Occasionally I will post non-stamping related things on my blog and today is one of those times. I have been challenged to write about a book that has really inspired me in honor of Book Lover's Day. There are two books that have inspired me as being 'right on'! They are Three Cups of Tea and Stones Into Schools by Greg Mortenson. Greg Mortenson is a renown mountain climber who was attempting to climb Mount Everest when he and his Sherpa guide took the time to carry a sick mountain climber back down to the base camp. This effort took all the strength Greg and his guide had so they aborted their attempt to reach the summit. On the way back down off the mountain, Greg's guide had gone on ahead to set up camp and Greg took a wrong path and eventually ended up in an isolated village in the mountainous region of Northern Pakistan. Greg stayed with those villagers for three months while he recuperated enough to return to America.
While in the village, Greg asked to see their school. He was led to a small flat spot where the students were scratching their letters in the dirt. They had no walls, no desks, no books, and a teacher who only came from a distant neighboring village two days a week. Before he left the village, Greg promised to build them a school. That was the beginning of a journey.
Greg raises money and builds schools in remote villages of Pakistan and Afghanistan. He believes the best way to combat terrorism is to educate the people, especially the girls. The Taliban have built schools to educate only the boys and to indoctrinate them in extremist religious principles. Generally, before a young man can attend these schools, he has to have the consent of his mother. By educating the girls and women, they are less likely to give approval. Greg's goal is to have a ring of schools for girls circling the stronghold area of the Taliban thus weakening their control of the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
I highly recommend these two books. They narrate the challenges and successes of Greg Mortenson and his organization and publicize his cause.