So I am sure that you have all heard by now, but Christchurch suffered a big earthquake (again) yesterday. I am safe on the north island, but still pretty spooked. My friend Shauna was down there for work, and just made it back to Wellington, safe, but rather shell-shocked. We tried to calm her down in the best way we could--with whiskey and guacamole.
She works for the embassy, and things are truly a mess.
It is a sad and terrifying thing. These acts of Nature. It is hard to be so close to it and yet feel so helpless. I am hoping there will some chance to volunteer in some way from here. New Zealand is such a small and connected nation, the news footage is all-consuming, and it has been interesting to be here to watch it all live...the incredible rescues, the humanity of people working together... and then the sad stories of people missing, people dead. The damage is really intense, and it is surreal to remember walking around those neighborhoods not long ago. The iconic Cathedral in its namesake square crumbled. There are still unrecovered bodies under the rubble. When I saw it last it was just before Christmas, and packed full of people bringing their dogs, cats, hamsters, goats and sheep in for a Blessing of the Animals. I remember walking around, grinning, like everyone else.
The quake is truly a disaster for this country. My thoughts go out to everyone involved, near and far. The city won't ever be quite the same.