Finally, on the 5th of August, after a shaky flight over Indonesia and Australia, we landed in Christchurch. After an hour of a***ing around going through immigration (we went through in about 3 min top, but we had to wait a long time for the people before us, well, it seemed long at 9.30 in the morning after a nearly 10 hours flight) and food security border control (which proper name eludes me right now).
After the moist heat of Singapore, the not-so-cold-but-still-too-cold sunny Sunday morning of Christchurch was a bit of a shock to the system.
But it was sunny.
Well, it only lasted a day. After that, we had what felt like continuous rain for 2 weeks. It might not have rained continuously for the first week. But we were so tired and jet-lagged that anything that happened that week is
a bit of a a total blur.
There were floods and flood warnings, and I remember someone saying (on the telly?) that “it had rained in the last 24h as much as it usually rain in a month”.
The first 2 weeks were godawfully wet. And cold.
To be totally honest, I haven’t seen much of New Zealand yet, other than our little corner of Canterbury plains, which are really really flat, and where the roads are really really straight.
We did go into Christchurch once, to see by ourselves what the damages (earthquake damages for those who’ve been living under a stone for the last couple of years) were like.
You’ll have to take my thoughts as someone who had never seen Christchurch pre-earthquakes, and someone who spent most of her life near / in a city that was almost completely destroyed during WW2.
There are quite a few buildings that still need to be taken down. This is the state of my husband’s old work place.
Scary, to think about the people who might have been working in there when the last big quake happened.
But in terms of reconstruction and going forward (how I hate this expression!), I think there’s hope for Christchurch. I am not worried about the future. Yes, it’ll take time and money, but Christchurch will rise again, in one shape or another. People will still live here, will still work here, will still go to school, etc…
And when you get up a bit, to Victoria Park, to the Port Hills, what drove the first settlers to er… settle here, is still there.
The Pacific on one side, the mountains on the other.
I think we are finally settling down here. Our stuff arrived in the last week of August and everything is starting to feel a bit like home again.
Lucas’ diary is full of important things to do: Monday – Swimming, Wednesday and Friday – Playcentre, Thursday – Playdate at his new friends’ place.
And that’s what matters, above all else: Lucas is loving it here.