Aug 29th, 2010 by Lisa
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
Three Cups of Tea is about one man’s determination to bring schools to the forgotten areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Greg Mortenson’s life work is to provide a balanced education to the children in these regions so they have an alternative to the extremist madrasas (schools) and to teach them skills to build their communities. This book is about his journey – from sleeping in his car and being kidnapped to the triumphs of seeing children become educated.
The title came from something Greg Mortenson learned in Pakistan from his good friend Haji Ali: “The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger. The second time you take tea, you are an honored guest. The third time you share a cup of tea, you become family, and for our family, we are prepared to do anything, even die.”
“It’s something to think about the next time you ask ‘What difference can one person make’” -John Flinn, travel editor, San Francisco Examiner
Book Club Party Ideas for Three Cups of Tea
Christa was Mortenson’s beloved sister who died of a seizure. Greg Mortenson wrapped her favorite amber bead necklace in a Tibetan prayer cloth and was going to leave them at the top of K2 to honor her. He did a rescue mission and then was too weak to continue up the mountain. On his way down, seriously ill, he took a wrong turn and found a village… the site of his first school.
Other decorations for your book club party could include “a gaudy mass of carnations and roses” which is what Mortenson brought Mother Teresa after her death.
It was also mentioned that Korphe was considered the Tibet of the apricots. A bowl of apricots would be a beautiful and delicious decoration.
What to Wear
The traditional dress of Pakistan is the shalwar kamiz, which can be worn Greg Mortenson style with Teva sandals.
Julia Bergman who accompanied Mortenson to Kabul to deliver school supplies wore a porcelain pendant around her neck with a quote from George Bernard Shaw - “I want to be thoroughly used up when I die.” I could not find a similar pendant on the internet, but I did find a t-shirt with the quote.
Book Club Menu for Three Cups of Tea
Paiyu Cha is a must for a Three Cups of Tea book club party menu. Paiyu Cha is a butter tea that forms the basis of the Balti diet. “After brewing green tea in a blackened tin pot, he (Haji Ali) added salt, baking soda, and goat’s milk, before tenderly shaving a sliver of mar, the aged rancid yak butter, the Balti prize above all other delicacies, and stirred it into the brew with a not especially clean forefinger.”
Other Pakistani food to serve at your book club party includes:
- Apricot Lassi and Chapati – a common Pakistani breakfast.
- Hard Boiled Eggs – It is a tradition to eat a boiled egg when married so you can be strong enough to make babies.
- Radish Florets
- Spicy Chickpea Soup (chana dal)
- Roasted Chicken with Tomato Yogurt Sauce
- Biryani with Raisins, Nuts and Peas
- Apricot Walnut Cake – Korphe was considered the Tibet of the Apricots and at the outskirts of Sardu were apricot and walnut orchards.
Other recipe ideas for Three Cups of Tea
- Kurba- made by wrapping khodos, small round rocks heated in a fire, with unleavened bread.
- Better part of a yak swimming in a stew of chilis and potatoes.
- Ibex brains in a stew with potatoes and onions.
- Chogo rabak- a big ram. When made in Korphe the people tore every scrap of meat off the animal’s bones and then cracked open the bones themselves with rocks, stripping the marrow with their teeth.
- A stew of sheep liver and brains.
Book Club Resources
Ratings at the time this post was published
|Goodreads: 3.92 stars (64379 ratings)|
|Amazon: 4.5 stars (2516 reviews)|
|Barnes & Noble: 4.5 stars (798 reviews)|
|My Rating: 4.5 stars|
About the Author
Other Books By Greg Mortenson
Beyond the Book
Pennies for Peace initially began at Westside Elementary School, River Falls, Wisconsin in 1994 in an effort to help Mortenson raise the funds to build his first school. Mortenson writes in the book that he had difficulty getting adults to understand what he wanted to accomplish, but the children understood it right away.
GirlEffect.org is an organization that is working to create opportunities for girls around the globe in an effort to raise the standard of living in the developing world. Greg Mortenson focused particularly on educating girls. “If the girls can just get a 5th grade education, everything changes. Educated boys leave their village to find jobs in the city, but educated girls tend to stay, become leaders in the community and pass on what they have learned.”
I wanted to finish with a you tube video that was done as a fourth grade project. Impressive!
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