The Shirlington Branch Library is the proud owner of a Haitian Tap Tap Bus, designed by children at the Drew After School Center.
The young artists from Drew worked for 2 months to create the bus, which is their contribution to the Summer Reading club festivities at Shirlington. The students also decorated t-shirts to send to children in Petit-Goave, Haiti, who lost their library in last year’s earthquake.
What is a Tap Tap Bus?
Most people in Haiti don’t own private cars, so they use buses instead. Tap Taps, which get their name from the “sound of taps on the metal bus body signifying a passenger’s request to be dropped off” (creativeroots.org) are intricately painted in order to attract passengers as well as illustrate a driver’s skill and personality.
You can learn more about the role Tap Tap Buses play in Haiti’s transportation and cultural landscape from a March 2010 PBS Newshour segment, Tap Tap Bus Art Flourishes After Quake.