I am not so sure where to start – I had hoped to post more on my house purchase adventure 2 weeks ago. But I headed down to New Zealand for my Father’s surprise 70th Birthday which we had in Christchurch last Saturday. So with limited time and internet access I decided at least to get a Christmas post out. Then, much to our horror not one but 3 large magnitude earthquakes hit Christchurch and we’ve have had dozens of aftershocks since then.
Christchurch has been forgotten by many since the February 22nd Earthquake that killed 182 people. Christchurch has had several major earthquakes since September 2010 and over 8000 aftershocks. The people here live with a constant fear and heading into Christmas were feeling hopeful that the aftershocks were on the way out and life could and would return to normal. Thousands of homes await demolition and yesterday’s earthquakes have determined the future demolition of more homes and businesses. Rebuilding the City was hoped to commence mid 2012 and it is believed that this will be pushed back further.
While I fly out of Christchurch this afternoon and return to my employment in France the people of Canterbury remain living in uncertainty. Ironically I have chosen to live in another earthquake prone and devastated area that of Abruzzo, Italy. The town and province of L’Aquila is still rebuilding after their devastating earthquake in 2009. But this is my choice and I know the history of this region but for those residents of L’Aquila when the devastating earthquake struck and for those here in Christchurch, New Zealand their residents have limited options for relocation in an area they have grown up in, raised family in and buried loved ones in.
Christmas for me is not as much of a religious celebration but a time for family and friends to get together to laugh, have fun and remember good times. 2011 has been a year of immense tragedy for many parts of the world and many will mourn this Christmas for the family members they have lost in ‘Acts of God’ this past year.
I wish you all a safe and happy Christmas – for those of you who have not been affected by any of the tragedies which have plagued different parts of the world and taken loved ones I hope you take the time to be grateful for the year you have had and you look forward to 2012. For those of you who have lost loved ones and have experienced hardship and loss over the year I wish you love and strength and hope that 2012 brings renewed strength, that joy returns to your lives and your memories burn brightly in your hearts
Take care Merry Christmas and a Bright and Loving New Year to you all!