Greg Mortenson and Haji Ali right visit Korphe children.
I stayed with Haji Ali that night and returned later to spend more time in Korphe. One day Haji Ali took me behind the village, where 82 children were sitting in the dirt—four girls, 78 boys—and most of the kids were writing with sticks in the dirt.
This was their school. When I returned to the United States, I went to the local library and looked up the names of celebrities.
I kept working; I was determined to get the school built. One day in , my mother invited me to come to the elementary school in Wisconsin where she was principal. Six weeks later, Jeffrey and his classmates had raised 62, pennies.
Over those years I spent a lot of time with Haji Ali. Haji Ali loved to read in the evening. Green tea, sweet tea.
Once I experienced its sweet and spicy aroma, I could never go back. By the time I entered college, it became a daily habit for me to brew myself a cup of chai with almond milk in the morning. Tea varies in caffeine content, with black tea having the highest concentration. In moderation, a little caffeine can be helpful, but a daily habit like mine quickly adds up.
Despite my daily indulgence, it took me months to notice that I actually developed a caffeine addiction. I never needed tea to wake me up in the morning or keep me going at night; I just drank it because I enjoyed the taste.
So when I first started experiencing caffeine withdrawal symptoms , I mistook it simply as dehydration. On days when I forgot to have tea in the morning, I'd feel a mild headache around noon.
All the while thinking that the extra water or the pain reliever had cure my headache. After going a few days without having my tea in the morning, I started to notice that these headaches were getting worse and worse. Neither water nor ibuprofen were of any help.
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One afternoon, I went home frustrated from work and my mysteriously unending headaches, so I instinctively thought to make myself some tea. With the first sip, my headache disappeared like magic.
To test this theory, I went a few more days without tea in the morning and then finally switched back to having a cup before I left for work. Sure enough, my headaches continued on days without tea and completely disappeared once I was back to my old habit. Once I knew I was becoming a caffeine-addicted just like my coffee loving friends, I had to cure it before it got any worse.