|Me, walking over the volcanic landscapes of the|
Tongariro National Park – Mt Tongariro is one of
3 volcanoes in the park and last erupted in Nov 2012
|A collection of signs I spotted in Christchurch|
It felt as though much of the city had been abandoned for the past 3 years. Doors were still spray-painted with the signs from the rescue teams indicating who had searched the building and whether or not they had found anyone inside. Although there had been a lot of work demolishing damaged buildings and some new construction for rebuilding, those buildings that were deemed unsafe but had not yet been pulled down still existed as they had on that fateful day. Most eerily of all were the shops where dummies dressed in the summer fashions of 2011 still stood in the window, now gathering dust as they stared vacantly out through the cracked glass.
|Typical sights in Christchurch: empty building|
plots, cranes, boarded up offices and piles of rubble
Depite the sense of abandonment, there were signs of hope. In the very centre of the city, in the middle of the worst of the damage and surrounded by piles of rubble and the first skeletons of new constructions, was an incredible sight – the Re:START centre.
|The Re:START centre – shops and cafes made from brightly coloured shipping containers|
This collection of shops and cafes felt like a ray of hope among all the desolation.
The Re:START centre consists of a whole load of brightly painted containers that have been fitted out to form shops, and it’s a fantastic place with such a positive atmosphere compared to the surrounding ruins. Sitting outside a bright green container cafe eating our lunch in the sunshine gave the feeling that the earthquake wasn’t the end of everything. There is still so much work to be done, and it will take a long time, but Christchurch will be rebuilt.