U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, wife of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden made an unannounced visit to disaster-stricken Haiti on Tuesday and said she was struck by the devastation inflicted by the Jan. 12 earthquake on the poor Caribbean country.

She visited with children at a local children’s welfare project in Port-au-Prince April 13, 2010. In Mexico, Kids and culture were high on the agenda for first lady Michelle Obama. The Mexico visit, long billed as her first foreign trip without the president, became her second after Tuesday’s surprise trip to Haiti.

The following represents a description by pool reporter Marc Lacey of the New York Times during one of the stops by the US first Lady in Mexico.

“There were squeals, shouts, claps and cries as Mrs. Obama entered the sweltering schoolyard of the Jan. 7 School in the Alvaro Obregon neighborhood of Mexico City. The children chanted the first lady’s
first name, turning it in Spanish into three syllables: Mi-che-elle, with an emphasis on the “che”.

Banners hung from the school welcoming her. Children put on quite a show.

Children in white gym attire hopped around obstacles and then invited her to join in an exercise game called A Le Le Quita Tonga, in which everyone pretended to throw a ball of dough in the air. Every time it landed it got bigger and bigger till everyone was carting it on their back. You had to be there.

Another group dressed as Aztecs, wearing white uniforms and multi-colored flowers, performed a mock ceremony involving conch shells and a black chalice.–Children then danced to a rock song called Vuelve Primavera.

There was a rendition of the famous mariachi song Cielito Lindo, which caused at least one reporter to choke up as the children bellowed ”Ah, yah, yah, yah, canta, no llores.”The first lady then offered some brief remarks: ”That was beautiful, everything you did. I loved the singing. I loved the dancing. And I loved to see you all moving and exercising.”

Before she left, the first lady said, ”I need some hugs,” and she then proceeded to give individual hugs, small group hugs and large group hugs.”
Feeling left out of the love fest, the children in the upper levels shouted out, ” Come up! Come up!”

Photos by AP

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