It’s time to say goodbye to Christchurch and hello to Aukland. I leave Christchurch with many happy and rich memories of the City, the people, the children, families and staff at the Champion Centre who made me feel so very welcome, and with a sense of understanding of a population who constantly re-create themselves.
The innovative and creative approaches they take to rebuilding their lives after the disruptive effects of earthquakes pervades all aspects of life and can be seen across the city.
They are also a population of explorers and travellers and hence very welcoming to people who travel to see them. I’ve really enjoyed my time here but its time to move on to pastures new and the exciting possibilities that Aukland and Hamilton have to offer, starting with two FASD seminars.
It was very exciting at the Champion Centre this morning with the arrival of lambs. Some of the children do not have many opportunities to visit the countryside, so this was very special. I spent the morning observing R who has 5q14.3 deletion. He visited the music therapist, the computer room, the speech and language therapist and the early intervention teacher and physiotherapist jointly. There was also a visual impairment teacher present to assess his needs. He is using Assistive and Augmentative Communication to support his learning and really enjoys the music and computer sessions.
Spent the morning visiting the family of a child with Down’s Syndrome in Little River. Their very rural lifestyle means that their aspirations for their son’s future are focused on agriculture and horticulture.
Following this, enjoyed the company of David and Susan Foster-Cohen, fish and chips in a French Bistro and a stroll around Akaroa which is 75 kilometres from the city of Christchurch. Akaroa is a historic French and British settlement nestled in the heart of an ancient volcano. The most outstanding ocean views accompany beautiful colonial architecture, galleries, craft stores, and cafés.