I am a happy camper, because my thesis stuff has been restored to me! This morning I assembled with a few other postgrads and staff from the History building at the Civil Defence HQ on campus, and we got to enter our offices and grab what we could in 5 minutes. As you will see from the photo below, I was VERY ENTHUSIASTIC about this.
Here, I have just signed in at NZi3 centre on Creyke Road, and I am "authorised to be on campus". Woot!
We are given hard hats and hi-visibility vests, while our footwear is checked. Fabulous. Most of us are carrying several bags - I carried one large overnight bag with my backpack and three shopping bags inside it. Then we walked across campus, under supervision of the wonderful people in red boiler suits and matching hard hats who spend their days helping postgrads and staff retrieve their most necessary belongings from their buildings within the cordon.
Here we are outside the history building, exactly one month after we ran out of it in the 6.3 shake of 22 February, listening to a safety briefing. We enter the building with one civil defence volunteer to two of us, and are given five minutes to pack up all our essential belongings.
Once in, I gather all my papers and ringbinders, stuffing them randomly into bags. I race down the hallway to the break room, where we were eating lunch when the quake hit, and retrieve my favourite coffee mug - it is of sentimental value, made for me personally when I was a baby! I race back to my office, and start shovelling ALL my books - personal and library ones - into the shopping bags. They probably total fifty or sixty all together. I stagger out of the room, a very happy MA student:
Thank goodness they had a van waiting outside to carry our things back to the NZi3 centre, where my father's car was parked. I don't know how far I would have made it alone!! Them books are heavy.
It's hard to convey how happy I feel. Up until now, I have been living in a state of complete indecision. It has been really hard to do ANY work without all my stuff, and I had no idea when it would be possible to get my stuff. It is a really strange thing, living one day at a time. I've had it remarkably easy in comparison with people whose homes fell down or have no job to go to, so I don't want to exaggerate - but I am really, really looking forward to having no excuse not to work. I am looking forward to finishing my thesis! I am looking forward to setting up a routine again! Yeah, some things will be different, but now I can look into the future again, and it feels good. Very, very good.
So - THANK YOU, Civil Defence personnel. You are wonderful, lovely people. I will be baking you a very large chocolate cake and bringing it in tomorrow.