Three Cups of Tea tells the story of Greg Mortenson, a mountaineer whose failed ascent of K2 leads him into the tiny village of Korphe, Pakistan. In Korphe, Mortenson is welcomed warmly, and makes the villagers a promise to return to build them a school. With the help of the mountaineering community, Mortenson raises enough money to build a school in Korphe, meeting his wife, Tara Bishop, along the way. But he does not stop here; he is appointed executive director of the Central Asia Institute to continue his mission of educating girls in Pakistan and, later, Afghanistan. Mortenson's work coincides with the rise of the Taliban, the 9/11 attacks, and the United States' military intervention in Afghanistan and later Iraq. He believes that education is the key to preventing militant groups such as the Taliban from taking power and that it is the best way to repair these war-torn regions. Mortenson and the CAI build many schools throughout Pakistan and Afghanistan.