I am visiting my home city in New Zealand for the first time at Christmas in five years and it is my third visit since the first initial earthquake in September 2010, if that makes sense.
After the first earthquake, there was a fair amount of damage we saw when we visited in October 2010 and we even experienced an aftershock which was quite scary and makes my heart go out to all my friends and family who have experienced so many aftershocks. The next time I visited was March 2012 and nothing could really prepare me for the complete devastation that the February 2011 earthquake had on the city and it’s people. So many tragically lost their lives and so many lost their livelihood and homes.
However, on this visit, although there is so much destruction and loss in the city which is so very sad, there is an air of hope, promise and inspiration for a new city to shine.
I am so impressed with ingenious and innovation that has gone into regenerating the city centre with the container shops, banks and coffee shops. I have to say the quality of the shops are fantastic, full of beautiful and creative work, a lot of local craft and arts on offer, I was in heaven! Need more money next time as there was so much I wanted to purchase!
Another vacant area has been transformed into an innovative music garden using old items such as pipes, fire hydrants, and number plates. My children really enjoyed playing in here and creating some interesting sounds!
If you get a chance to visit this wonderful city, I would recommend taking a walk around and soak up the street art, art installments, innovative spaces and of course check out the fantastic shopping on offer!
I am both impressed and proud of the people of Christchurch for their positive and innovative approach to such tragedy which they have endured.
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends.