Also, for those of you who had been planning to hear Greg Mortenson speak, he sent out an e-mail to school and news contacts here explaining what happened. He was hospitalizied with an inflammation of the lining of the heart, which physicians say will take 2 to 8 weeks to heal. He hopes to make it to Columbus in early 2010.
Here is his letter:
To the community of Columbus and surrounding areas,
Today, I was supposed to join your community to meet with students, teachers and the public in a series of talks and events. I had been looking forward to this for weeks, and also eager to meet many of the students who had sent me inspiring letters, and also excited to meet with soldiers from Ft. Benning, who I have had the honor to communicate with recently, and have profound admiration and respect for.
Unfortunately, at the last minute, I was hospitalized in our local hospital with viral cardititis (inflammation of the lining of the heart) with perhaps something I had picked up on my recent trip to Afghanistan, which gives me an oxygen saturation around 85% on room air (most people its around 99%). The physicians told me it would take 2-8 weeks to heal and additional tests are being done.
A few people expressed concern over the explanation of the cancellation of my event due to 'unfore-seen' circumstances, so I want to make sure that you are appraised of the exact circumstances. I am sorry for any inconvenience I may have caused, especially with your children in anticipation of the event. I have two children myself, and I know how devastating it is when something they are looking forward to does not happen, so I especially apologize to them.
We will make up the event as soon as possible, and look forward to seeing you in the near future. My new book, Stones Into Schools (Viking 2009), will be released on December 1st, which discusses Afghanistan in more detail, about the dedication of our military, and also the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan. Unfortunately, the release of the new book puts me on a 21 day in a row book tour, so I may not be able to make it to Columbus by the end of the year, but we will do our best to get there by early 2010.
Thank you to all the students, teachers, civic groups, Ft. Benning soldiers and families, Brookstone School, Columbus State University, Chattahoochee Valley Libraries.GMC Columbus, veterans, places of worship, doctors and nurses, health care professionals, AAUW, local businesses, the Ledger Enquirer, newspaper, radio, TV stations and more.
More information about our nonprofit organization is on www.ikat.org, dedicated to support girls education in rural Afghanistan and Pakistan, and our children's program http://www.penniesforpeace.org/
Thanks for your understanding, and may God's blessings of peace be with you.
PS: We had over 24" of snow yesterday in Bozeman, Montana, in the last day, but we had already made arrangements so I would not be stuck in Montana - and I heard you had a similiar dump of rain in Georgia.