Sorry about the really Twitterverse title for this post with hashtags and all… It probably looks really bad that I’m talking about NZMSC and the Christchurch Earthquake in the same post. I am in NO way suggesting that NZMSC was a natural disaster. The topic of the plenary was, and really the plenary itself was, but other than that it was an amazing experience. But I wanted to talk about them in the same post because I feel they do relate to each other – at least, they do for me.
Firstly, NZMSC was without doubt one of the greatest times of my life. I would probably rate it number two in terms of greatest events. Ironically, number one is another @UNYANZ event. Or maybe not ironically – maybe they just do really great events. But anyway, it was really great. Met some amazing people, as you always do at Model UN, caught up with some other amazing people who I already knew, got a wee bit drunk on one night, and generally had a really good time. But what I really like, and significantly more now than I did straight after, is the fact I got to see some of the amazing things is Christchurch.
And this is where the earthquake comes in. NZMSC wasn’t my first time in Christchurch, but it’s the first time since I’ve been old enough to actually appreciate things like the really old buildings and things like that which they have in Christchurch. I am so glad that I was able to see some of these before they were damaged by the earthquake. I feel privileged. While they might restore the buildings, they won’t be the same. It won’t be the bricks that the first settlers laid. It will be bricks put in place by people who know far too much about Physics, and have far too many machines. Because I think that’s the beauty of a lot of these buildings. While I’m sure they had some machinery, they did a good proportion of this stuff without it. And that amazes me. How people can stack one brick on top of another and make a building. I can’t make a stack of 20 bricks without knocking them over. And that’s why I feel I’ve been privileged – I have seen these buildings and no person who hasn’t already seen them will ever be able to now. If NZMSC had been one week later, I wouldn’t have been able to. But it wasn’t.
I don’t know if I’m the only person who went to NZMSC who feels this way, but I know I have this huge feeling of almost satisfaction, that I have been able to see these places in person. At the same time, there’s an even bigger feeling of sadness. How many of these amazing, beautiful buildings have been lost? Restoration is fine, but it can’t bring back the history that was in each of those bricks. I don’t really know how many of these buildings have been damaged and how many are okay, but I just hope and pray that the ones that haven’t been damaged don’t get damaged by aftershocks. Because sometimes, things are just worth saving.
I also think it’s appropriate to add here that I really do wish the people of Christchurch all the best. As much as some people laugh at Christchurch (though I think that’s mostly Aucklanders…) I feel that Christchurch has a lot to offer as a city. I don’t think I would live there, but they do have some amazing buildings and scenery. And destruction of this is an immense tragedy.