Bush Fire: A Photo Essay

Bush Fire: A Photo Essay

Last week, Christchurch’s Port Hills were on fire. Word is that an electrical fault started it, sparks igniting the golden grasses.

I could see the fire for nearly the whole week at work.

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This was the first time I’ve seen a wildfire. Plumes of smoke rose high. Continue reading “Bush Fire: A Photo Essay”

Learning About the Christchurch Earthquakes and Photos From a Recent Endeavor

A week ago, I finished a three-week stay on a small farm outside of Christchurch where I worked for accommodation. I fed the animals, administered medications, gathered food, delivered firewood and helped renovate the farm house, which was damaged in the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. The 2010 earthquake had taken place at night and had not caused many injuries. However, the 2011 earthquake, which I had heard of, but didn’t pay much attention to, leveled central Christchurch. Insurance adjusters, even five years later, are still making the rounds to assess damage, the rural areas being the last to be examined. A New Zealand shortage of engineers and soil scientists had resulted in an influx of international experts entering the country shortly after the earthquake, but even now, there isn’t the manpower needed to make a quick recovery.

I didn’t understand how much damage the earthquake had done until I arrived. I kept hearing about how much had changed in Christchurch, but didn’t really understand it until I visited and lived in the area. I had imagined an international city to be bustling, but Christchurch has been quiet. I would try to find stores, but the directions were wrong because of the earthquake. The shops didn’t exist anymore or had moved, and the maps hadn’t been updated.

In a book shop, I’d once flipped through a book with pictures of the earthquake, setting it on the shelf a minute after opening it. But a couple of weeks ago, I slowed down and studied some before and after photos to better understand what had happened. Continue reading “Learning About the Christchurch Earthquakes and Photos From a Recent Endeavor”