Charlie sent me the following reflection and asked me to post it for him....
I just finished an incredible book that I want to recommend. It is "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson and David Relin.
The book is an account of an American mountaineer, Greg Mortenson, who was lost and delirious after a failed 1993 attempt on the worlds second tallest peak, K2. Greg was rescued by residents of Korphe, a remote village high in the Pakistani Himalayas. Grateful for their assistance, Mortenson vowed to build the villagers a school. He returned home to San Francisco, sold everything he owned and then worked on raising money to build this school for the girls in this village. He sacrificed everything to bring this to fruition.
I was impressed at how he learned their language and lived as one of them. He first learned what THEY needed, which was a bridge to bring the supplies to build the school. Then, he made alliances with the leaders of the village to work together to meet their needs.
Greg was able to transcend tribal chiefs' skepticism and overcame their fears of his motives. Mr. Mortenson worked in many other villages in the Taliban heartland under almost impossible condictions.
After 13 years in which he has brought 58 schools to Pakistan and Afghanistan, Mortenson remains convinced that terrorism should be fought with books, not bombs. "Terrorism" happens because children aren't being offered a bright enough future, Mortenson told a gathering of U.S. Congress members not long after 9/11. Three Cups of Tea is an astonishing tale of compassion, committment and a selfless attitude without any ego satisfaction. It offers a model of how one person can make a difference in the world.
How can we participate in this work? Go to his website: www.Ikat.org. Read his book. I hope we can find a way to support this remarkable example.
Also tonight Nan & I watched the Lehrer Hour. There was a segment about "Engineers Without Borders". These engineers go into remote villages and help bring clean water or sanitation to these people. It was encouraging to see some positive solutions to some of the worlds problems and how the people working on the projects had changed as they worked with these people. Are these some modern day "Prophets?.