Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mortenson builds the first school with the help of the people. 3 cups of T

Greg was in a hurry to complete the school. He felt the progress was too slow with people often missing to take care of their crops and animals. Haji Ali urged him to be patient and respect the ways of the villagers.

When a landslide held up jeeps eighteen miles from Korphe, the whole village including the holy man of Korphe came to help and carried the roof beams to the village. It was the way the conservative mullah showed his support to the school. Not all were like this. The powerful head of Askole arrived one day to stop the work and would go away only he was offered twelve of the best rams as a penalty for allowing a kafir to build a school.

The first school .
There is drama,  Mortenson managed to complete the school and took a picture of it for Jean to see. Jean who was in his last stages died an extremely happy man. Greg, with the creation CAI, initially funded with million dollars by Jean Hoerni, got busy in many projects building schools initially in Pakistan and later in Afghanistan and Tajikistan. (Worth taking a look at the link)

As I thought about Greg and his work across our border, the controversies within the USA about his style of management and accusations of wasteful methods of  using funds, the events became much larger and more complicated and way beyond the scope of my blog.  Raghu had similar thoughts and he asked me 'The pictures were interesting. The caption says Namma ooru, when are you returning? (To Bengaluru!)

I guess it makes sense to end with the first school Greg built with the help of Korphe people. The period was indeed tumultuous due to Taliban and 9/11 and Mortenson had many stressful moments as he continued to build schools. Probably the toughest test was to deal with American Army! There are books to read and many many articles on the Mortenson episode.  I link the one I liked about Korphe school. It feels good read this.

 The school was first built in 1995 but had to be brought down due to its poorly constructed foundation. It was then rebuilt with a stronger foundation and reinforced concrete.
The new road to Korphe. The old pillars are seen.

The girl students. 
What they do? How do they feel? 
Hopefully they are not victims of the new wave of violence 

The blogger Sabina Khan, A Master's graduate in Conflict Resolution from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California. concludes her blog with: Throughout my trip in the northern areas of Pakistan, I came across numerous blue CAI boards marking their institutions. I won’t attest to confirming the 250 or so institutions that the Central Asia claims to support, but this one was in fine shape. I know that the kids at this one school now have opportunities that were otherwise beyond their reach before the charity began and the locals backed up every aspect of Three Cups of  Tea that I could remember.


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