19 September 2012

It was hard to decide whether to go into Christchurch city. It wasn't somewhere I knew well before the earthquakes, nor felt any particular attachment to. There was also this exaggerated Kiwi sense of politeness holding me back - after all, it's rude to stare. But, in the end, we felt it was something we should see, an experience we need a real sense of, beyond the photos and newsreels.

We started off by having coffee at Re:START Mall. It's all bright and cheerful and feels like it should give you hope. But it somehow didn't, partly because it was so empty.

Full of sunshine and bright colours, but not people.
And then you turn around and remember why the mall exists in the first place.
We then walked part of the red zone perimeter. Nothing seems quite real, and yet reality keeps slapping you in the face. Piles of rubble, vast empty tracts, building that look undamaged next to devastation.

Strange juxtaposition of spring; new leaves, punting on the Avon,
a ruined church.

So many buildings gone.
We've seen many versions of this scene, but the reality is raw and painful.
Before long we didn't have the heart to see more. If just an hour in the city affected us like this, how do the people of Christchurch manage to carry on? How do they live with the sadness, the uncertainty, the fear?

Where do they find hope?

More Christchurch photos

1 comment:

  1. Oh Sue, your pictures brought it all back. I'm sorry to see that it doesn't look like things have progressed much since we were there last year. We also felt we had to go to give support to the people of Christchurch, whose resilience is amazing.