Christchurch: Working together - a testimonial
At precisely 12.51pm, we were at the Christchurch library, in the centre of the city. In just a few seconds, shelves and books were thrown to the ground by the violence of the tremor and we quickly became aware of what had happened.
After leaving the premises, we were in shock, at a loss as to what to do, taking in the damage surrounding us. For a long time, we didn’t know what to do, we finally decided to try and get hold of the garage where our campervan was being repaired. For five months, the vehicle had become a kind of home, and we hoped that it was still intact.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have to walk very far before it became clear that the town had been devastated, almost entirely destroyed in certain parts, and there was nothing we could do except follow the advice of the Christchurch police and make our way towards Hagley Park.
There, overcome with emotion, tense and lost, we were comforted by Janet and Keith Walker, a Kiwi couple who had also been indoors when the earthquake struck.They took us under their wings, helped us – even though the situation in which we found ourselves was far from being as dramatic as that of many others. But they didn’t even hesitate for a second before coming to our aid: we were lucky enough to have been placed in the path of some very big-hearted people. Now, for over a week, we have been lodged and fed by Janet and Keith, who support is in difficult times – just as parents would do with their own children…They have made phone calls for us and several times have driven us into town to find out more about our campervan. The campervan had not suffered a great deal of damage, but is still being repaired, and Janet and Keith continue to host us. They have helped us to negotiate with our insurance company, which is not always as comprehensive a task as one might hope.
Today we would like to say a big thank you to Janet and Keith. There are not enough words to express how grateful and how indebted we are to them. More than friends, they have become and will forever remain our Kiwi family!