ON HER OWN: In the few hours since First Lady Melania Trump touched down at the Kotoka International Airport in Ghana’s capital Tuesday morning, she hit the ground running.
The first lady attended a red-carpeted welcoming ceremony, visited a hospital, joined the First Lady of Ghana Rebecca Akufo-Addo for a private tea and met with U.S. Embassy officials.
At the start of a four-country tour, she appeared to be in high spirits, greeting the crowd with a broad smile and a wave before walking down the jetway, according to a press pool report. During the overnight flight, which included a stop for refueling in Cape Verde, a “cheery” first lady walked to the rear of the plane to chat with pool reporters off-the-record, according to a report.
While her departure from Joint Base Andrews called for a caramel-colored suede trench coat from Vince, her arrival attire in Ghana was a rust-and-white, striped Celine shirt dress. The first lady, however, was not wearing a just-off-the-runway look from Celine’s new creative director Hedi Slimane, according to her stylist Hervé Pierre. Slimane presented his first collection for the house in Paris a few days ago. Vince is a U.S.-owned contemporary sportswear label that was started in 2002 and Celine, a luxury French fashion house was started in 1946 and has been owned by LVMH since 1996. A performance of dancers and drummers greeted Trump, and schoolchildren waved Ghanian and American flags. Also in the crowd was USAID administrator Mark Green and Trump’s hair stylist Mordechai Alvow.
FLOTUS’ communications director Stephanie Grisham and chief of staff Lindsay Reynolds are also on the trip for the duration. At one point, Reynolds had to do double duty so to speak, carrying two handbags — including a beige Hermès one.
Before noon local time, the two first ladies visited the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, and interacted with 10 mothers who were in an outdoor seating area, bouncing babies on their laps and shielding them from the sun, according to the pool report. Trump helped to hand out teddy bears and “Be Best”-imprinted blankets that were donated by the White House. Started last May, Trump’s Be Best initiative centers on children’s well-being.
She looked on as a six-month-old baby was weighed in a sack hanging from a pulley, a common practice at the hospital. Trump and her host also visited infants in the hospital’s newly constructed NICU wing.
Later, during a private 30-minute tea at Jubilee House, Trump and Akufo-Addo exchanged gifts. FLOTUS offered a Chippendale tray etched with an image of the White House, and her host, in turn, offered a kente cloth, a Ghanian fabric with multicolored stripes. The two women met for the first time during the United Nations 73rd General Assembly last week.
Trump’s whistlestop arrival included a brief meeting with officials at the U.S. Embassy, before retiring for the day, according to a pool report.