Three Cups of Tea is an extraordinary novel about humanitarian and hero Greg Mortenson, a mountain climber who dedicated his life to “promoting peace through education, one child at a time.” Mortenson has built over sixty schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. This Young Reader’s Edition features new photographs, maps, a glossary, a time line, a foreward by Jane Goodall (www.janegoodall.org), and an interview with Mortenson’s daughter, Amira (www.penniesforpeace.org).
“With the first cup of tea, you are a stranger.”
Mortenson grew up in Tanzania, Africa with his missionary parents and three sisters. At eleven years old, he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, igniting in him a life-long passion for the sport. Years later, Mortenson tried to climb the highest mountain on the planet, K2. He wanted to leave an amber necklace in honor of his late sister, Christa. Mortenson got lost and failed to reach the top – yet he did discover a small Pakistani village that would change his life. The children of Korphe had no classroom, few books, and a teacher who came only three days a week. Mortenson promised to return to Korphe and build the children a school - even though he had no idea how he would do it!
“With the second cup of tea, you are an honored guest.”
What could be harder than climbing a mountain? Trying to convince Americans to donate money to build schools for children in another part of the world. While many of his requests for funds went unanswered, Mortenson finally found a generous donor - Jean Hoermi, a brilliant scientist and fellow mountain climber. When he returned to Pakistan, Mortenson not only had the money to build, he had a new wife, Tara. Yet his challenges continued. In July 1996, he was kidnapped for eight horrifying days by gun smugglers!
“With the third cup of tea, you become family.”
On Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in New York City. It was no longer safe for Americans to be in Pakistan. Yet, Mortenson (now director of the Central Asia Institute) decided to go on a dangerous journey to northeast Afghanistan to find a location for a new school. When they accidentally drove into the middle of a war between two opium gangs, Mortenson had to hide under smelly goatskins in the back of the truck while they escaped.
Getting an education was extremely important to the people Mortensen was trying to help. One quote says it all: “Once you educate the boys, they tend to leave the villages and go search for work in the cities,” but the girls stay home, become leaders in the community, and pass on what they’ve learned. If you really want to change a culture, to empower women, improve basic hygiene and health care, and fight high rates of infant mortality, the answer is to educate girls." Because of this attitude, Greg Mortensen worked tirelessly, for neither bullets nor bombs could keep Mortenson from working to give “every child in the world the right and privilege to learn to read, write and go to school.”*
*Source: Article 26 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.
For another book about a man with extraordinary courage to change the world, read Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
(click on link below).