Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"When it is dark you can see the stars... open your heart.

...MY heart is full...

There is a man

I was privileged honored, and oh so moved to meet last night.

A true king among men.

He has dedicated a good part of his humble life

on a quest to address poverty...

educate girls...

and overcome cultural divides

in the craggy, often unforgiving

and remote mountain regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Where girls are often not allowed to go to school...

where the illiteracy rate of females is 58%.

"Educate a boy, and your educate an individual. Educate a girl,
and you educate a community. "

~African proverb

He is a gentle man with strength and hope abundant.

Who believes that
our best hope for a peaceful and prosperous world ...

lies in the education of all the world’s children...Especially the girls.

It is the girls who will become the mothers,

who will not allow their

boys to choose death over life.

Replacing guns with pencils,

rhetoric with reading.

He helps build the schools with the community...

one stone at a time.

It is a slow process,

humbling and dangerous.

But he is welcomed into each community.

building relationships...slowly, surely.

The tribe invests in each school...each student.

poor and malnourished, but all eager to learn and get educated.

They carry the burden and the benefit...

on their shoulders...

They do it for their future.

it's proof that one ordinary person,

with the right combination of character and determination,

really can change the world.

Godspeed Greg Mortenson.

Have an extra penny....send it here. Pennies have built schools for girls. Many.

Want to be inspired to move?

to change?

to help?

read the book :



Mary said...

So moving - we are so blessed but so takes an evening like that (or this post) to remind us all of how lucky we are to be free Americans. Thank you

Anonymous said...

After talking to you this morning about this and knowing the story, I was still moved to tears. Especially after the photo of the townspeople hauling the lumber.

Even in one of our worst economic times, we are still such a privileged country. How lucky we are.

And what proof that one person CAN really make a difference in this world. Thank you for this beautiful post.

anita said...

ginny is right, even w/ our current economic strains we are in the land of plenty, freedom and ease..on that note...
i'm posting several of the pics on my fridge, i will donate and i will keep these little ones in my heart, especially the girls!
thanks for the heart ck..

Joyce said...

This is a very moving post. Also a perfect time since heart day is only days away. To see the love these men have for the young ones of the future is priceless. Thank you! xoxo

Cyndee Greene said...

Oh Linda, this is SO powerful! Thank you for this post!
I will explore further....
We need to get the word out about the people that are making a difference in our world. It will inspire others to look to see how they might make a difference.
Sometimes it is the little things that make the biggest difference..

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

Thanks all! It IS such a moving story that continues...

In January he was nominated for the Nobel Peace a bipartisan move from congress.

He is my new Hero!

Melissa said...

I read this book last spring, and everyone should read it. The sacrifices he made in his own personal life to raise money to build these schools is stunning, and his devotion to the villagers is a true testament to his spirit. I had the priveledge to work in Afghanistan from 2003-05 and I can tell you that the people and cultures of this area of the world are soooo different from ours. For him to be welcomed into these communities the way he was--especially to build schools that (gasp!) welcomed girls--is stunning and speaks volumes about how amazing and wonderful he is. Lucky, lucky you for having a chance to meet him, and thanks for sharing it on your blog.

~ Lisa @ AbidingThere~ said...

I've seen that book and planned to read it. Thanks for the thought-provoking post.

Blue Muse said...

Oh Linda, thank you for posting this, and for being one to not only spread goodness, hope, and to be a light, but to provide an opportunity for others to participate in it.
This is the stuff that makes my heart happy and makes me love your wonderful spirit more than I already do! If that's possible :)
xo Isa

Anonymous said...

This is such a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing.

a quiet life said...

thank you for sharing and spreading the word.

Ivy Lane said...

Beautiful, I gave that book "Three Cups of Tea".. to my Sis last year for Christmas..think I'll borrow it back from her and check it out!

Elle Jay Bee said...

Wow! I had never heard of him, but he sounds like a wonderful, wonderful man...

Thank you for sharing this.

for the love of a house said...

Linda- thank you for this post. I was in need of some perspective and this hit the spot. We truly are so very blessed.
What a wonderful man, and what a wonderful mission. j.

Millie said...

Yes, a truly wonderful post Linda! Despite the joyous news that over one million girls are now receiving an education in Afghanistan, hostility to girls' education continues. Taleban sympathisers against the education of girls still attack schools in in an attempt to stop parents sending their daughters to study.

More good news is that several hundred women have recently been able to take the entrance exam at Kabul University. Many of them want to become educators, as there is still a huge shortage of teachers. All power to them! Can't think of anyone more worthy of a Nobel Prize than Greg.
Millie ^_^

Natalia said...

Wow. I'm a whole different kind of inspired tonight.


Annie Pazoo said...

I read the book and loved it so much. Thanks for honoring his mission with your post!

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said... are so right. schools are bombed, teachers are killed or told to close down the school.The goal... to terrorise families into keeping children uneducated, unemployable, and a recruitment pool for the Islamists.

Mortenson told of beautiful brick and mortar schools built by the Swedes...or us,or another benevolent nation perhaps... that stand empty because of the beurocracy and permits and tribal agreement needed.

Meanwhile, children...girls...have walked for hours and are huddled under a tree within eyesight of the school, scratching out math on the crusty ground.Doing their work.

They are passionate about this chance for education. Have endured much, and are willing to sometimes sacrifice their lives for it.

It is haunting and beautiful and painful to me.

His MO is to build the schools the tribal way...follow tribal law and custom respectfully...then engage THEM in the building of THEIR school. Not doing it for them.

So far it has worked...only ONE of the hundreds that he has helped these remote, tribal communities build has been bombed.

Thank you for all of your beautiful heartfelt comments...It makes a difference.

And as always...there is so much more to do.

Jade Bordeaux said...

I am sending my penny, and am so blessed that I found your blog. My daughter and I sing "Lime in the coconut", sometimes...and this is what brought me to your beautiful blog!
This has made an impact,already, on my day!

Kierstin Bridger said...

I was going to post the most inane thing glad I got a reality check. I was so awed when I read his book. He is an amazing man. What stirs me most is HIS dedication to educating GIRLS. If the world had more men like him...I mean really, bumping up ridiculously rocky roads, hiding in a rickety pick-up truck with fresh animal hides on top of him, just so he could meet with a tribal leader who he had an outside chance of persuading him to allow girls to learn...that's DEDICATION!
The pics were beautiful.
He is sort of in my neck of the woods, I would love to hear him speak or read someday.I sooooo hope he gets the prize. It will give him so much more global awareness.I'll be adding a few pennies today and encouraging more...

sandra/tx said...

Awesome post, Linda. Wow.

Anonymous said...

Amazing and powerful post, Linda.


Anonymous said...

Three Cups of Tea is the most inspiring story I have ever encountered. As a teacher, I am moved by the works of this man. I wish we could pass a law that mandates every American to read his story. I know that I am forever changed, as a teacher, as an American, and as a human being.

Ms. Tee said...

What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

Great post. Both the Central Asia Institute/Three Cups of Tea ( and Barakat, Inc. ( do great work educating girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan. :)

Eloise said...

I love that book. Great post.

Anonymous said...

I really love your blog! I am so glad to of found it!
You might like mine too...http://islandlivingdesigns

Stephanie said...

I love him...for our anniversary Greg gave me 3 copies so I could pass them around.

Everyone needs to read and understand these efforts.

ALSO..I found this post by poking around trying to find the post you had about the beautiful resort in FL, looked like a tropical island, bright colored victorian buildings...great food??? You post of so many lovely places I wonder if you remember this one??


Related Posts with Thumbnails