Three Things

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I’m back from Christchurch. I’ve been back for about a week now, just mulling things over before letting myself write anything down. I haven’t any photos. I was there for work, not as a tourist. It felt obtrusive to raise my camera for anything other than essential records. It was a busy week and I am glad to be able to go home. As I talk it out with my family, I can see the way I saw that week changing. If I was to use one word, it could only be sobering.

If I was to boil my impressions down to three things it would be these:

Everyone I spoke to feels fortunate.
Those who have left their houses, those who have sent family members out of town, those who had close calls. None of them saw themselves as being the worst off.

Sometimes feeling fortunate can be hard.
There are a lot of people thinking – What if? What if I hadn’t run? What if I had been on a different bus? What if I had been in that car?

It’s not going to be the same.
People are talking about a new normal. I hadn’t spent more than a few days in Christchurch since I lived there as a student. It was a city that I left home for, met many of my best friends in, fell in love in, and I spent a lot of time growing and learning there. It doesn’t look the same. For those that live there, much of it doesn’t feel the same. It’s going to take some time for it all to get to normal and when it does, it will be a new normal.

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  1. My husband said the same thing (he went down for a week to sort out some stuff for his elderly dad)- that his home town will never be the same.
    I can imagine it was very sobering taking in the scale of the damage and the amount of work ahead for all involved.

  2. We can only be but thankful... especially seeing the images of Japan. You are very amazing going down there. We should definitely meet for lunch one day before we move north if you are keen?

  3. Thank you so much for going and helping out in my old city. I have no idea what it will be like when I next go back. So unknown what the future looks like for Christchurch .

  4. Things are never same after such a major loss - it must be a bit like losing a loved one - a period of shock, mourning and then readjustment - the experience incorporate into the fabric of life - but yes, never the same again.

  5. I just can't imagine how it would feel to be there! Glad you made it back home OK.


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