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Update

This has been a really tough week for all of us here in New Zealand. And the first thing I want to say is thank you to those in the LJ community who have already given what they can in terms of VGifts. It's a wonderful idea and I know it means a lot to those who now have to try to pick up the pieces.

I don't know whether I'm just echoing the shock of the nation, but I have been very unmotivated this week. I just could not write - at least, not any of my WIPs. I had three nights of very little sleep and completely crashed on Thursday. At work, mind you. So I ended up being sent home. And I was fed up with that. I'm going to sit down and write this weekend. Promise. I think if I actually start writing, I might start to feel better about things.

You've probably seen the news, so most of this won't be a shock. The death toll as it stands this morning (6.41am NZ time) is 113. The list of missing is 200, although police say some of those will be on the list of the dead.

I still don't know what has happened to my step-dad's nephew (would he be my step-cousin???). I haven't heard from the family so I don't know if he's safe and sound or whether he's on the missing list. My great-uncle is okay. Apparently my mother's sister rang him not long after the quake to find out. I get that she worries - although there may be more selfish reasons. But she should not have done it, for the simple reason that the phones were not working properly in the city and the authorities had made it pretty clear to use phones in an emergency only.

Yesterday, I got a call from an elderly lady in one of the towns south of Christchurch. She was telling me about her neighbour, a father of two - one of the kids is about two months old, and he was in one of the buildings that collapsed. She thought he might have been one of the ones trapped. Then she was telling me about another man who had to have his legs amputated because a boulder fell on him, trapping him. It was the only way the rescue team could get him out. After that phone call, I felt like crying. And the only reason she was calling me was to tell me that she might not get her payment in on time because there was no post.

One of the other call centre workers had a call from a lady who was screaming down the phone at them, getting really angry because her ice cream was melting and she wanted the power back on. They felt like saying to her "Lady, people are dying and you're worried about your ice cream?" But as I said to a friend of mine, this lady is still trying to make sense of what's happened so she focuses on something tangible, because I don't think she can cope with it any other way.

I got really riled up when I heard of people looting in the city. And these assholes decided to burgle the home of one of the people who died in the CTV building. The family, of course, weren't there because they were in the city waiting for news - hoping she might be rescued. Another two were arrested for stealing generators - needed for communications etc. This kind of behaviour absolutely disgusts me. Then we hear stories of people trying to rip off others with an email scam - please, if you get anything like this, check it out very carefully. I guess even tragedies can bring out the worst in people and I'm not into an eye for an eye, but I hope these people are in for some very bad Karma. I really do. That kind of thing is appalling.

I'm also really ashamed of my 'other' profession. I heard that journalists were trying to sneak into hospitals to talk to victims. I've heard of this kind of thing before. Years ago, I interviewed a boy who had been paralysed from an accident. The only reason I got to interview him was because our mayor arranged it with the family. But journalists from another paper tried to get in to interview him and got as far as his room before they were kicked out. Because of the respectful way our paper, and me, especially, handled the situation, I got the exclusive story - but I'm digressing. The point I'm making is, just because you're a journalist, it doesn't give you the right to barge in and invade someone's privacy. I've had to interview families of loved ones before, not by choice, but I've always tried to be totally respectful. If someone tells me no, I accept that. I don't push. Maybe that makes me a lousy journalist, I don't know, but I'd like to think my sensitivity counts for something.

I think I'll be buying a powerball ticket for tonight. It's up to about $15 million. I doubt I'll win, but if I did, you can bet that a sizeable chunk of it will be going to help those in Christchurch.

Anyway, I'm kind of rambling. But thought I'd just give you guys an update.

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Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
oxiate
Feb. 25th, 2011 11:44 pm (UTC)
I was looking to see if you posted anything new, because I am a huge fan of your stories and I saw you posted this. Reading this I can really see you're torn up about the Earthquake, but I have to say I think the fact that you care so much makes you an amazing person. I can understand what you're feeling, I felt the same way after Hurricane Katrina. On one hand you feel such compassion for the victims but you feel helpless because you can't do anything huge. But you're not alone in your feelings. Any decent person is feeling the same grief right now and that's what you are a truly wonderful human being. Unfortunately not everyone is like that, sometimes people use other's misfortunes to further their own interests. Karma will come back to bite them. Odds are if they're stealing now, they're always stealing and the law will catch up to them at some point, You can take comfort in the fact that they might now be extremely mean-spirited, just someone who's life and survival has resorted to theft. And about your journalism, being sympathetic to someone in their time of need is the best thing you can do. I'm sure that boy and his family remember your kind way of dealing with the situation more than the other journalists pushing them. A little kindness goes a long way. I thought this might cheer you up. It's an article about a survivor of the earthquake, who just got married today. Enjoy.
http://www.aolnews.com/2011/02/25/new-zealand-quake-survivor-marries-fiance-who-helped-save-her/?ncid=webmail
phoenixnz
Feb. 25th, 2011 11:57 pm (UTC)
First of all, thank you for your kind words. It has really helped this week to know that my friends here care so much. I've friended you, btw, because I'm adding you to that list of friends. It's been really great to know that I'm not alone in these feelings.
And thank you for the link. It is nice to know that something good can come out of tragedy. *Hugs*
eternal_moonie
Feb. 26th, 2011 08:37 pm (UTC)
oh honey! I'm so sorry to hear about that! *big hugs* I'll continue to pray.
phoenixnz
Feb. 26th, 2011 09:42 pm (UTC)
Thank you sweetie, it means a lot.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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