Study Guide

Three Cups of Tea Chapter 21

By Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

Chapter 21

Rumsfeld's Shoes

  • Mortenson is in a plane to Afghanistan, and he "press[es] his nose to the scuffed windowpane" (21.2) to check out the view. Anyone else picturing boogers? Just us? Ahem. Anyway.
  • He thinks back to all the hate mail he got, and how there were some nice letters in there, too, and how he met "an attractive woman" (21.12) who turned out to actually be a politician. Gee golly—a lady politician! And she's purty!
  • In fact, it's Mary Bono, and she's so impressed with Mortenson's mission that she wants to help him out any way she can.
  • Back in Kabul, Afghanistan's capital, Mortenson and his pals Hash and Abdullah set out to scout for Kabul's schools to see if they're still functioning.
  • He sees a lot of damaged buildings and shorthanded schools barely functioning; he is also told that one of their newest schools was attacked by Agha Mubarek, who has issued another fatwa against Mortenson.
  • Parvi suggests they take the matter to Shariat court to settle it once and for all. Parvi decides to do all the work himself while Mortenson keeps his distance.
  • Keeping his distance, Mortenson continues to rescue Kabul.
  • With "blonde Julia Bergman" (21.42), Mortenson meets the principal of a school and pays her and the teachers some of the CAI's money because they're not receiving their salaries.
  • Mortenson wonders exactly where all the U.S.'s aid money is going…
  • We're not sure if the next part is a flashback or something that happened after. Cue transition effect, though, whether this is a flashback or flash-forward.
  • Mortenson talks to a room full of Congressman assembled by Mary Bono and tells them about the importance of education in Pakistan as a way to prevent terrorism.
  • After the meeting, Mary Bono tells Mortenson, "You need to write a book" (21.75).
  • Later, a man approaches Mortenson and offers him over two million dollars in government money.
  • Mortenson doesn't want to take government money, so the man says that he can "Make it look like a private donation from a businessman in Hong Kong" (21.101). But Mortenson has ethics, you guys, so he refuses.

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