I’m a Geography teacher. I have spent the last dozen years teaching students about natural disasters. Teaching them that disasters are not just one off events, that a major part of understanding a disaster is the reconstruction afterwards. Yet, today I was shocked by what I saw in Christchurch.
I like to think I am fairly on top of what is happening in the world currently. I constantly read news online, I scour social media for any storied that might be relevant for our learners. Heck, I’m even connected online with plenty of people that live in Christchurch. My in-laws were involved in the Quake. Injured, lost belongings but realistically lucky compared to many others. They have told me that I don’t understand what it was really like. Today I know that is the truth.
I think many of us in the North Island truly do not comprehend what it has been like for Cantabrians over the last 4 years. Initially there was an outpouring of grief and support but it isn’t in the news anymore so we know that the rebuild is still occurring but without the realisation of what that means.
As a Design Thinker I espouse the importance of empathy. Today’s walk around (what remains of) the Christchurch CBD was eerie for me and for the first time in almost 4 years I once again really empathised with Christchurch.
I’m not sure what my words will add to others understanding of what Christchurch is like and I really don’t know how my words will be taken by those living here. What I can say is that myself and the other eFellows had a very sobering walk around that provoked intense discussions around transformation. First about Christchurch and then relating this to transformation of education.
For those who haven’t been to Christchurch lately, here is some of the devastation we saw:
Yet, we also saw some inspiring sights of creativity, innovation and transformation:
And of course around all of this, Christchurch gets on with it’s business. I really encourage you to read these 2 posts by Bridget Compton-Moen: Four Years On… which beautifully captures the feelings that I just cannot even imagine and Home Sweet Home which gives 15 things that make her family smile about living in Christchurch.