Three Cups of Tea - A Book Review

I read the book The Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Olver Relin for a reading group. It was an interesting read. The book is the story of Greg Mortenson who gets separated from his guide coming down off of K2 and stumbles tired, hungry and weak into the small Pakistan village of Korphe. He is taken in by the village and recovered. He saw that the local children would try to learn from a teacher who came by a few times a week and the children were sitting in a open flat area on the ground trying to learn. The lucky students had a piece of slate that they wrote on with a stick dipped in mud. Mortenson promised to build a school.

Mortenson was basically broke. Mortenson worked as a nurse to finance his mountain climbing hobby and was only able to go on the K2 attempt by signing on as the expedition medic. Eventually Mortenson gets the money for the school. The details of the fund raising are actually an interesting part of the book. A donor leaves funds to start an institute as a framework for Mortenson to carry on his work.

One talent that Mortenson has is with languages and he is able to quickly pick up enough of the various local languages that he is able to function well. He is also sensitive to the cultural differences. I had heard much of the Mortenson story from various media outlets however one part that I had not heard much about was the impact of his work on his personal life. After the breakup of one relationship he eventually met Tara and they were married six days later. His work has put some stress early on in the marriage however now they have two children and the family seems to be dong well.

This is a book well worth reading.

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