“We came to a house filled with black smoke. We ran to here, we opened the door, our dogs didn’t come out. My heart sank.”
Kalishakti Khondra and Chris Boa were devastated to find their home up in flames last Tuesday. The couple had briefly left to access phone services when, unfortunately for the two, neither were aware that the earthquake had shifted their chimney. Leaving the slightly heated coals unattended long enough to consume the entire building.
“I immediately took a deep breath and ran in there,” Boa said. “I came out three times before I could finally find them in the back bedroom. And I carried them out. And we were too late.”
The couple is most well known for their spiritual work within the community and classes as co-instructors at Om Shala Yoga in Arcata. I asked the couple if they had any plans to step back for a while.
“No, yoga’s our foundation. It’s what’s gonna get us through this.” Boa said.
“Yoga is what keeps us sane. We’re not gonna teach on the 26th because of the holiday and stuff but yoga’s on.” Khondra added.
Only a few towns over another couple have lost access to their home due to the earthquake’s destruction.
Christopher and Marisol Lane, along with his mother, are currently houseless and living in the Holiday Inn on Wabash as the future of their home remains uncertain.
“It felt like a freight train got dropped on the house,” Lane said. We got thrown around pretty bad. My wife, Marisol, she went to check on her mother in the living room while I tried to handle the inside of the house damage.”
While the two have been lucky enough to have earthquake insurance, everything is based on reimbursement and must come out of pocket first. The couple also aren’t sure how much longer they can afford to stay at the often pricey hotels in town.
“For now work is going to be a little difficult,” he said. “I work from home as an artist and unfortunately a lot of my equipment was pretty badly damaged, so we’re just trying to figure out something that helps.”
Both couples have set up GoFundMes to pay for the damages and current living expenses. Each is incredibly thankful to the community for all the donations they have received thus far.
“People have been generous,” Boa said. “We definitely want to give our heartfelt thank you to the community and to all of our friends who have reached out and offered us places to stay. That’s the very sweet thing about Humboldt, it really does exemplify family.”
Our hearts go out to everyone we visited here at Redwood News today and we encourage members of the community to continue to come together to support each other during these difficult times.
This has been Matthew Taylor with Redwood News.
Link to the GoFundMes
A few other GoFundMes that we didn’t cover but also deserve attention