I am a Kiwi, a CHCH boy who now lives overseas. I grew up, worked and lived in Christchurch until just a few years ago. I was blown away when I watched the September quake on CNN. I stayed up all night and watched the news in the USA, I read Facebook and twitter updates and listened to Newstalk ZB online.
I went back home and explored the damage, drove from suburb to suburb and thought “holy s#it” this is pretty bad, I cant believe no one was really hurt. I was astounded by the damage to homes and areas that I knew and loved.
Then there was February.
Shock, fear, disbelief. Watching YouTube videos that were uploaded instantly over and over again. I spoke with my family immediately and they were ok, the communication was difficult but I was glad for any connection with them. As I watched the live stream from TV3 and TVNZ (thank you both so much for running the live stream) I just put my face in my hand and shook my head. Terrible.
I had two people I knew pass away on that day. One, a friend from high school who was trapped in the CTV building and another from business. A tradesman that made it out safely but was killed in an aftershock by falling debris.
I haven’t been back to NZ since the February quake. I have waited a year, I am going back in February. I am going to be surprised, heartbroken and at a loss for words. I know this based on all that I have see and from the friends and family I talk to on a daily basis.
Christchurch, I love you. I love your people, I love your character and I love that you will rise from the rubble once again.
See you soon.