Sunday, July 18, 2010


It means "God willing."

From Three Cups of Tea, the story of an American whose near death in the Himalayas led him to build schools in remote parts of Pakistan:
In October 1996, Bergman had been traveling in Pakistan with a group of friends who chartered a huge Russian MI-17 helicopter out of Skardu in hopes of getting a glimpse of K2. On the way back the pilot asked if they wanted to visit a typical village. They happened to land just below Korphe, and when local boys learned Bergman was American they took her hand and led her to see a curious new tourist attraction — a sturdy yellow school built by another American, which stood where none had ever been before, in a small village called Korphe.

"I looked at a sign in front of the school and saw that it had been donated by Jean Hoerni, my cousin Jennifer's husband," Bergman says. "Jennifer told me Jean had been trying to build a school somewhere in the Himalaya, but to land in that exact spot in a range that stretches thousands of miles felt like more than a coincidence. I'm not a religious person," Bergman says, "but I felt I'd been brought here for a reason and I couldn't stop crying."

A few months later, at Hoerni's memorial service, Bergman introduced herself to Mortenson. "I was there!" she said, wrapping the startled man she'd just met in a bruising hug. "I saw the school!"

"You're the blonde in the helicopter," Mortenson said, shaking his head in amazement. "I heard a foreign woman had been in the village but I didn't believe it!"

"There's a message here. This is meant to be," Julia Bergman said. "I want to help. Is there anything I can do?"

"Well, I want to collect books and create a library for the Korphe school," Mortenson said.

Bergman felt the same sense of predestination she'd encountered that day in Korphe. "I'm a librarian," she said.

1 comment:

AthensHomerDawg said...

This was an unexpected post for a football blog. I do admit it got me interested in the story.