On Monday I phoned the insurance company, to check on the status of our claim. They had the report from Arrow, our claim was being reviewed and someone would be in touch within 1-2 days. Suddenly we were really close to having our claim settled and getting the documentation we needed for the Government's rent subsidy and the Red Cross relocation grant.
On Tuesday the earth shook, buildings crumpled and lives were lost.
On Wednesday we watched queues grow like snakes at water tankers, petrol stations and supermarkets.
On Thursday we retrieved belongings left behind at the hospital and answered a few worried texts.
On Friday I phoned the insurance company, to check on the status of our claim. The line was engaged.
On Friday I phoned Studylink, to try and alter my expected weekly income to zero. The line was overloaded.
On Friday I took a look at the names and photos of those listed as dead/presumed dead. So far there are two names and faces I know - both worked in the CTV building but for different companies, on different floors. These two are just the start of what could be a very long list of friends, acquaintances, colleagues and maybe even loved ones who perished that day. Like many in Christchurch, in New Zealand, and around the world, I will just have to wait for the slow release of names, to find out who else will never brighten my life again.
Christchurch may be New Zealand's second largest city (shut up Wellingtonians) but it's still a small town. If there are six degrees of separation worldwide, in C-city it's just two. Everyone will know someone who died on Tuesday, that's the way it goes in a city of 400,000 people. Thanks to recently unreliable networks, lack of power, loss of phones, temporary relocations etc, the scale and the proximity of this disaster may not become clear to many of us until the names of the dead are made available to the general public.
Kia kaha Christchurch