The best welcome back to school ever?

This Monday was the first day back to school following a two week mid-semester break. Break was pretty uneventful. The highlight was the Sunday before break ended. Zoe and I had a barbeque at Cromwall Park, our favourite in the city, with a few friends. In a perfect world, I would have preferred a slow easing back into school. Unfortunately, a perfect world doesn’t exist. My first 36 hours back at school were anything but calm. My Monday class did go quite well, but the chaos came that afternoon with the “Important News Update” surrounding the death of Osama Bin Laden. This story line became the focus of the rest of my day. Come Tuesday, I hoped that the excitement was over, but this was certainly wrong. An hour after I finished class on Tuesday, there was a tornado less than a mile from where I live and literally right across the street from school. Thankfully both my house and school were unharmed, and only one death was reported. The major shopping center and grocery store were horribly destroyed. I actually heard from my home stay family that the cost of damage to one particular building was higher than the cost of damage to any one particular building following the Christchurch earthquake. A tornado in New Zealand is an incredibly rare event—this is reported to be only the second tornado within the entire country in 100 years—so it is even more bizarre that this is the closest I’ve ever been to a tornado. I am starting to think that I have the worst luck ever when it comes to natural disasters in New Zealand. Since mid-February, I have witnessed the Christchurch earthquake and experienced a cyclone, tsunami, and now a tornado. I am hoping that the next five weeks will be natural disaster free and filled with excitement and last-minute travel.