Thursday, July 20, 2006
I was going to write something about the lightning storm we had last night, but something happened at lunch today, that I think that I would rather talk about.
As I’ve already blogged, I’m reading a book called “Three Cups of Tea.” If you haven’t read it, do.
Anyway, the chapter I read at lunch today had to do with Greg Mortenson’s benefactor, a guy named Jean Hoerni. He was an avid mountaineer, and had something to do with semiconductors back in the day, so he was filthy rich, but he had a great love for the people of the Himalayas. So when Greg approached him to help with the building of the school in Korphe, Jean agreed, and paid for it, plus he paid for the bridge they needed. It was Jean’s idea for Greg to start the Central Asian Institute and paid him a salary to do it.
Then they found out that Jean Hoerni had leukemia and had only months to live. The one thing he wanted most was to see a photo of the completed school in Korphe. So, Greg, with only weeks before the start of winter, returned to Korphe and put the roof on the building.
Jean Hoerni died knowing that they had overcome countless obstacles and given a school to those children. The last act he did was to endow the Central Asian Institute with a million dollars so that they could continue to build schools and pay teachers in Pakistan.
At this point I was weeping. I wasn’t alone in my office or in some quiet place. I was sitting at a table, in a deli where I had stopped for lunch, surrounded by construction workers from a road crew.
I’ve said this before... I don’t cry. But I guess the subject of cancer, which has touched me deeply over the last few years, and the beautifully written description of a good life made better, made me kind of weepy.