What started as one man’s quest to climb the world’s second largest mountain, K2, turns into a quest to build schools to educate the children of rural Pakistan and Afghanistan. Greg Mortenson tells many stories of how he fell in love with the people (especially the children) of Pakistan and Afghanistan and his belief that all children, male or female, deserve an education. He also writes about fund-raising with its ups and downs, of building schools and all the proverbial red tape involved, and of historic events happening as he was building (i.e. the death of Mother Theresa and our “911”) and the effects they had on his process. Through the triumphs and tragedies, one thought kept shining through - the need to slow down and actually see and get to know others. The tradition of the three cups of tea is explained this way – the first time you are given a cup you are a stranger; the second time you are an honored guest, and the third time says you are family. Tea is a precious commodity in more ways than one.
“Three Cups of Tea” is the interesting, true story of Greg Mortenson and his quest to make peace happen through building schools and education. His struggles and his triumphs kept me reading; his recounting of historical events brought back memories. I recommend it to anyone who loves a good non-fiction read and also to reading groups. It has great topics for discussion.