Three Cups of Tea

by: Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin

Chapters 14–15

Chapter 15 additionally depicts the growth of the CAI into a full-fledged organization and the radical expansion of Mortenson’s vision. At the start of his project, Mortenson feels driven by his promise to Korphe, and he does not look further than a single school. After he gains support and his financial resources grow, he considers building more schools, then begins thinking about other aspects of education, such as expanding existing schools and paying teachers. As he connects with other people, he becomes aware of additional opportunities and responds quickly. For example, the women of Korphe introduce an idea that he had not considered—a place for women to gather. Once he sees the value of this notion, he decides that every CAI school should include a Women’s Vocational Center in the future. By the end of the year described in Chapter 15, the mission has grown to include not only the climbing school that had been discussed many months before, but also an environmental program that will remove waste left behind by careless visitors to K2. Thus the celebration in Korphe marks both the completion of Mortenson’s original mission and the expansive possibilities that have grown out of his impulsive promise.