Saturday, February 26, 2011

The wonderful people of Christchurch

Through all the terrible sadness and pain of the last few days, we are immensely reassured by the wonderful people of Christchurch. The help and compassion shown is overwhelming. We drove through the suburbs yesterday to get back to Sumner and were stopped by a lady who had driven hours to hand out food to people passing. She gave us fresh eggs from her farm and kind words of support. Another man had secured a huge water tank to the back of his truck and was driving through the worst hit areas filling up bottles for people. Farmers have been coming into the city to dig silt and liquefaction from peoples houses. Even a student army has sprung up to help anyone who needs a hand to clean up, it now has over 10,000 members and they are doing an amazing job.

Strangers have come together to help and support each other. People who have lost everything are still trying to help others in need. Although there are some terrible low lifes that take advantage of the mayhem to steal and cause havoc, they are in the minority. The people of Christchurch have shown such strength and resilience in coming back from such a terrible catastrophe, I am humbled by them.

After the previous earthquake, they are now experts at rebuilding their city. Roads are being patched, water restored and power lines rebuilt. Richard is at the house today, fixing up the damage and has rung to say we have power again! The happiness in small things is incredible.

This horrible experience has taught me what is truly important in our lives. When we needed to run, I didn't think about possessions or belongings, it was just the girls and Richard. Even Mia said, "let's just go, we don't need anything, everything that is important is in the car now, everything in the house can be replaced but we can't." The help and support given by strangers has restored my faith in people.

It has been less than a week and the city is on its' way. I have no doubt that with these incredible efforts Christchurch will be built again stronger and more united than before. Reading the paper this morning, I was touched by a child's comment. She is a 2.5 year old from Auckland watching the news on TV, she turned to her mum and said "Christchurch fell down. Christchurch is crying." That summed it up for me perfectly.


  1. Amanda,

    I can't even begin to come up with words to try to encompass what you guys have been through.

    But I do know that it's your strength, courage and honest loving guidance that means you now only know you will get through this, but that you have already equipped your daughters with the best life-building strategies of all.

    Love (and dog hugs) from here.

  2. Thoughts with you and yours, the strength that you are showing, and the love of the area are supreme. Your strength and hnsesty will get you through, your family cohesiveness will also. Hugs from aussie

  3. Hello,
    I followed your link from Valerie (via facebook) and am stunned by your experience. Your bravery at making a big move, and now your bravery in facing such tragedy is simply overwhelming.
    All the best for the rebuilding and recovery. Sometimes words aren't enough for these sorts of events. It makes me so grateful for what I have and as you say, reminds me of what is really, truly important.
    I look forward to reading more from you.
    I send hugs from another Aussie.

  4. Dearest Amanda and Richard (and the girls ),

    I am sending you the most enormous hugs, kisses and love and my thoughts.

    I too have been following everything you have been writing. Amazingly, Richard and I became friends on Fb only days before the earthquake. It must be almost 10 years since we have all been in touch. I tuned in just in time to get my head around the fact that you now had 2 girls, had just moved to NZ and follow your weekend in Sumner and your move and now this. I am constantly in awe of the following:
    - what life and the universe can throw at us - just how much things can change in such a short period of time
    - that we never know what is just around the corner/tomorrow/in an hour/ next week etc
    - just what is important until it is threatened or we are made to face it
    - how lucky we are
    - just how much we are able to deal with and that we have the strength and heart to do it.

    My mother ingrained into my sisters and I the premise that "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger". How true. We only learn what we are capable of when tested. You guys are really being tested and my heart goes out to you but at the same time your love for each other and your humanity and strength are beautiful and inspiring things to see.

    Thousands of people are behind and with you. Many, many love you. I don't know what you are supposed to be learning or where your choices are taking you but I do believe in faith. I also believe that things happen for a reason but most of all I believe that you can survive nothing without a sense of humour.

    Keep writing and thank you for doing so.