After 10 mins and a million 3-point turns, we made it to our campsite in Christchurch. It was rainy, cold and a little bit miserable but we set up our home for the next 18 days and peered out at the weather trying to pluck up enough courage to battle the wet.

The rain was worth it. I immediately fell in love with the place. I think a lot can be said for a place if you still love it in the wind and the rain.

Our first stop was Alice's - a quirky, independent video store and cinema.

After a browse of the Physics Room and a bite to eat (more to come on that) we took ourselves for a wander around the city. It was quite a shock to the system.

In 2010 and 2011 Christchurch was hit by two large earthquakes. Buildings all over the city collapsed and 181 people lost their lives. To this day it lies in ruins - a heart breaking sight.

Despite and because of this, the city bursts with a sense of community and life. The 'Farmy Army' made their way from the countryside bearing shovels and food parcels whilst 10,000 students came together to create the Student Volunteer Army to also assist in the rebuild. The city may still be covered in building works but artists have created beautiful and welcoming spaces and people leave inspiring messages of hope, love and remembrance.

It is clear that the people of Christchurch know that the world doesn't stop spinning when disaster strikes and that it is important to embrace and celebrate life. Turn your head away from the crumbled buildings and you realise beauty still exists all around you. Appreciate it.


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