Book Review: “3 Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace… One School at a Time” by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

Listened to the audiobook a while back. I was impressed with Greg Mortenson’s tenacity to fulfill a promise he made during his failed conquest to reach the 2nd peak of the Himalaya. In that trip, he had gotten lost and was rescued by his porter and taken care by a group of village people during his recovery. He made a promise to the carefree poor village people that he would come back to build a school to return a favor. It took him over a year to collect enough money from one of the earlier pioneers of the Silicon Valley. But his first trip wasn’t successful because he didn’t account for the need for a bridge to bring the building materials in. He had to return to the states to get more money and finally risked his life to build his first school. Later he was appointed the New Asian Institute to oversee the money to build more school on behalf of this rich donor.

Later he met his wife and took on the challenging work of building more schools for the regions, at times risking his life (got kidnapped) during the Talaban uprising in Afghanistan.

Sometimes, you just have to sit down and enjoy 3 cups of the tea (symbolic of the 3 stages) with people to get to understand people especially of the people you don’t share a lot commonalities.

I admire Mortonson’s tenacity and his passion to help the poor in the remote corner of the world. Somehow, I have a feeling that he’s making a bigger difference to the people more than some of the politicians are doing. Wish he has planted and continue to plant the seeds for the future generations of people there to enjoy the prosperous and fulfilled lives.