Tomorrow some of us will pause at 12.51pm to remember what happened 3 weeks ago – yes 3 weeks ago. It’s been a long 3 weeks but I’m pleased that the Peters family will be together this day. We might have a family game of Monopoly to celebrate!
Mr12 is in that growth spurt phase and we are sure he’s grown a lot while he was away. It was great to be able to welcome him home today and start to hear his stories – learning to drive the farm truck, learning to shoot and doing all those cool farm things. After driving down he flew back - thanks to Air New Zealand who is providing special disaster refugee fares for those flying in & out of Christchurch till 31 March.
Disasters have different effects on various people, especially the young ones. The kids, being kids were pretty much excited about being in the middle of a disaster – something they had really only seen on TV before. Especially exciting was the school closure part! But there was also the disaster zone stress to deal with which showed itself in the strangest ways. Two days after the quake Mr12 was out skateboarding in the middle of Colombo St. – and why not? We were cordoned and the road was empty. But even though he was only about 100 metres from home, in the middle of the day, the police picked him up and brought him home. He tried to tell them he lived “just there” but still they made him get in the car. He came home pumped up from the experience but then retreated to the sofa – his brush with the law teaching him that there was no-where to play in the cordon.
Jeff’s Mum & Dad were heading out of town to his sister’s and brother in law’s farm for some R&R and we took the chance and sent Mr12 with them.
They got down there and registered with the Red Cross as quake refugees – 3 of some 70,000 plus who took the chance to escape the Garden City. Next it was off to school. But not just any school – Blackmount School – a school that has a special place in our hearts! Both mr15 & mr12 have been casual students there since age 6. While living in Japan they have visited my sister’s family at Blackmount during the Northern Hemisphere summer vacation and during that time spent time learning to be Southland Kiwis!
The warmth of the welcome and the depth of care was once again present when our family needed it! Mr12 was enrolled at Blackmount school and attended classes with the other 15 students over the 2 weeks he was there. He was pretty chuffed!
While he was away, he missed many recovery steps but he was able to experience firsthand the nationwide feeling for Christchurch on Red and Black Day when school kids and many others around the country wore red and black to support us here in the disaster zone.
So once again we find ourselves truly grateful to everyone in the Blackmount School area in Western Southland. To Mrs Lewis and students of Blackmount School and their families, we truly thank you. We have got through a very dark hour here in Christchurch thanks to you all and tonight we sat down and enjoyed dinner together as a family.