US First Lady in Botswana

2011-06-24 13:46

First Lady Michelle Obama today began the second leg of her week-long visit to the Mother Continent by wielding a brush to help paint a mural at a clinic that treats HIV/Aids infected children.

The disease is a major public health challenge in Botswana, a nation of two million people, including about 300 000 HIV/Aids carriers.

Obama is promoting health and wellness on her visit, with a special emphasis on Aids prevention.

Her first stop upon arrival was at a clinic, sponsored by Texas (US)-based Baylor University, in the capital Gaborone.

The clinic serves 4 000 children and their families.

Obama and family members travelling with her helped paint a mural on the wall of a new facility under construction.

The first lady then headed to lunch with women leaders from different generations.

She also planned a brief drop-in on President Ian Khama before taking her family to dinner at a nature park.

Obama flew to Botswana from Cape Town this morning.

She, her daughters Malia (12) and Sasha (10), were welcomed with a performance of traditional African dances performed by a group of children aged between six and 18.

The children wore traditional costumes of hide and what looked like zebra skin and shells around their ankles.

They clapped and sang: “Obama ye-le-le.”

She also greeted a separate group of children waving the American flag and the blue and black flag of Botswana.

The first lady’s mission began on Monday in Johannesburg.

She returns back to the White House next Monday.

Obama had dinner yesterday in Cape Town with her friend and media mogul Oprah Winfrey.

Winfrey was in South Africa to accept an honorary degree from the University of the Free State.

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