My time living and working the way I have since the February earthquake is nearly over.
Yesterday was my last day at Boffa Miskell - I think, by a thin margin, the longest I’ve worked anywhere so far in my career.
From no books, to a handful of books, to a few boxes of books, my library collection grew. Some were saved from staff offices in our abandoned building, I had a few at home, I purchased a few replacements, subscriptions arrived, and duplicates were identified and press-ganged, bound for CHCH. Yesterday I left our CHCH offices with books on shelves for the first time in 5 months.
Many big changes are afoot for our family: change of city, house, job, and hours. My daughter starts school the same day I start working full time (for the first time in 5 years) as an Academic Liaison Librarian for Health Sciences at the University of Otago’s Medical and Dental Libraries. My husband Steve becomes a contractor offering Learning Solutions consultation on a part time basis. But there will be family, friends and old colleagues there to meet us - Dunedin is our turangawaewae, Otago is our Alma Mater. It’s our other home.
The experience of living and working through a national disaster, recovering a library service, working remotely, dealing with broken homes, land and hearts, has been extraordinary. This has opened my mind to how we live, think and work; how we cope and how marvellously adaptable we human beings are. There’s a long road to recovery for Christchurch and for every individual affected. But we’ll all get there.
We’re physically leaving Christchurch, but I was born here. My family are here; it’s still home.