Battambang – We read excerpts from memoirs. We read love letters. We read scientific essays on everything from sleep to the importance of owning a dog. To watch my students, in a language that was not their first, grapple with complex topics of empathy and memory and loss and love was nothing short of beautiful.
Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, at 3 p.m., reading club began. A group of about 10 Theravada Buddhist monks, followed by about a half-dozen laypeople, would file into a small classroom in a small university in the small(ish) town of Battambang, Cambodia.
And then, we would read.