Southern California families are cautiously optomistic that a Cardiff couple missing in Nepal is OK after the destructive earthquake, though they are still waiting to hear from them.
Matt Schiavon and Dawn Lightfoot are expected back in Kathmandu within the next couple of days, according to the president of Earthbound Expeditions, the group with whom they were traveling.
Schiavon’s sister Joanna got an email from the organization Tuesday morning. In it, the president explained the group’s phone is not working.
“But for sure they are safe as we [heard] from guide on last Sat. after big earthquake,” the email read.
However, the family has not actually spoken to the two, so they are concerned they may have been injured in subsequent aftershocks.
Lightfoot and her boyfriend, Schiavon, set off on a trip around Southeast Asia after she wrapped up two years of teaching in South Korea.
Joanna, who lives in Santa Barbara, last heard from the couple through a Skype call on April 13, when they discussed an 18-day trek in Nepal.
Their itinerary put them in the path of the powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake that leveled buildings and killed more than 4,400 people around Kathmandu.
Lightfoot and Schiavon are scheduled to finish the trip on May 2, but the devastation surrounding them is sure to upend their adventure, which was to be the last big vacation before settling down to become teachers, according to Lightfoot’s mother Cindy Barrows.
“If she has Matt, and her and Matt are together, they’re like a rock,” Barrows told NBC 7 Monday. She said it’s likely the couple is helping those affected by the quake.
Both teachers attended Cardiff School and San Dieguito High School Academy. Schiavon graduated from La Costa Canyon in 2002, according to friends, while Lightfoot got her business degree through San Diego State University.
The two lived in the Bay Area for four years, earning their teaching credentials through San Francisco State University.