Monday, 12 September 2011

Quaking in our circus boots

 Two photos of Cathedral square - the first during the spring festival, (where I was stilt walking in delightfully high winds!) The second is the cathedral after the quake hit on Feb 22nd.

It was March 2nd. We had landed in the far southern town of Invercargill, NZ. High winds were slowing the tent up process but Damo was determined to at least get the king poles up, he was up at 7 in the morning pacing the lot and scowling at the sky.

It had been a wee while since my last entry. The previous stand was a solemn one. On the Tuesday an epic earthquake hit Christchurch city at a depth of 5 km, it was over a six on the Richter scale and had flattened the city. 155 people were confirmed to have died and even the old circo houses were under water from liquefaction. The circus had taken on a couple of Circo refugees as there was now no school and people were homeless. From what I understood things there were going to get busy as we were due to take on more and more visitors.

The shows were quiet. It was eerie. The audience just sat and stared at us through the show. We all wore black arm bands for the performances to honour the victims, and mourn the loss of the city. Everyone had connections to Christchurch, we all went to uni there, we had all lived there, and some have family there. I still had two friends that I could not make contact with, and I had no idea if they were even still alive.

A car full of our performers headed off as soon as the tent was up to go and find family. I remained behind, but all of our hearts were in the shaky city that day.

Briar and I went ahead to our next stop to go marketing, we were heading back through gore, our last stop, to Dunedin. I hadn't been to Dunedin for nearly 2 years, it was to be a big day.

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