– Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand

I love nature and have always found natural disasters fascinating. Being in one was a bit different though! Up until Feb 22nd I actually enjoyed the shakes for the power of nature they demonstrated. Before then I thought we were invincible! I was never actually scared enough in a quake to get under my desk but I did for the feb 22nd one and my desk promptly collapsed on top of me, leaving some impressive bruises. I was working near the antigua boatsheds at the time and saw heart-breaking scenes of ordinary people rushing other ordinary people to hospital. I also knew a number of people who died in the cTv building so Feb 22 kind of made it real. We also had to move out of our house in Lyttelton because they thought the hill was moving. That was the worst part for me, not having a familiar place of restoration. But within a week were allowed to move back and things have been pretty good since then. It’s amazing to be in a first world country when there is a big problem like this. We were offered every kind of help you can imagine. The navy fed us three cooked meals a day and all we had to do for that was help wash up (or risk getting beaten with a carrot lol). We even had someone come round to ask if we had any pets that needed feeding. Overall I feel priviledged to be part of the rebuild. There are so many inspiring positive things going on – like Gap Filler’s has coin-operated dancefloor in cashel mall! I am here to stay. The best things about Christchurch remain intact – incredible parks, good weather, proximity to beaches and the alps.

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