In chapter 7 of Three Cups of Tea, the authors Mortensen and Relin recount the beginning of Greg Mortensen’s trip back to Korphe with his school supplies. Seated in the back of a truck atop all of his precious supplies, Mortensen and his truck driver, Mohammed, and two assistants, began the treacherous drive along the Karakoram Highway. “Though this lunar rockscape in the western Karakoram has to be one of the most forbidding on Earth,” the authors state on page 80, “Mortenson felt he had come home. The dusty murk along the depths of the gorge and the high-altitude sun brushing the tips of these granite towers felt more like his natural habitat than the pastel stucco bungalows of Berkeley.”
I found this quote meaningful because it made note of the change Mortensen had undergone since his attempt to climb K2. It shows his growing attachment to this “new world” and how he relates much better to it than to the hustle and bustle of America. It is an expansion of the earlier theme in this book that started when Mortensen realized he wasn’t being treated as an outsider in Pakistan. I feel his growing kinship with these people is an important step toward being able to help them and even learn from them in the process.