Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A day in the life at Civil Defence HQ, Christchurch

Each morning I get on the bike and head into 'work' - (soo many people bike since Feb 22nd to get around more easily).
Through the liquifaction in our neighbouring park..
... past Knox church and what was the Christchurch food institution, Saggio d'Vino, opposite this gaping church. (already kocked down just 3 weeks on).
Past the army trucks, tanks and soilders guarding this cordon - often accompanied by the soilders toe tapping to hip hop coming out from the tank and entertaining themselves with the cross word!
Through Hagley Park - where 35 of the 100 year-old trees have been felled - or simply uprooted by the quake like this one.  Ellerslie International Flower Show's container didn't fare too well at the time!
Into the Art Gallery which accommodated up to 750 people at the peak of the operation. You are forced to sanitise hands every time you walk in - and sign in and sign out.  This place is full of rules.  And men in orange vests. 
The galleries have each been transformed into Civil Defence 'departments'.  No more Van Der Velden this month - rather 'Public Information Management' for this gallery!  Not exactly attractive or interesting art works on the walls.
This is where I turn in - its one of the back galleries...my desk is below.
I have been set up in Special Projects to handle the Memorial Service event on Friday. I work with people from around the country and with some of my team.
I secretly want to be in the Intelligence Area.  How cool is that vest. 
And am not too keen to be in this team.  They are pretty busy unfortunately.
If nature calls - I step out to this structure as no sewage or water or power is on yet in the CBD.  We come self contained!
And with copious amounts of powerade and water supplied, as well as 3 meals a day - (think camp food), we are knocking through piles of work. I've never seen such tired hard working people.  
They even have real coffee continuously being made for 10 hours a day -  good for outdoor event planning meetings in the park.
And if it all gets too much (which to be honest it does!)! you can grab a massage at the top of the art gallery's stairs.

Russell Crowe visited yesterday.  What an underwhelming celebrity spotting that was.

Maybe Prince William's visit on Friday will be more exciting. Wonder if I should wear my earthquake outfit. 
These are crazy times where it simply is what it is, yet feels like you are in a movie, and you don't know what tomorrow will bring. How lucky am I that I get to go to my own house each night with water and power  and a toilet.  Simple pleasures.

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