Informal Chapter by Chapter Notes

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					Informal Chapter by Chapter Notes
Introduction: In Mr. Mortenson’s Orbit (pp. 1-5)
• • • Introduction of Greg Mortenson by co-author David Oliver Relin Flight with Brigadier General Banghoo Summary of Greg’s Journey from mountaineer to humanitarian

Quotes for discussion: “You know,” Bhangoo said, as we were enveloped in a scrum of 120 students tugging us by the hands on a tour of their school, “flying with President Musharraf, I’ve become acquainted with many world leaders, many outstanding gentlemen and ladies. But I think Greg Mortenson is the most remarkable person I’ve ever met.” Concepts started here: • • • Time Allies and enemies More effectively building peace

Chapter 1: Failure (pp. 7-16)
• • • • • • Description of K2 as the “biggest and baddest summit on earth” Lost in the Baltoro Description of Krista, her amber necklace and his plan to honor the memory of his little sister Grew up in a family that relished difficult tasks Pack mules for stocking the expeditions High camp The arduous saving of fellow climber Etienne Fine

Quotes for discussion: “It was his body that had failed, he decided, not his spirit, and everybody had its limits. He for the first time in his life, had found the absolute limit of his.” P.16

Chapter 2: The Wrong Side of the River (pp.17-26)
• • • • • • • Waking up on the upper Baltoro Singing in Swahili Mouzafer, the Balti porter Paiyu Cha (first mention of tea) Losing his way Meeting Haji Ali, the nurmadhar, the chief of Korphe Ibex jerky and butter tea


Quotes for discussion: “All summer I’d looked at these mountains as goals, totally focusing on the biggest one, K2. I’d thought about the elevation and the technical challenges they presented to me as a climber. But that morning, “he says, “for the first time, I simply saw them, it was overwhelming.” P.19

Chapter 3:Progress and Perfection (pp. 27-33)
• • • • • • • Sakina, Haji Ali’s wife making tea Plush Maroon Silk Quilt Meeting up with Mouzafer The Balti’s enjoyment of life vs. maladies and malnutrition and doctors a week’s walk away The nickname Dr. Greg 78 boys and 4 girls practicing lessons with sticks in the dirt Greg’s promise to build a school

Quotes for discussion: “Everything about their life was a struggle.” (p. 31)

Chapter 4: Self-Storage (pp.34-46)
• Childhood memories of Africa, America & his parents Dempsey & Jerene • Joining the Army (Awarded the Army Commendation Medal) • Concordia College on a football scholarship • University of South Dakota on a GI scholarship • Dempsey diagnosed with cancer and designed his funeral “The Joy of Going Home” • Mortenson’s degrees in nursing & chemistry • Graduate program in neurophysiology at Indiana University • Climbing • La Bamba, his grandmother’s old burgundy Buick • Greg’s trip on Mt. Sill at the same time as Christa’s massive seizure • Dedicating his climb • Quotes for discussion: On building the 640 bed hospital in Tanzania: • “I could feel the swell of pride from the Africans.” Mortenson remembers, “The expats wanted him to say, ‘Look what we’ve done for you.’ But he was saying, “Look what you’ve done for yourselves and how much more you can do.’ (p.38)


Chapter 5: 580 Letters, One Check (pp. 47-56)
• • • • • • • • Typing letters to raise money Life in the ER Pulmonologist and fellow climber Tom Vaughan Anesthesiology Resident, Dr. Marina Villard Sleeping in La Bamba Jerene Mortenson finished her PHD & becomes a principal Westside Elementary launches a Pennies for Pakistan drive collecting 62,345 pennies Dr, Jean Hoerni, a Swiss born physicist, fellow climber & philanthropist ($12,000)

Quotes for discussion: “Someone from Pakistan helping me to become computer literate, so I could help Pakistani kids get literate.” (p.50)

Chapter 6: Rawalpindi’s Rooftops at Dusk
• • • • • • • 56 hour itinerary from San Francisco to Islamabad Airport Khyaban Hotel so as to not waste rupees Buying mud colored shalwar Learning how to pray Countless cups of green tea buying cement Abdul bargaining for lumber More green tea

Quotes for discussion: “As he pressed his forehead against the still-warm ground, Greg Moretenson realized that, for the first moment during all his days in Pakistan, no one was looking at him as an outsider. No one was looking at him at all. Allah Akbhar, he chanted quietly, God is great, adding his voice to the chorus in the darkened lot. The belief rippling around him was strong. It was powerful enough to convert a gas station into a holy place. Who knew what other wonders of transformation lay ahead?” (p. 69)

Chapter 7: Hard Way Home (pp.70-82)
• • • • Loading the supplies Mortenson rode on top of the Bedford Struggling over “Friendship Highway” Coming “home” to the Karakoram

Quotes for discussion: “A decade later, in the post 9/11 era, Mortenson would often be asked by Americans about the danger he faced in the region from terrorists. “If I die in Pakistan, it’ll be because of a traffic accident, not a bomb or bullet, “he’d always tell them. “The real danger over there is on the road.” (p.81) 3

Chapter 8: Beaten by the Braldu (pp. 83-97)
• • • • • • • “Trust in Allah, but tie up your camel” (p.83) Mohammed Ali Changazi, a Balti trekking agent & tour operator “You can store all of this in my office” Tug-of-war banquets and arguments Changazi “shifts” supplies to another office Arrives in Korphe to keep his promise Korphe decides it needs a bridge before a school

Quotes for discussion: “Could it be that even a partially employed American who lived out of a storage locker could seem like little more than a flashing, neon dollar sign to people in the poorest region of one of the world’s poorest countries?” (p.95)

Chapter 9: The People Have Spoken (pp. 98-107)
• • • • • • • • Back in San Francisco Marina is now dating Mario Lost his ER job & found work at a Trauma Center & Burn Unit How to build the bridge “Patience was their greatest skill.” Greg felt like a failure Pep talk from fellow climber Dr. Louis Reichardt Calling Jan Hoerni to ask him to pay for the bridge

Quotes for discussion: “How could they have so much faith in him when he had so little in himself.” (p.105) “Pull yourself together, Greg. Of course you’ve hit a few speed bumps.” Reichardt said. “But what you’re trying to do is much more difficult than climbing K2.” (p. 106)

Chapter 10: Building Bridges (pp.108-124)
• • • • • • • • • • • Buying five four-hundred-foot spools of steel cable Changazi and his many goods and many wives Helena Norberg-Hodge and her book Ancient Futures Contemplating the bridge and what the outside world would do and for Korphe Sakina shakes his hand and Greg makes tea in her kitchen Carrying eight hundred pound spools of cable eighteen miles to Korphe Hunting Ibex Twaha gives Greg a tomar or badge of courage before standing on Biafo Glacier Hussein would make a good teacher Mortenson & Twaha talk about life and love Meeting George McCown


Quote from George McCown about Greg Mortenson: “He’s a gentle giant. Watching all those people work with him to build that bridge, it was obvious they loved him. He operated as one of them, and I wondered how in the hell an American had managed that.”

Chapter 11: Six Days (pp.125-135)
• • • • • • • • Back in the U.S. and finding happiness Smoothing antibiotic cream onto a child with burned hands Closing the door on Marina Villard Greg meets Jean Hoerni in person and shows him pictures of the bridge Going to an American Himalayan Association Event Meeting Sir Edmund Hillary Meeting George McCown and being given $20,000 to live on Meeting and marrying Tara Bishop

Chapter 12: Haji Ali’s Lesson (pp. 136-153)
• • • • • • • • • Ghulam Parvi and getting 2/3 of his school building supplies Construction delays due to stone cutting Balti able to recite their ancestry ten to twenty generations Sanctifying the school with a rabak Thanksgiving with Jean Hoerni who endows a foundation Expecting a child Moving to Bozeman, Montana Returning to Pakistan as Director of CAI & Hiring Mouzafer & Parvi Bridge empowers women of the village Building a school and learning to “listen to the mountains” and “learn from the people” Sharing the story of three cups of tea Sher Takhi carries the first load of construction beams Haji Mehdi and the twelve chogo rabak

• • •

Quotes for discussion: “These faces ringing the fire didn’t need to be taught so much as they needed help. And the school was a place where they could help themselves.” P.144 “Do you see how beautiful this Koran is?” Haji Ali asked. “I can’t read it, he said. “I can’t read anything. This is the greatest sadness in my life. I’ll do anything so the children of my village never have to know this feeling. I’ll pay any price so they have the education they deserve.” P. 153


Chapter 13: “A Smile Should Be More Than a Memory” (pp.154-173)
• • • • • • • • Taliban Bin Laden “exhorted his followers to attack Americans” and to “cause them as much harm as can be possibly achieved” Researching the region and its bands of tribal powers Invited to Dinner Kidnapped A Time magazine featuring the Iran Hostage Crisis Asking for a Koran, worshipping in the Sunni way Celebrating with the Wazir

Chapter 14: Equilibrium (pp.174-183)
• Tara’s cravings • Arrival of Amira Eliana • Hoerni’s call and his fastening of hopes on Mortenson • Trying to finish before the snow fell • Mortenson confesses to Haji Ali about being kidnapped • Haji Ali says “Never go anywhere in Pakistan alone” • Ibrahim’s wife Rhokia gave birth and did not deliver the placenta • Hammering in the final nails on the Korphe School roof • Haji Ali returns the ledger • Mortenson nurses Hoerni in the last month of his life • Quotes for discussion: “Jean Hoerni had the foresight to lead us into the twenty-first century with cutting edge technology, but he also has the rare vision to look behind and reach out to people living as they have for centuries.” (p.183)

Chapter 15: Mortenson in Motion (pp. 184-197)
• • • • • • • • • • • Ghulam Parvi is made Pakistan’s Project Manager for the CAI Sher of Chapkpo, a village in the Braldu Valley, declares a fatwa against Mortenson Hoerni endows CAI with one million dollars CAI forms a Board of Directors More meetings in Pakistan and more tea Bought a 20 year old Land Cruiser to rumble over the Karakoram highways Bought supplies for three schools in Skardu and built them all in three months Meeting with Syed Abbas Risvi, the religious leader of northern Pakistan’s Shia Muslims at a gas station Added two classrooms to an overcrowded school in the village of Torghu Balla Syed Abbas prepares a letter of support Korphe women request a place to sew in the winter, and CAI helps build a vocational center


• • •

Tara and Amira visit the Braldu valley Inaugurating the Korphe School Tara’s brother Brent and the CAI helps Korphe men build the Karakoram Porter Training and Environmental Institute

Chapter 16: Red Velvet Box (pp. 198-210)
• • • • • • • • • • • The Council of the Mullahs meet with Mortenson and declare his work to be noble The parchment states that the Holy Koran encourages education of all children Syed Abbes shows his “compassion in action” when he asks Mortenson to help with clean water Golowi Ali, nurmadhar of Hushe, sends his son Aslam on a homemade raft to school down river and was then passed elder to elder until he reached the school at Khaplu. Khanbe doesn’t want a climbing school because Janjungpa wants to build the school himself, so he meets with Aslan about a school in Hushe. Aslam’s house has African flavor with its geometric designs Aslam’s daughter Shakeela shares her thoughts on school and brings honor to her village by attending higher education CAI brings education to the Shamshatoo Refugee Camp by hiring 80 teachers CAI works to bring eye surgery to the people CAI focus is on educating girls through a fifth grade level CAI holds workshops for its teachers during the summer

Quotes for discussion: “I had seen how people live downside and it was my duty to work to improve the quality of life upside in my village.” (p. 205)

Chapter 17: Cherry Trees in the Sand (pp. 211-224)
• • • • • • • • • • Memories of Fatima Batool when she was 10 on fighting in Brolmo (Kargil Conflict) History of the Line of Control in Kashmir Indus Hotel & meeting of Gul Mohammed Syed Abbas Explains the dire need of 2,000 refugees that just arrived in Skardu Mortenson talks to some of the recent arrivals Built an uplift water scheme for 5,000 people Memories of Fatima and the Cherry trees in her village of Brolmo Fatima’s classmate Nargiz Ali shared how an Angrezi had kept his promise and built a school The Gultori Girls Refugee School has 129 students Cherry Trees now bloom in Skardu

Quotes for discussion: “I’ve heard some people say Americans are bad,” Fatima says softly. “But we love Americans. They are the most kind people for us. They are the only ones who cared to help us.” (p. 224)


Chapter 18: Shrouded Figure (pp. 225-240)
• • • • • Setting up chairs at Mr. Sports for a talk he was giving for an audience of 3 (one gave $20,000) The Pacific Northwest and the mountaineering community began to have packed venues for Mortenson to speak. CAI had funding needs, and Mortenson tried to attract donors. Taking college classes to become a better manager. Visited Southeast Asia and Institute of Rural Reconstruction and then the Bangladesh Rural Reconstruction Association to learn more about effectively developing the CAI Paying his respects to Mother Teresa Finding peace in his mother-in-law’s house Khyber Bishop Mortenson and his underwater birth Taking Khyber to Amira’s preschool class for show-and-tell

• • • • • Quotes for discussion:

“Let nothing perturb you, nothing frighten you. All things pass. God does not change. Patience achieves everything.” Mother Teresa p. 225

Chapter 19: A Village Called New York (pp. 241-260)
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Saudi Wahhabi (also known as al-Muwahhiddun) sect built mosques along the Afghan border The Madrassa system recruits impoverished students and some teach militant jihad Inaugurated three CAI funded projects: a water project, a small hydropower plant and a health dispensary Mortenson wore a photographer’s vest over his shalwar kamiz to stay organized with money, receipts, accounting and cameras Brigadier General Bashir Baz volunteers to fly Mortenson from location to location Ahmed Shah Massoud was murdered by Al Qaeda September 9, 2001 Faisal Baig greets George McCown & Mortenson and shows them around the village by a receiving line of 300 residents Aziza Hussain beamed as she finshed her training and could dispense medical supplies fro, the new dispensary “A Village called New York has been bombed.” Colonel Ilyas Mirza flies Mortenson, McCown and his family out of Baig’s village Dedicating Kuardu’s primary school Widows line up after the dedication and offer Mortenson and McCown condolences, pressing eggs into their hands for comfort to the widows Flying McCown and his family out of the country to safety Twaha gives Mortenson the news that Haji Ali has passed away Mortenson remembers Haji Ali mourning the death of his wife Sakina saying “I’m nothing without her.”


Quotes for discussion: “I request America look into our hearts, and see the great majority of us are not terrorists, but good and simple people. Our land is stricken with poverty because we are without education. But today, another candle of knowledge has been lit. In the name of Allah the almighty, may it light our way out of the darkness we find ourselves in.” Syed Abbas p. 257

Chapter 20: Tea with the Taliban (pp. 261-277)
• • • • • • • • Islamabad late September 2001 “The Circus” Mortenson gives interviews for some “local color” Having green tea with Taliban Leader at the Marriott Bruce Finley from the Denver Post does a story on the refugee camp with Mortenson Passport Issues Educating the American Consulate in Katmandu, Nepal on Pakistan Returning to the U.S. and a sea of hate mail Jon Krakauer hosts a CAI fundraiser and points out to guests that Mortenson is winning the war of terror by seeing us as an “agent of their salvation” p.276

Chapter 21: Rumsfeld’s Shoes (pp. 278-296)
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Scheduled speaking engagements At the Yellowstone club, Mortenson meets Representative Mary Bono Flying to Kabul Cab driver Abdullah Rahman introduces fixer Hasmatullah (a jihad in theory only) Principal Uzra Faizad from Durkhani HS planned to teach 4,500 students with 90 teachers Mullah Agha Mubarek destroys the newly built co-ed Hemasil school Parvi takes Mubarek to Skardu’s Islamic Court Touring Kabul’s overburdened educational system Donating books at the Kabul Medical Institute where no anatomical diagrams are allowed Delivering pens and notebooks and paying teachers at Durkhani HS Introductions on Capitol Hill by Mary Bono and his presentation to Congress A legislative aid suggests he write a book Invited to the Pentagon, staring at Donald Rumsfeld shoes and sharing his viewpoint that the US was ignoring the victims Mortenson explains that for the cost of one tomahawk missile, the US could build dozens of schools and provide tens of thousands of students with a non-extremist education Deferring the salary raise to $35,000 the CAI board offered him


Quotes for discussion: “I’ve learned that terror doesn’t happen because some group of people somewhere like Pakistan or Afghanistan simply decide to hate us. It happens because children aren’t being offered a bright enough future that they have a reason to choose life over death.” P. 292 9

Chapter 22: The Enemy is Ignorance (pp. 297-313)
• • • Kevin Fedarko goes to Pakistan to report a story for Outside magazine The house next to Haji Ali that had become to unofficial town hall Jahan interrupts the meeting and petitions Dr. Greg in English to keep his promise and pay $20,000 rupees (about $400.00) for her medical training. When Mortenson says he’ll talk to her father, she tells him she needs money now as her training starts next week. Mortenson hands over the money to her father. Published nationally in Parade magazine and Mortenson receives over 18,000 letters and emails Anne Beyersdorfer, a family friend, helps him manage the deluge of letters and phone calls “My tribe has spoken” Jake Greenberg, a 13 year old from Philadelphia, donates $1,000 of his bar mitzvah money Tara talks about learning to live with “Functional Denial” while her husband is away Mortenson and his staff gets a raise. Organizing scholarships and hostels so students can continue their education Yakub chaining the school and Mortenson handing him dynamite to get the school reopened Ned Gilette’s school in Hemasil, a tribute funded by his brother In August 2003, Shariat Court rules that Mubarek’s fatwa is illegitimate and orders him to pay for the eight hundred bricks his men destroyed A new ally with Mohammed Fareed Khan, the new chief secretary of the Northern Areas Brigadier General Banghoo and President Musharraf’s support 580 letters, 12 rams and 10 years of work was worth the moment with Jahan where she shares her dreams of being a “superlady” and starting a hospital for the women of the Braldu

• • • • • • • • • • • • •

Quotes for discussion: “As a Muslim woman, born in America, I am showered with God’s blessings, unlike my sisters around the world who endure oppression. Arab nations should look at your tremendous work and wallow in shame for never helping their own people. With sincere respect and admiration, I thank you,” (p.302) “Before I met you, Dr. Greg, I had no idea what education was, “Jahan said, refilling his tea cup. “But now I think it is like water. It is important for everything in life.” (p. 312)

Chapter 23: Stones into Schools (pp. 314-331)
• • • Sharing a plane ride with Afghanistan’s former monarch Zahir Shah and connections to mujahid Sadhar Khan Kabul to Badakshan and blown radiator hoses during Ramadan Buying gas from Mohammed who wondered why the Taliban had to kill the land 10

• • •

Turf battle between opium smugglers and riding between rotting goat skins A blanket and a place in a hallway to sleep Meeting Commandhan Khan, being wrapped in an embrace and planning to build more schools

Acknowledgements (p.333-338) Vision: “It is my vision that we all will dedicate the next decade to achieve universal literacy and education for all children, especially for girls. More than 145 million of the world’s children are deprived of education due to poverty, exploitation, slavery, gender discrimination, religious extremism, and corrupt governments. May Three Cups of Tea be a catalyst to bring the gifts of literacy to each of those children who deserves a chance to go to school.” P. 333 Suggestions on how to help (p. 337-338)


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