It’s hard to describe how I feel right now. I spent five months in a country I’d never visited before, and I fell madly in love with it. There were good times and bad times, but I can honestly say I wouldn’t change a thing about my time here. I held nothing back, I said yes, and the experience was one of the most rewarding in my life so far.
My last couple of weeks did not lack in excitement; on June 13th Christchurch was affected by a 5.7 followed by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake. For the first quake, I was in residence, which was evacuated. I made my way down the street to a coffee shop to meet up with my friends, who were all a little shaken. It was a beautiful day so we sat outside to drink, and after about 10 minutes the second quake hit. The cars in the parking lot were rocking back and forth, the windows were warping, and people were sprinting out of buildings. We were all ok, but a bit worried, and headed to a friend’s place to relax.
The university was closed for three days afterward, which meant the exam period had to be completely re-arranged (it was supposed to begin on Saturday). One of my exams was cancelled; the others bumped back a day. Of course, the earth didn’t feel like settling and we were hit by a 5.5 on Tuesday night. This was the most rattling quake I’d been through yet, since I was walking outside when it happened. The buildings started to shudder like dogs shaking off water and street lamps were waving back and forth. I felt lightheaded and freaked out; after a large aftershock, residences were evacuated and we weren’t allowed to return until 2:00am … not a great way to prep for my first exam, which was the next morning at 9:00am.
|Post-quake drinks on the trampoline|
Somehow I made it through my exams with my sanity, packed up my things and said goodbye to the wonderful people I’ve spent time with for the past five months. I got up at 4:00am on June 24th to make my flight (which was luckily not cancelled due to ash clouds or earthquakes) and am now halfway through my most intense bout of travel yet: I've flown from Christchurch to Sydney to LA to Vancouver, which took 29 hours, and yet it is still June 24th. Currently I'm on the ferry to Victoria for the night; tomorrow I'll head back to Vancouver, fly to Kingston overnight via Toronto and then drive up to camp Sunday morning after a brief welcome brunch at home.
|Friends who will be missed :(|