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Three Cups of Tea

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Kate Maas

on 30 April 2010

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Transcript of Three Cups of Tea

Three Cups of Tea For years he’d [Faisal Baig] seen it coming, the storm building. It would take months and millions of dollars poured into the flailing serpentine arms of the U.S. intelligence apparatus to untangle for certain what this illiterate man who lived in the last village at the end of a dirt road, without an Internet connection or even a phone, knew instinctively When Greg Mortenson got lost climbing K2, he never thought the experience would change him from an adventurer to a humanitarian. Pakistan's land and people became a part of Greg Mortenson. The harsh and splendid land
With snow covered rock mountains, cold crystal streams
Deep forests of cypress, juniper and ash
Is as much my body as what you see before you here.
I cannot be separated from this or from you
Our many hearts have only a single beat But he couldn't do it alone... “If you want to thrive in Baltistan, you must respect our ways,” Haji Ali said. “Doctor Greg, you must take time to share three cups of tea. We may be uneducated. But we are not stupid. We have lived and survived here for a long time.”…

“That day, Haji Ali taught me the most important lesson I’ve ever learned in my life,” Mortenson says. “We Americans think you have to accomplish everything quickly… Haji Ali taught me to share three cups of tea, to slow down and make building relationships as important as building projects. He taught me I had more to learn from the people I work with than I could ever hope to teach them.” The people of Korphe helped Greg Mortenson recover and gain back his strength when he was lost in the Hindu Kush mountains. He wanted to repay them by building them a school. Mortenson discovered alternate perspectives and realized that traditional teacher/student roles were not as clearly defined as he had previously thought. In a single caffeine-fueled weekend session under Syed’s tutelage, he cut and pasted his appeals for funds until he reached his goal of five hundred letters. “It was pretty interesting,” Mortenson says. “Someone from Pakistan was helping me become computer literate so I could help Pakistani kids get literate.” "So, once again, an illiterate old Balti taught a Westerner how to best go about developing his 'backward' area. Ever since then, with all the schools I've built, I've remembered Haji Ali's advice and expanded slowly, from village to village and valley to valley going where we'd already built relationships, instead of trying to hopscotch to places I had no contacts, like Waziristan." With the help of Haji Ali and the inhabitants of Korphe, Mortenson was able to build over fifty schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Now, we're going to work together just like Greg Mortenson and Haji Ali! Your team is stranded on a Desert Island! There is a map that leads to a ship. Once you get on the ship, you can leave the island. However, first you must solve the clues to collect the pieces of the map. Once you get all the pieces you're free! But there's a problem! The boat only holds six people. so you have split into teams. Whichever team collects all the parts of their map first gets to leave the island. The other group is stranded! Good Luck!
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