Four years after a devastating earthquake, Christchurch, New Zealand is still rebuilding.
Memorials to the 185 lives lost still remain, like the display of 185 empty white chairs in one such vacated lot.
The iconic Christchurch Cathedral, seemingly on every post card, remains in pieces awaiting its fate.
In these ways Christchurch hasn’t changed much since I visited two years ago. However, there are unmistakable signs of new life in the city.
Not least of these signs is the new “Cardboard Cathedral”, transitional home of the parish that once occupied the original Christchurch Cathedral. The structure of the building is covered by cardboard tubes with recycled stained “glass” and wood chairs.
Near my hotel, a formerly bustling shopping area has been rebuilt, including a local theater which was set to reopen soon.
Next to the theater, the Christchurch tram has resumed, including its Tramway Restaurant which blends fine dining with sightseeing.
Local friends commented that noticeably more roads are open now than even the last time they were downtown. They marveled at the progress that has been made. By all accounts, Christchurch is not the same as before the earthquake, but it seems to be rediscovering itself from the ruins.