My next meeting is starting a bit late, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to share another brief note about the recovery and reconstruction effort in Christchurch. The information concerns a modest, practical matter, in the nature of friends helping friends.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has been providing at no charge its Antarctic program office space near Christchurch Airport to New Zealand entities and agencies displaced by the earthquake or engaged in recovery activity — including the St John Ambulance, New Zealand Police, Canterbury Conservancy Office, and Child Youth and Family Service.

Sizeable staffs and a fleet of vehicles from those entities have been operating from NSF space, including the U.S. Antarctic Passenger Terminal, since shortly after the quake.

Such modest, practical things are usually overlooked in the peripatetic sturm und drang of the news cycle, but they are, in my view, the best indicia of close friendship. Showing up day after day, as needs arise, is what matters most. Even if news cameras are off chasing other stuff.

We’re glad the space is being well used to help the people of Canterbury.