The Weekly Photo Challenge is Resilient
“Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good.”
― Elizabeth Edwards
More than 130 people died in the collapse of the Canterbury Television and Pyne Gould Corporation buildings. Falling bricks and masonry killed 11 people and eight people died in two city buses crushed by crumbling walls. When rock cliffs collapsed, five more people were lost from falling boulders.
Five years later (November 2016), we toured Christchurch, where many buildings were still boarded up waiting to be rebuilt. Why did it take so long to begin rebuilding? In 2012, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority began the arduous task of mapping the damaged homes and businesses into four zones.
A staggering 1,300 buildings within the city limits had to be demolished before construction could begin. Insurance claims were filed. People waited to be reimbursed so they could begin the recovery and rebuilding process.
Today, Christchurch reminds me of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. City blocks buzzed with the sounds of jack hammers, drills, saws, while supple construction workers chatted with each other on their lunch breaks.
Airy cranes swayed in the winds lifting steel and other heavy materials to the tops of the buildings, while cleaning crews rolled their wheelbarrows with the punches.
Versatile scaffolding surrounded and supported crumbled cathedrals.
Expansive graffiti covered boarded windows.
The quick to recover business community created the Restart Mall out of shipping containers. This was one of my favorite places in Christchurch. Creativity abounded with the shipping crates converted into stores.
The community of Christchurch is certainly resilient! They are accepting their new reality and trying to put together something that is good….until the next earthquake.
November 22, 2016 we were sitting in our apartment in Christchurch when a 5.8 earthquake struck again. Fortunately there wasn’t any damage. but it was disconcerting. We were very grateful for the resilient Kiwis and their experience with earthquakes.