I just finished Three Cups of Tea. Boy, that was a good book!
For those who have not heard of it, it is a story about a man who fails to climb K2, the second highest mountain in the word, due to his need to participate in a rescue. While he is recovering from exhaustion (he was up 96 hours straight and then got lost and spent the night in a glacier,) he befriends the members of a tiny village in the Pakistani Himalayans and vows to build them a school.
This guy, an ordinary guy, goes back to the US to raise money for this school. His progress, his struggles, and the wonderful way he does not give up in the face of adversity make a really wonderful book. By the time the book is over, he’s built 55 schools in the remotest areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. And he’s still going!
One of his neatest observations is that if one educates the women, they tend to stay home and raise the education level of the whole village…and the life expectancy, as they learn simple ways to promote health that really matter. So, he insists on educating the girls…deep in the Muslim world. His efforts to do this, the opposition, and the surprising support he received make for wonderful reading!
Central Asian Institute is now a charity of choice for me!