Three Cups of Tea
By: Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
“When your heart speaks, take good notes”- Judith Campbell
“Haji Ali, avoiding Mortensons eyes, said that the village had no school, and the Pakistani government didn’t provide a teacher. A teacher costs the equivalent of one dollar a day, he explained which was more than the village could afford” (Mortenson, 32).
This was the circumstance of the village and so the promise was a token of his appreciation and thankfulness for all of their assistance in his time of need. Moretnson promised Haji Ali, that one day he would come back to Korphe and build a school for the children. It is this promise, this bond that changes his life and the lives of the children of Korphe, forever. Because promises are sealed with a bond.
Mortenson then went back to the States to raise money to build the school in Korphe. On his way to building the school he is faced with trial, tribulations and heartbreaks. Many times because of the various difficulties that come into his path he thinks of giving up altogether but he never does. Mortenson continues to preserve. He believes in the following Persian proverb quite profoundly and it helps overcome the hard times, “When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.” Once Mortenson collects the amount he needs to start the building of his school through various fundraisers and sponsors he heads back to Korphe, Pakistan. The people of Korphe at first were quite skeptical of Mortenson’s return, but when he does return with the building supplies they are overjoyed and welcome him wholeheartedly. They are so happy because there is a chance that their children will be given what they have for so long been denied, education! The following describes how Haji Ali feels about education:
He picked up the dog-eared, grease spotted Koran and held it before the flames.
“Do you see how beautiful this Koran is?” Haji Ali asked.
“I can’t read it”, he said. “I can’t read anything. This is the greatest sadness in my life. I’ll do
anything so the children of my village never have to know this feeling” (Mortenson, 153).
The main themes in the book are: the importance of education, persevering and working towards the betterment of humanity. The adhesive glue which brings everyone in the village together is the notion of a school; a building which will promote and pass on knowledge which will better their society. The desire to better their childrens lives is the driving force which pushes everyone in the village to help out Mortenson in every way that they can. This shows the reader that the desire and the wishes that the parents of the children in Korphe have are not unfamiliar to the wishes many of our own parents have for us. The parents in Korphe similar to most of our parents want a better life for their children and they are ready to make any sacrifice so that their children can have the finest. Suban Allah, I’m amazed how this yearning for knowledge brings people together throughout the world.
The title, Three Cups of Tea is taken from a Balti proverb but I’m not going to tell you the meaning behind the title, you have to read the book to find out!!
“I will build a school”, Mortenson said.
“I promise” ( Mottelson, 33).
Indeed, Mortenson does build a school.
Where children now have a future,
Where when they are presented with new notebooks or sharpeners
It truly lights up their world.
Children are now given a chance,
a simple chance; which can ultimately change their lives.
Greg Mortenson inspires me.
I wish that you too can become inspired by reading this amazing book.