Times of adversity

This post is a little more personal than what I normally share, but I feel it’s the best way of sharing what’s happening in my circumstances at the moment in the aftermath of the recent Christchurch earthquake.

I have been overwhelmed with messages of support from friends and colleagues around the world, and am unlikely to have been able to reply to everyone personally as I’ve had infrequent connectivity until now, so please accept this as a message of thanks.

I was in Rotorua attending the Learning@School conference when the quake struck, and at when first told of it my reaction was a sort of “oh yeah, another aftershock”, until my phone began receiving dozens of texts from friends and family, making me aware of the true extent of the damage. A call home confirmed this, and so came the task of negotiating with AirNZ to get home ASAP.

I arrived home last night, the chaos in my office an reminder of what had happened the day before. Fortunately the rest of the house had been restored to “normal” by the family in the time since – we’re one of the lucky ones it would seem, with no structural damage – just some liquefaction around our house and our driveway cracked and in one place split apart.

The main difficulty will be lack of water and no sewage. My kids find it a novelty at the moment to go to the toilet in a hole that’s been dug in our garden – but that won’t last. Same for thousands of other families it would seem.Water and sewage may be out for thousands of homes for weeks yet – some estimate months. Power is still out to half of the city, we’re very fortunate in that regard.

The aftershocks continue also – 23 last night since 10pm, which leaves a lot of people sleepless. My extended family are all safe, although at least two will be facing losing their  homes completely, and there are some massive messes to clean up inside – a job we’ll be helping with today.

The CORE office lies within the CBD, and adjacent to the PPG building that totally collapsed, so will be out of bounds for some time yet. All CORE staff who were in the building at the time got out safely – but are very shaken. Our building is an old government-built building, and possibly one of the strongest structures in the city, which provides some relief.

We managed to get all of the CHCH-based CORE staff who were in Rotorua back to CHCH yesterday, so the conference is left in the hands of the CORE staff from other parts of the country – I’m sure they’ll work to make it a success as in the past.

The next few days will be spent cleaning, helping, supporting and generally setting things up for a lengthy process of re-building lives I imagine.

Again, my sincere thanks for the messages of support and offers of help – it means a lot and demonstrates the very positive side of this highly interconnected, online world we live in.

13 thoughts on “Times of adversity

  1. Hi Derek

    Our thoughts will be with you and all the other people effected by this disaster – today and in the days and months to follow.

  2. Derek I have similar wonderings – how we will live here longer term. We are going to Cromwell for a week or so to regroup and get some sleep. Our house will be liveable if you need some space. We will come back with a chemical toilet and go from there…

    Love to Jane and the kids and Jocelyn and her family – we are in this together.

  3. Thinking of you Derek in this time – so pleased you were able to be released from work to help your friends and family.
    It’s times like this that make people come together and grow closer. Best wishes for the next few days, weeks and months.

  4. I’m so glad you’re all ok. It’s devastating watching this from afar and remembering with Morgane some of the brief but etched experiences we had around. The Cathedral and with you all.

    We’re a bit far to be of any immediate use, but if you or the kids were looking to make an escape for a couple of weeks you’d have free board and Catriona to play with totally gratis 🙂

    Even if those aftershocks Gina, we’re with you!

  5. So relieved to hear you are all safe. It’s very sad to see the beautiful city of Christchurch I remember reduced to rubble. It’s worse to watch the footage of the news reports showing such human misery, but inspiring to hear tales of courage amidst the adversity. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all in Christchurch Derek.

  6. Derek,

    I am so glad to hear that you and your family are safe. I am also relieved to hear that the CoreEd team are safe. I have been so concerned about you. I feel quite helpless sitting here in Canada.

    Please let me know if there is anything I can do from afar for you or for CoreEd.

    Stay strong!

  7. Hi Derek, glad you are all safe, Dad has managed to get info about all the family now except for Pete and Francie? From your message we can now assume that they are ok too? If you or any of the extended Chant family are wanting to get out, just come if you can. We have got plenty of room and so has Dad, he has asked me to pass this on. Take care and we are thinking of you

  8. Sorry to read of your adverse situation. I am an educator and blogger in the USA on vacation in Florida, who has heard reports of the devastation in NZ.

    It was a tweet from Sylvia Martinez @smartinez #lats11 from Learn@School 2011 that started me exploring NZ resources. Eventually I read your blog posts on the earthquake. I’ll pass on a link to your blog to my PLN so other educators can bear witness to tragedy this disaster represents for NZ children and educators.

    I’ll keep you all in my thoughts and prayers during the next few months. Hopefully, the aftershocks can subside and NZ folks can begin the monumental task of rebuilding.

  9. Wishing for you the strength and resources to recover from this disaster. Great hearing from you and Professor Niki Davis.
    Natalie in the USA

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