Monday, March 14, 2011

Partially Livable

My eldest daughter Molly-Rose has been out of her house for nearly three weeks. (Incredible to think we are nearly 3 weeks on from the earthquake!) She got a call from her property manager tell her that her flat is deemed,' partially livable'. Partially livable? What does that mean?!? Surely you either can live somewhere or you can't. ' Well', the property manager says, 'that's what the inspectation report said, but until it is declared 'livable' you can't live there.' I guess in that sense, the term 'partially livable' means 'it's too broken to live in' so Molly and her husband are staying with friends.

Her flat had a mezzanine floor, which now has a large crack in it. You can stand at certain places upstairs and see the rafters through the cracks in the ceiling. The sliding glass doors are so twisted, they no longer open. The stove fell over and the legs broke off. Yet, her flat is partially livable, I guess.

I think I can say to you, without getting into too much trouble, that my daugther doesn't much like stress. So her house being partially livable is not a great thing. Her car being inaccessible isn't too hot either. On the morning of the earthquake, Molly-Rose and David had taken her car to the garage to get a warrant of fitness done. I don't think they had ever used that particular shop before, a place in the central city. Molly's car has been there ever since, it is in the orange zone, a no go area. She has no idea if the garage where she took it is standing or not. Her car is inaccessible.

Molly teaches English as a second language for a job. She recently decided to get a second degree in Speech and Language Therapy. She started university on February 22nd. She was in the basement of the university library when the earthquake struck. She was already struggling with idea of ever going back into that eleven story building again. But at this point, with nearly 3 weeks of no classes, she just wants to get on with her programme. Two of her classes start back tomorrow (March 16th), the other paper won't begin until sometime in May. The university has six 'red stickered' buildings. Molly's classes are meeting in tents/marquees set up around the university parking lots and green areas. I keep encouraging her about the wonderful stories she is going to have as an old lady. But we both know that getting through this degree is going to be stressful. (Did I tell you that Molly doesn't much care for stress?) I guess the univeristy is partially usable.

Molly-Rose has also been worried about the new strange schedule that the university has come up with to deal with all the classes sharing tents for lectures. This schedule will interfere with her English tutoring sessions. But then, the last student she was able to meet with was packing up to leave New Zealand anyway. His family feel that his education is going to be critically hurt by the earthquake and all the building sharing that has to take place. There are a fair few schools sharing facilities, one school using the building in the morning, the other in the afternoon. If you've come to New Zealand because you wanted to enhance your child's education, I suppose Christchurch isn't the place for that anymore. It appears many of the foreign nationals in this city are fleeing, including some of Molly's students. Which may be just as well since she has no car to get around to teach them anyway. I guess Molly's job is partially up and leaving.

I look around this city and see how so many people, young and old are affected by the earthquake. Somebody needs to call Molly-Rose and tell her that her city is partially livable.


  1. More great insight, Barbara. Keep it coming! And all the best to Molly-Rose. Perhaps this episode in her life will be the making of her as regards coping with stress - if you can cope with an earthquake, my guess is that few other things will faze you. Keep safe!

  2. What's amazing is how everyone keeps going - which of course is essential. The university courses continuing in tents, your daughter and others carry on learning. I love that whatever the damage everyone works to keep daily life afloat.

  3. You and your dear daughter are made of strong stuff, honey. Stress is a dreadful thing to contend with on this level. Yet here you are, coping with it and writing it down. I'm proud of you, my friend; very proud indeed.

  4. Thanks for sharing. The effects just keep rippling... I am following you with support and blessings each day!