Not only have I published a book and taken part in an expedition to Afghanistan, but the city I’ve called home for many decades has been, literally, shaken to its core by a series of earthquakes, the worst of which left 180 dead, demolished the CBD and forced tens of thousands permanently from their homes. Christchurch will never be the same again- most have accepted that now. It will be years before the CBD is rebuilt- its currently a developing wasteland as the streets are cleared of rubble, the damaged buildings slowly levelled and the ground assessed for rebuilding. Many suburbs are destined for the same treatment and will never be built on again. The iconic cathedral, the symbol of the city, is too damaged to repair. The up side is there will be lots of new parks and greenbelts! A sense of optimism is creeping in – here is an opportunity to fix the problems of the past and build something beautiful. The damaged Christchurch Cathedral:
Our Afghanistan expedition was (dare I say, unexpectedly) fabulous! Koh-e-Baba-Tangi (6515m) is a beautiful mountain and we climbed a new route, making only the second ascent. To cap it off, I did it with my sister. The expedition was long in the organising… but I’m now an Afghan expert! Next year’s return trip to the Wakhan, scheduled for July/August 2012, will be invariably easier. The mountain is chosen, the team selected and planning is underway. I can’t wait!
The book! It’s been a long road from when I started writing in September 2009 to seeing it on the shelves two years later. I’m actually quite pleased I managed to pull it off while holding down a full time job, taking part in the Vasuki Parbat expedition in 2010 and then Koh-e-Baba- Tangi in 2011. Perhaps I’m not the time waster I’ve always assumed I was! Read reviews of the book at : www.patdeavoll.co.nz