WFP: First lady Michelle Obama met with about 50 Brazilian youth ambassadors, took in a martial arts-dance presentation and was wowed by a group of female samba drummers during the first day of her and President Barack Obama’s five-day tour of Latin America.
Waving and smiling as she entered an open-air space in a restaurant shaded by palm tress, Michelle Obama electrified the crowd of youngsters, many of whom have taken part in a State Department program that sends them to the U.S. for cultural exchanges.
“Bom dia! Is that it? That’s all I have, unfortunately,” Obama said as she greeted the group with the Portuguese phrase for “good morning,” drawing applause and laughter as she confessed her poor knowledge of the language.
Obama, accompanied by daughters Sasha and Malia, and her mother Marian Robinson, then drilled home a message she has repeated to youngsters around the world: Education and trying to understand other cultures is one of the best cures for some of the globe’s ills.
…Icaro Soares Alves, 19, from the jungle city of Manaus, met Michelle Obama last year in Washington when he took part in the exchange program.
“This is one of the most important moments of my life, to meet her again,” he said. “She breaks all the stereotypes that American people are cold. With her smile and embrace she is so welcoming. I think she must have a little Brazilian in her.”
First lady Michelle Obama with youths at Oca da Tribo restaurant in Brasilia. Michelle Obama, her two daughters Sasha and Malia, her mother Marian Robinson, the girls’ godmother, Eleanor Kaye Wilson, and Guisela Shannon, wife of U.S. Ambassador Thomas Shannon attended cultural performances with young Brazilians, many from disadvantaged backgrounds who have participated in a range of U.S. sponsored exchange and leadership development programs.