Friday, May 9, 2008


Greg Mortenson is a mountain climber, who ended up in a remote and impoverished village in Pakistan, after a failed attempt to climb K2. Moved by the inhabitants' kindness, he promised to return and build a school. Over the past fifteen years, he has built more than 55 schools in remote areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

A few "book gems"
"When the porcelain bowls of scalding butter tea steamed in their hands, Haji Ali spoke. "If you want to thrive in Baltistan, you must respect our ways. The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger. The second time you take tea, you are an honored guest. The third time you share a cup of tea, you become family, and for our family, we are prepared to do anything, even die. Dr. Greg, you must make time to share three cups of tea. We may be uneducated. But we are not stupid. We have lived and survived here for a long time."

Mortenson continues,  "That day, Haji Ali taught me the most important lesson I have learned in my life. We Americans think you have to accomplish everything quickly. We're the country of thirty-minute power lunches and two-minute football drills…Haji Ali taught me to slow down and make building relationships as important as building projects. He taught me that I had more to learn from the people I work with than I could ever hope to teach them" (p. 150).
'Tell us, if there was one thing we could do for your village, what would it be?'
'With all respect, Sahib, you have little to teach us in strength and toughness. And we don't envy you your restless spirits. Perhaps we are happier than you? But we would like our children to go to school. Of all the things you have, learning is the one we most desire for our children.'

Conversation between Sir Edmund Hilary and Urkien Sherpa, from Schoolhouse in the Clouds,  as quoted in 3C of T, p. 27

"When your heart speaks, take good notes."  Judith Campbell, as quoted in 3C of T. (p.33)

1 comment:

Franki said...

I keep looking at this book, trying to decide whether to buy it. Now, I think I have to get it! Thanks!