In Chapter 19, Haji Ali, the nurmadhar of Korphe Village, died, and I realized how large of a role he played in "Three Cups of Tea" up to this point. In the beginning, when Greg Mortenson got lost after attempting to climb K2, Haji Ali let him sleep in his house with their warmest possessions. He was the one for whom Mortenson promised to make a school in Korphe (33; ch. 3), so if it weren't for him, the book most likely wouldn't exist.
Also, throughout the book, Mortenson was referred to as Haji Ali's "American son," which shows that he influenced him in many ways. Mortenson's father had died when he was young (260; ch. 19), so he didn't know a biological father for most of his life. Haji Ali filled that role nicely, as he is willing to get in Mortenson's face and order him around.
"It had become his custom to return to Korphe and share a cup of tea with Haji Ali each fall before returning to America" (256; ch. 19). Many people were becoming impatient with Greg Mortenson, and he promised Tara that he would learn to manage his time better (229- 233; ch. 18). He doesn't have as much time as he would most likely wish to have, but he still set aside time to drink tea with Haji Ali. "'Doctor Greg, you must make time to share three cups of tea. We may be uneducated. But we are not stupid. We have lived and survived here for a long time'" (150; ch. 12).