This is what I posted on Facebook about 10 days after the Feb 22nd EQ.
Went to Bexley/Brighton on Sunday (Fed Farmers and Students organising people) to help dig silt off people’s gardens, driveaways, the street etc. Unbelievable. Up to a metre thick at times, smelly, wet….some streets just completely destroyed – red stickered houses, power poles down, piles of mud. Lots of people have, understandably, just gone elsewhere.
But lots of amazing things happening too. A young woman from Tauranga had quit her job and come down to CHCH after the earthquake and had set up a kitchen in someone’s garage. This house happened to have an artesian water supply. She said food just kept turning up (the Otago Students Association were dropping off food when we got there) and she was feeding about 50 of the neighbours each night (lots of elderly people). Another elderly man was busy mowing people’s lawns, because that’s what he could manage, while we dug out his driveway. And a housing company was driving around with a water tank on the back of their truck making sure everyone had enough water.
So simultaneously sad and hopeful.