Har Sin, a 24-year-old deaf refugee from Burma, never imagined
he could convey those complex emotions only hinted at in his
expressive eyes — about how he felt, what he feared, what his
dreams were — to anyone but himself. Then he made a discovery.
Har Sin gets a hug from his niece Cho Maya before leaving his apartment to play sepak takraw, a volleyball-like game from southeast Asia. He lives with his sister, her husband and their five children. The family arrived in San Diego in 2008 after spending nine years in a Thai refugee camp.
In the City Heights apartment’s dull, pre-dusk light, a worn second-hand couch creaks under the pressure of a little girl jumping on it. Her mother scolds her from the kitchen, where she is slicing off a fish’s head.