Many people have been asking after my daughter, Christine (affectionately referred to as Miss Tine in many posts). Your thoughts and kinds words have been sincerely appreciated by us both. Christine is still in Christchurch following the earthquake last week. We speak regularly and she is in my every thought. Her latest letter gives an indication of what she is experiencing at the moment. She is happy for me to share her thoughts these past few days.
"The damage is just indescribable...some people have lost everything and talking to them about it just breaks your heart. The whole city has suffered catastrophically. The most amazing thing to me though is peoples attitudes about everything.....traveling out to homes which have no hope of being restored, the residents were still offering food and hospitality to all of us despite the fact that they are in the position to need it the most.
A whole day of volunteering today- shoveling out silt which is pretty much muck with a very foul odor.... (result of liquefaction)
We had our two minutes of silence today to mark a week since it all happened and it just seemed fitting to stand there in gumboots with a shovel in hand. Life changing to say the least.
I am going to put it out there and say that the probability of me getting a part-time job in the near future is rather slim in Christchurch. Definitely going to be a year of community work. Thank your lucky stars that you live in a place which is not directly situated on a fault line!"
The last few sentences refer to her parents pressing her to find a part time job, as many of us do. It has been an ongoing discussion since she returned to Christchurch in January. I have to agree with her on this one. Community work it shall be and what an amazing job they are all doing.
The University of Canterbury has a Volunteer Student Army in place to assist with the recovery efforts. Wheelbarrows, shovels and a strong pair of wellies are essential. Their activities range from digging silt out of properties, moving furniture from damaged houses and helping residents to clear up. A Christchurch Baking Army is underway as well. They mobilise kitchens around Christchurch to deliver baking to volunteers and organisations.
I think of this as a case of 'true grit'
and in this case New Zealand grit.
Once again, Christine and I thank you all for your very kind words and comments. It is very heartening to hear from friends :)
Original post: The Text Message
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