Standing Ovation for "Three Cups of Tea" by Mortenson & Relin.
The first two times I tried to read Three Cups of Tea, I abandoned the efforts.  Why?  I tend to stick with non-fiction because I want to escape from reality. I can handle non-fiction in small doses, (newspaper articles, or sound bites in the news) but a full book wears me out and strains my emotions.  Three Cups of Tea, is a journalistic approach to highlight Greg Mortenson's devotion to building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  The first school project came as a promise to his rescuers after a failed attempt to climb K2 in Pakistan.  He had traveled there to indulge in his mountain climbing hobby, and it turned into a 2 decade mission to bring education to the poorest of the poor.

The main points that moved me the most:
  • When you educate a girl you benefit her entire village because she will take her newfound skills home and use them for good.
  • Educating children in war torn countries inspires them to have hope for a better future, beyond being the next generation to pick up arms and fight like their father's and grandfather's.

Very rarely does a book move me to re-consider my core beliefs. I consider myself an educator at heart and found myself wrestling with this question; Would I immerse myself in a Muslim world torn apart by war & fighting to bring peace through education?  Though I had a hard time getting my head into this book, I  have found a great appreciation for the sacrifices that Mortenson laid down to fulfill his promises.

Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time
Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
VIKING Hardcover 2006/ PENGUIN Paperback 2007
In Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time , Greg Mortenson, and journalist David Oliver Relin, recount the journey that led Mortenson from a failed 1993 attempt to climb Pakistan’s K2, the world’s second highest mountain, to successfully establish schools in some of the most remote regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan. By replacing guns with pencils, rhetoric with reading, Mortenson combines his unique background with his intimate knowledge of the third-world to promote peace with books, not bombs, and successfully bring education and hope to remote communities in central Asia. Three Cups of Tea is at once an unforgettable adventure and the inspiring true story of how one man really is changing the world—one school at a time.

If you would like to purchase a copy of this book consider following the links from the Three Cups of Tea website.  The Central Asia Institute (CAI) will benefit from 7% of the proceeds from each book.

Links to find out more about the CAI and it's affiliated projects: – “Three cups of Tea” book - Central Asia Institute - nonprofit -Pennies For Peace – children’s program

*This is not a compensated post. **Image borrowed from

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