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THREE CUPS OF TEA  

ONE MAN'S MISSION TO FIGHT TERRORISM AND BUILD NATIONS... ONE SCHOOL AT A TIME  

.,  

GREG MORTENSON and DAVID OLIVER RELIN

CONTENTS  

INTRODUCTION IN MR. MORTENSON'S ORBIT 1  

CHAPTER 1 FAILURE 7  

CHAPTER 2 THE WRONG SIDE OF THE RIVER 17  

CHAPTER 3 "PROGRESS AND PERFECTION" 27  

CHAPTER 4 SELF-STORAGE 34  

CHAPTER 5 580 LETTERS, ONE CHECK 47  

CHAPTER 6 RAWALPINDI'S ROOFTOPS AT DUSK 57  

CHAPTER 7 HARD WAY HOME 70  

CHAPTER 8 BEATEN BY THE BRALDU 83  

CHAPTER 9 THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN 98  

CHAPTER 10 BUILDING BRIDGES 108  

CHAPTER 11 SIX DAYS 125  

CHAPTER 12 HAJI ALI'S LESSON 136  

CHAPTER 13 "A SMILE SHOULD BE MORE THAN A MEMORY" 154  

CHAPTER 14 EQUILIBRIUM 174  

CHAPTER 15 MORTENSON IN MOTION 184  

CHAPTER 16 RED VELVET BOX 198  

CHAPTER 17 CHERRY TREES IN THE SAND 211  

CHAPTER 18 SHROUDED FIGURE 225  

CHAPTER 19 A VILLAGE CALLED NEW YORK 241  

CHAPTER 20 TEA WITH THE TALIBAN 261  

CHAPTER 21 RUMSFELD'S SHOES 278  

CHAPTER 22 "THE ENEMY IS IGNORANCE" 297  

CHAPTER 23 STONES INTO SCHOOLS 314  

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 333  

THREE CUPS OF TEA  

INTRODUCTION  

IN MR. MORTENSON'S ORBIT  

The little red light had been flashing for five minutes before Bhangoo paid it any attention. "The fuel gages on these old aircraft are notoriously unreliable," Brigadier General Bhangoo, one of Pakistan's most experienced high-altitude helicopter pilots, said, tapping it. I wasn't sure if that was meant to make me feel better.  

I rode next to Bhangoo, looking down past my feet through the Vietnam-era Alouette's bubble windshield. Two thousand feet below us a river twisted, hemmed in by rocky crags jutting out from both sides of the Hunza Valley. At eye level, we soared past hanging green glaciers, splintering under a tropical sun. Bhangoo flew on unperturbed, flicking the ash of his cigarette out a vent, next to a sticker that said "No smoking."  

From the rear of the aircraft Greg Mortenson reached his long arm out to tap Bhangoo on the shoulder of his flight suit. "General, sir," Mortenson shouted, "I think we're heading the wrong way."  

Brigadier Bhangoo had been President Musharraf's personal pilot before retiring from the military to join a civil aviation company. He was in his late sixties, with salt-and-pepper hair and a mustache as clipped and cultivated as the vowels he'd inherited from the private British colonial school he'd attended as boy with Musharraf and many of Pakistan's other future leaders.  

The general tossed his cigarette through the vent and blew out his breath. Then he bent to compare the store-bought GPS unit he balanced on his knee with a military-grade map Mortenson folded to highlight what he thought was our position.  

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