Study Guide

Three Cups of Tea Setting

By Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin


Pakistan, 1993-2003

Packing for Pakistan

Three Cups of Tea follows Greg Mortenson for ten years throughout the remote Karakoram Range of Pakistan, the tiny village of Korphe tucked into those peaks, the markets of Rawalpindi, Islamabad's twin city, and everywhere in between, even beyond the borders, to Afghanistan.

Pakistan is almost its own character in the story. The land is so foreign and full of personality. The geography is different; the customs are different; the people are different. During Mortenson's travels, he learns that people there might be very different than back in the States (they have to climb mountains for food, for one thing), but they also have similar desires—you know, like for peace and safety.

The book takes us right through September 11, a time that is very dangerous in Pakistan and Afghanistan. And not everyone there is pro-Osama or pro-Taliban. In fact, many citizens want them both gone, because the war is affecting them as well. Once again, people on both sides of the Atlantic want the same thing: peace. And since a big part of this book's point seems to be that we're all human on the inside, placing an American in the Middle East—and watching him come to this time and again himself—really drives this point home.

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