A sixth grader’s views on Greg Mortenson’s “Three Cups of Tea”
Special to this issue of Creative magazine (Cm), a Washington, D.C. area sixth grader, Fabiana Maldonado, provides her views on Greg Mortenson’s “Three Cups of Tea, One Man’s Journey to Change the World, One Child at a Time” (The Young Readers’ Edition). In our fast-paced and harried world, Fabiana’s candid assessment of Mortenson’s work and its significance to development professionals striving to educate countless children should continue to inspire us all as it has inspired Fabiana.
Cm: Were you happy you read “Three Cups of Tea”? What did you learn from it?
FM: After I read “Three Cups of Tea,” I was glad that I read it. What I have learned throughout this book is that in many places life isn’t always easy, you don’t always get an education. It was very sad reading that girls in remote areas of the world don’t have an education. This book shows you a totally different culture and how children, especially girls, live and strive for education.
Cm: Greg started out wanting to climb a mountain, but instead he built schools. Why did he build a school in Korphe?
FM: First of all, Greg’s goal was to place his sister’s necklace in her honor on the top of K2, the second tallest mountain in the world located in Pakistan. After that he stumbled upon Korphe and saw how the children lacked a good education. He decided that building a school there in Pakistan was much more challenging and rewarding because it would benefit the children of Korphe, which is much better than climbing a mountain.
Cm: What would it be like for you if you couldn’t go to school? How do you think the children in Korphe felt when Greg said he would build them a school?
FM: Many kids today, at least here in DC, are happy when there is no school like on snow days. Most kids want more vacations or would rather stay home than go to school. But, in Pakistan and Afghanistan it is the complete opposite. Children in these countries are so happy with a teacher, books, pencils….If I hadn’t and couldn’t go to school, I wouldn’t be as smart as I am now and I would have a totally different lifestyle. I think the kids in Korphe were excited, but at the same time confused, thinking how would Greg get it done? What will he do to accomplish this goal? How can he convince people help this cause!
Cm: After reading the book, how does it feel to have a school with heat, a roof, walls, books and good teachers?
FM: After I read this book, I was more grateful to have a school with all the basic necessities. I was especially grateful to have teachers. Sadly for Afghan and Pakistani children they may only have a teacher once a week, twice a week, or sometimes the village cannot afford one. Just the thought of kids not receiving an education breaks my heart. I am very thankful to have an education, but also glad to have extra things for example a library, a computer lab and a soccer field. Sadly, in developing countries these are not even close to accessible.
Cm: Do you believe Creative’s work is helping children in developing countries similar to what Greg has done? Do you think that’s a good thing? Why?
FM: I think that Creative is helping developing countries just like Greg Mortenson. This is a good thing because you are helping the Afghan and Pakistani children receive an education. Another reason I think this is a very generous mission because Creative is helping people who are less privileged than most of you [who are reading this magazine]. Looking at Creative’s 2011 calendar it shows that you help people in many different countries like Afghanistan, El Salvador, Egypt, Haiti, Jordan, Morocco, Sudan and many more countries. So, if what Greg Mortenson did was important then what Creative is doing everyday is inspiring. Keep up the good work, Creative!
Interview by Alexandra Pratt