THE WORLD IS FLAT: First Lady Melania Trump continued her African tour Thursday in Malawi. The high poverty rate and challenge that children have in staying in school propelled the visit, according to a press pool report.
Her Malawian counterpart, Gertrude Maseko Mutharika, was among the well-wishers ready-and-waiting for the First Lady, after her official entourage touched down at Kamuzu International Airport. Drummers, dancers and flag wavers were also on hand, according to the pool report. Afterward, the motorcade was whisked off to the Chipala Primary School, where the First Lady, dressed in a beige, three-quarter-length sleeve button-down dress by Joseph, sat in on a few classes in Chichewa indoors and outdoors, including one with 275 students. (In total, 8,000 children study there with 75 students.) With her hair clasped back and wearing a sand-colored shirtdress, a thin leather belt and snakeskin flats, the guest of honor also pitched in donating “Be Best”-emblazoned soccer balls and other White House-approved gifts for the children. The occasion also marked a gift of 1.4 million books — a boost compared to the 1.2 million U.S. Aid provided last year.
After what was described as a “whirlwind” tour of the school, Trump headed to the state house and protesters. Some held signs reading “Melania Too,” the latter being an apparent reference by President Trump regarding African nations. One other demonstrator held a sign imprinted with “69 Days Past the Deadline to Reunite Families,” pointing to the thousands of children who have been detained crossing the U.S. border. The trip’s pool reporter made another point — Trump is the first U.S. First Lady to visit Malawi, where only 10 percent of residents have access to electricity.
The two first ladies enjoyed a private tea, while the American media marveled at the zebras grazing nearby on the state house lawn. The diplomatic afternoon wound down with a trip to the airport for the next stop on Trump’s four-country, weeklong voyage.
The right and the left might be amused, curious or enraged, depending on who you ask, by the First Lady’s in-flight outfit worn earlier in the day en route to Malawi — a light blue shirt with the collar up, olive “jeggings-looking” pants and sneakers. Yes, sneakers.
But the tea-leaf readers might not want to delve too deep. In an interview last week, Trump’s stylist and travel wardrobe aficionado Hervé Pierre explained that he is often reminded of the sage wisdom his former boss Carolina Herrera impressed upon him. “I quote her all the time. In the end, fashion is also for the eyes. We cannot intellectualize all the time.”
Melania is en route to Kenya and tomorrow will visit baby elephants, go on a safari and visit an orphanage.