mortenson’s return. Overcoming countless challenges and dangers, by book’s end fifty-five schools have been built, with humanitarian efforts extended into Afghanistan and no end in sight. Three Cups of Tea is truly enlightening and inspiring.
When the porcelain bowls of scalding butter tea steamed in thsir hands, Haji Ali spoke. ‘If you want to thrive in Baltistan, you must respect our ways,’ Haji Ali said, blowing on his bowl. ‘The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger. The second time you take tea, you are an honored guest. The third time you share a cup of tea, you become family, and for our family, we are prepared to do anything, even die,’ he said, laying his hand warmly on Mortenson’s own. ‘Doctor Greg, you must make time to share three cups of tea. We may be uneducated. But we are not stupid. We have lived and survived here for a long time.’ – from Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
Central Asia Institute
“CAI’s Mission: To promote and support community-based education, especially for girls, in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.”