Sunday, May 18, 2008
This was our choice for this month's Slow Travel Concentric Reading Circle, and we discussed the book today. Not my normal choice of reading, and I struggled with the book. In fact, I skimmed quite a bit of the first half. Consensus at today's chat was that the book needed a good editor.
In 1993, Greg Mortenson attempted to climb K2. He was unable to make it to the summit, and on his descent he got lost. Rescued by local villagers, he pledged to return and build a school for the girls of the village. Mortenson returned home, and living out of his car, struggled to save every penny in order to return and fulfill his promise. He sent hundreds of letters in an attempt to raise money, but didn't get very far. Finally, a former climber pledged $12,000, what Mortenson estimated it would cost to build one school. He finally built the school and went on to found the Central Asian Institute, whose goal is to promote peace and provide better opportunities for the children of remote villages by building schools. Today, due to Mortenson's perseverance and the generosity of thousands, the CAI is going strong.
Three Cups of Tea chronicles Mortenson's struggles and unwavering determination to make his dream a reality. It's a fantastic story and an even more fantastic achievement, but gawd, is the book ever boring. Okay, there were a few interesting parts, especially the post 9/11 segments. But overall? Boring.