July 17, 2004

Chinese Bamboo Strollers, Orphanage Gear

Whoa. Meanwhile, on the other end of the technological spectrum from the Xplory and the Bugaboo: strollers and prams made out of bamboo, which are still widely used, it seems, in 2nd tier-and-below Chinese cities. The thumbnail at left is from China Dan's album, shot in the Sichuan city of Dazu. For an even more stripped down model, check out Guy Chaumette's photo from Chengdu, also in the Sichuan province.

Once on their Google trail, bamboo strollers led me to Bruce Austin's site, which has pictures from a multi-family adoption trip to Fuling. He documents some interesting finds, not the least of which is his new daughter. But I'd also point out the bamboo walker about halfway down the page (he calls it a self-propelled stroller. Maybe it's a translation thing, or a new dad not quite hip to the lingo, who knows?).

But what really blows me away are his pictures from the orphanage itself: there's the roomful of walkers--I count at least 14 kids, with a couple more turning up in other shots--which looks like bumper cars, or a tiny demolition derby. And just imagine the sound of all those engines.

And then there's the rows of steel cribs, which are quite nice, pared down, very form-follows-function. Which makes sense for a rural Chinese orphanage, I guess, but which'd be nice around here, too. I wonder what it'd take to import some Yangtze River Valley orphanage cribs to the US. Let me get my people on that right away...

2-seat Share Chair, similar to traditional Chinese designs
NPR's Scott Simon on adopting a baby girl from China
Fulingkids.org, an association for kids adopted from Fuling in Chongqing and their families.

1 Comment

The next step up the evolution ladder is the metal shopping/laundry cart that all the Asia people in my Brooklyn neighborhood walk their children in. Put a slab of cardboard in the bottom and away you go.

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