Today is my first time in Christchurch since the February quake.
I knew it was bad. I knew it was a wide area.
I knew lives and livelihoods had been destroyed.
To see it all didn't come as a surprise, what did was how sad I feel.
I pulled the car over and just stared at the damage.
The closed roads, the rippled surface of the street. The remnants of liquefaction in drains. (Remember when we didn’t even know that word?)
The only way I can explain it is to compare it to something on a smaller scale.
It feels as though a friend has been beaten up.
I have seen photos of their injuries and I know that they have a black eye and broken jaw. I have seen x-rays of the fracture in their wrist and I have been in touch, talking and sending flowers.
When I finally caught up with that friend, their injuries don’t surprise me, but I hadn’t thought about the details... the difficulty they would still be having eating.
I hadn’t imagined that when they smile, they wince.
I hadn’t realised how awkward using a fork is with a cast on your hand.
And there is nothing I can do but bring my business and dollars to the region.
Get well soon Christchurch.