Saturday, January 17, 2009

A New cause I've found!

As most viewers / readers here know, I'm a constant reader. I've been that way since I was about 5 years old. In recent weeks I've been pretty much housebound, due to no wheels and little money. I've about exhausted my available books, and so, last week I searched through a box of books my Mom sent to Indiana with me for delivery to two of my sisters. Most of these books are ones I sorted out myself, from ones my Mom and sister Carol were giving me. Pretty much defined as "chick books". So, after browsing through a bunch of novels by authors I don't read, I noticed this one book titled "Three Cups of Tea". I had seen this book mentioned on some talk show, and so I read the jacket, and it sounded good*.(* Good in the sense of "good-as-I-can-expect-in-some-chick-books").
The story is about an American guy who grew-up in Tanzania, the son of missionaries who built a health care center, and a school for their African neighbors in Tanzania, back when it was still "Tanzanika". The guy discovered rock-climbing in Northern California, then advanced to mountain climbing. On an expedition to climb K2,(second highest peek in Asia), the guy becomes lost, and sick, and comes pretty well to deaths door, before he finds his way, and reconnects with the Pakistani porter who was taking him down the mountain. Anyway, despite hooking up with the porter, the man becomes lost again, and stumbles into a remote village, starved, sick, and disoriented. The local children guide him into the small village, where he is greeted by the village leader, or as close as a greeting as can be made, since the villagers have never seen an American, a European, nor anyone who lives more than thirty miles away. The only thing they understand is the name of the porter, and his village. The head man sends his son to find the porter, then they share their meager food with the big scary outsider, give him their best blanket, and put him to bed in the honored place,..closest to the fire !
Long story shortened: The man, Greg Mortenson, thanks the people for saving him, and for teaching him some phrases in their language. After seeing 80 children attending "class" in a barren field, using sticks to write in mud, Mortenson promises his benefactor, the Head man, that he will return, and build the children a school.
The story of how he does that, and the troubles he has with the Taliban, local mullahs, and the society in general, is an inspiring, and fascinating tale.
If this sounds at all interesting to you, here's a link to his Organization's web site :
Check it out, and come back and tell me what you think!