– Fendalton, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand

On Feb 22nd I was in our very big family home and suddenly there was the sound of boulders tumbling down a river. The whole house shook violently as the roof collapsed in places and the lathen plaster torn off the walls and the chimney exploded onto me but some bricks hit my back hard and threw me across the room, towards the door so I wasn’t buried directly under the bricks.The room filled with dust so you couldn’t see.I was bruised but otherwise unhurt physically.

The sound was unreal and I couldn’t stop screaming as everything crashed around me. I still live that day even though I was lucky.

On June 13th I was trapped in a lift, stuck between 2 floors in a building and I was thrown up and down and round like a ping pong ball in a cardboard box. I was terrified as I had visions of the lift plummeting and I screamed for help and eventually I was got out. I still hate lifts and feel the only certainty in life is uncertainty.

The contrasts in ChCh are so huge. My best friend hardly lost a glass. I have had to move 6 times since Feb 22nd as once again the building I was living in was yellow stickered after December 23rd. I feel my life is so in the past, always dealing with ensurers, EQC, and the endless WAITING while someone else decides my “fate”. And dealing with possessions which are scattered and living out of bags like camping.There are so many unknowns in my life and that is hard living with each day.

But I consider myself lucky to be here and I still love Christchurch and would never move. Dealing with things like contents claims etc has not yet been done (where do you start?) but so much of my life is still spent in “quake mode”.I can’t wait till it’s more behind me. But I want to rebuild my life here with my family as its such a lovely city and it will become the safest city in New Zealand to live in. And it is HOME.

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