Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Stones into Schools
Back in September I raved about Mortenson's first book, Three Cups of Tea, which to this day is one of the most memorable and inspiring nonfiction books I have read. This second book, which picks up where Three Cups left off is just as mesmerizing.
Three Cups of Tea tells of how Mortenson fails to climb K2 and ends up in a small village in Pakistan where they save his life and care for him. It is there he discovers a group of children going to "school" out in the open, with no supplies. He goes on to promise the leader of the small village that somehow he will build them a school. From there the book details how he does his by starting the Central Asia Institute (CAI) and fulfills the promise and makes many more to many small villages in Pakistan.
Stones into Schools details the further adventures of this organization and man as they both grow, and as they move into working in the harsh conditions of remote Afghanistan. The harrowing efforts so many people make, most of them local people who simply want education for their daughters, is truly amazing. And I was equally appreciative that Mortenson covers his expanding relationship with members of the military, who are in support of his good work. Even he admits it surprised him somewhat, but it gives a lot of hope to me that there are many good men and women who serve their country (my brother and brother-in-law included) and also want to help the people where they serve.
If you've read Three Cups of Tea, this sequel is just as good if not better. If you haven't read either of them, go do it now because it will change your view of the world for better.