I was born in Christchurch and I love the city. I spent a bit of time wandering around Christchurch in my 20’s after my best friend Sarah moved there and it is a truly beautiful city. However, like may other New Zealanders the earthquake shook my confidence in visiting Christchurch and I am a little ashamed to say that this is only my 3rd visit since the quakes.
My first time down was last March and I literally cried when I saw the white chairs to symbolise those who lost their lives, and again when we talked to the priest at the Cardboard Cathedral and for a third time as Sarah took me on that harrowing route she took the day of the quakes from her work to get her babies several blocks away at day care. It was a truly emotional experience.
The second time James and I went down and we visited the damaged buildings and trapped through the city again. I was determined to take our children down to see Christchurch as it is now before it is built into an amazing state of the art city – which became the catalyst for this trip.
However taking the kids through the city it overwhelmed me with sadness and I understand why many of the locals avoid it. It’s not just the broken buildings but the emptiness and the loss of heart of the city that once was so alive.
I walked past a building and it had on it in huge lights – “Everything is going to be alright” – I pointed it out to my friend (a local) and she had never seen it before – it will take more than affirmations to rebuild but if I know Cantabrians they will make it happen.
As a New Zealander or even a visitor to New Zealand you all really should visit Christchurch now – you need to see that scars, the rawness, the hurt before it is gone to truly appreciate the city of beauty that she is soon to become.
I urge you to go now before like a butterfly in a chrysalis she is fully transformed, but for this post I don’t want to focus on the broken (no photo’s could begin to portray it in any case) and instead I would like to focus on the art that is popping up all around Christchurch – a start of a new and vibrant city.
Sophia (6 years old) rates it 2/10
Krystal (8 years old) rates it 10/10
Bella (9 years old) rates it 10/10
James rates it 6/10
Cat rates it 7/10