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The Himalayas: Then & Now

In Chapter 3, we read about the earliest civilizations of the Himalayas. Today, people living in this beautiful region, surrounded by awesome mountains and majestic panoramas must also overcome the same challenges the Himalayan people faced from 2000-1000BC: floods, droughts, crossfire of tribal warlords, etc.

Here are a few modern day happenings in the Himalayas for you to check out:

Visit Greg Moreteson's websites Three Cups of Tea (which provides info about his New York Time's bestselling book) and Pennies for Peace (home of the nonprofit organization, the Central Asia Institute). After failing to reach the top of Pakistan'sK2, the world's second highest mountain and, like Mount Everest, part of the Himalayan range, Moretenson rested in a mountain village where people offered him cups of tea as he recovered. as Moretenson tells in his story, he knew, by the third cup of tea, that a connection had been formed. No longer a mere mountain climbing tourist, Moretenson committed himself to returning to the Himalayan region and building the then non-existent schools. He believed the schools would not only ensure a better life for the villagers, but also "build peace" in the historically conflict-torn zone. Read excerpts from his bestselling book and its sequel, Stones into Schools, or ask in class for the audio version to listen to on your Ipod or mp3 player. Morteson took what he loved (mountain climbing) to do his part in bettering our world. His organization has helped build over a hundred schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the last fifteen years where more than 40,000 children, including some 30,000 girls have been educated.

In your text, you read about constant flooding in Southeast and Central Asia. Unfortunately, August 2010 brought more flooding and displacement to the peoples of Pakistan. Check out videos and read coverage from the BBC "Pakistan Floods."

Finally, check out the inspiring speech by Lewis Pugh from the TedTalk's 2010 Global Conference at Oxford University. After swimming to the North Pole, Pugh decided to retire from the frigid waters, until learning about new glacier lakes being formed from the severe melting of Mount Everest. He then decided to swim across Everest's glacier lake in an attempt to raise awareness about not only global warming, but what he calls, "the next big combat zone of our time." 2 billion people--one third of the earth's population--depend on water resources concentrated in this area of the globe. Watch what he has to say about the real issues at the heart of his epic swim: