As the Taliban continues to make some inroads once again in Afghanistan – a recent prison attack that set 400 Taliban insurgents free, and fighting that will prepare them to take over a key town near Kandahar, I’m reminded of Greg Mortensen.
Before the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, Mortensen was paving a pathway to peace in this volatile region of the world through schools. On a failed attempt to summit the world’s second highest peak, K2, he had stumbled upon a remote village in Baltistan on his way down. Here in this remote village, Balti men and women cared for him until he was able to leave. That experience changed his life and from there he has become a model of humanitarian activity – building schools and educating some of Pakistan’s poorest children. The Central Asia Institute is the main mouthpiece and actor in this work.
Three Cups of Tea is the literary journey through Mortensen’s adventures. A fabulous read – especially in light of the ongoing turmoil in that area of the world. We have much to learn from the way Mortensen has engaged in cross-cultural relationships, international community development and the pathway to peace and reconciliation.