Sunday, April 10, 2011

Christchurch


People ask me, 'Whats it like? Living in Christchurch at the moment?' The truth is, I don't even know where to begin in answering that question because the answer is too huge. But I will try.
 

Life as I knew it, came to a halt on February 22nd. That may sound dramatic but it is true. Everything I did, everything I knew, everywhere I went, it all changed in less than a minute.  I live in the east of the city, the most badly damaged area. What the earthquake did not destroy, the rockfall finished off.


I feel many days like a boat set adrift at sea. I miss my old life, I miss things being easy. I miss being able to go to the store. I miss not having to plan where I am going to walk or drive to avoid damage. I miss not having portaloos dotted along our street.  But mostly I just miss the normality of the life I had.


It is hard answering my three year old when she points at another rock, another crack or another damaged house and asks "did the earthquake do that Mummy?", my response is always "yes sweetheart". After a pause she always replies "I don't like earthquakes Mummy".


It is hard to provide the little ones with reassurance to their fears when daily we are reminded of the power of mother nature with every aftershock that hits. Even as I write this, another earthquake has rattled us. Everyone stops for a minute, breath inhaled, remembering, waiting to see if this one is going to be a big one. It is not, we exhale and try to convince our hearts to slow down and move on with life.


I have come to realize that Christchurch will not recover from this for a very long time. We are very much a city on our knees. While I hear a lot of positivity from the politicians and the media. Living here, living in it, I know the damage is just too huge. This won't be fixed this year, or next year or the year after that.  It will take decades.


It makes me sad, to see this city I love, reduced to this. 


7 comments:

  1. xx Nin There is nothing to say, except you're right - it is an ongoing experience for us, just keep living one day at a time, do what you can to keep smiling.

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  2. so so true - everything you've said. I feel sad that my 22mth old knows the word "earthquake" and exactly what it means. And knows the difference between a digger, a crane and a roller, cos she sees them so often. And says "yook mummy I see a broken house" about 10 times every car trip. And is afraid to go to sleep alone because last time she did that the world shook and everything feel down.
    Hugs to you and your family

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  3. well i just want to give you all a hug and tell you everything will get better - which i do hope and think it will. to go through this without children would be hard enough, but to have your little ones to be strong for makes it extra difficult. i wish you all the courage and strength you will need to get through this. xo anushka

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  4. I miss the old Christchurch too. I miss knowing how long it takes to get to places, I miss many of our landmarks, I miss the one-way system, water that tasted good, a son who was progressing really well on conquering his night wetting and children who were on an even keel. Unfortunately now that's all gone. I'm in a relatively unaffected area in as far as liquefaction stopped 5 houses away from us and most of the local shops are open, we're still affected though, but I'm trying to stay thankful for what we have, rather than being angry about what we've lost.
    I want Christchurch back!

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  5. I want my happy life back :(

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  6. I don't even know what to say - just hugs. My family are living the same hell as you are and I hate that. I hate that my city has fallen and I'm here living it up in Melbourne. I'm so glad you are writing about it because my family pretend it's all ok. I know it's not.

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  7. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and feeling! (((hugs))) to all of you over there

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