Christchurch New Zealand, 2018

By Suruj Seunarine, Associate Professor of Physics ,UWRF

Today we arrived in Christchurch, New Zealand, the first stop on the way to Antarctica. Lindsay Berkhout (U. Chicago undergraduate) is deploying as well this year. Lindsay was a student in our 2017 REU group at UWRF.  We got to Christchurch after a thirteen hour flight from San Francisco to Auckland and then a short one hour flight to Christchurch.

Lindsay at the Re:Start container mall. The container mall was built to give businesses a chance to get going again after the earthquakes.

This is a homecoming for me, I lived in Christchurch for about nine years and left just before the big earthquakes hit. Everywhere there are wide open lots where buildings used to be. But there a many new buildings too and though most of my favourite restaurants are no longer around it was still easy to find something to eat. And there’s art and sculpture everywhere.

The cathedral at the heart of the city still needs a bit of work. But all around  it there are signs of the rebuild of the city.

Tomorrow we go to the CDC to get our extreme cold weather clothing and to have our laptops checked. On Friday, if the weather is good, we will fly out to McMurdo Station in Antarctica.