Melania Trump revealed her maternal side on Thursday morning when she comforted a shy little girl after landing in Malawi for the second stop of her Africa tour.
The first lady landed at Lilongwe International Airport in Lumbadzi after a six-hour flight from Ghana, during which she changed out of her casual Converse sneakers and jeans in favor of a beige $745 Joseph shirt dress and a pair of $625 Manolo Blahnik heels.
Melania waved happily at the crowds as she emerged from the presidential aircraft, before making her way down the steps and onto the tarmac, where she was greeted by MalawiXCHARXs first lady Gertrude Maseko, crowds of cheering children, and a rather solemn-looking schoolgirl, who presented the 48-year-old with a large bouquet of flowers.
Smile! Melania Trump was seen comforting a shy little girl upon her arrival in Malawi for the second stop of her Africa tour
DonXCHARXt worry! The youngster seemed slightly put off by all the attention, but was quickly cheered up by the 48-year-old who spent a few minutes chatting with her, after being presented with a bouquet of flowers
Conversation: Melania placed her hand on the little girl’s back as she exchanged a few words with her upon her arrival
Sweet moment: The mother-of-one smiled at the little girl, and appeared to be trying to make her feel more comfortable
Landing: Melania landed in the capital of Lilongwe on Thursday for the second stop of her solo visit to Africa, wearing a chic $745 Joseph shirt dress and a pair of $625 Manolo Blahnik heels
Clearly sensing the youngster’s unease, mother-of-one Melania was seen crouching down to the ground and patting the flower girl comfortingly on the back, while smiling and chattering away to her.
Melania’s friendly words clearly worked, and the little girl, who was wearing a blue school uniform and black shoes, appeared to perk up slightly as their conversation continued.
Shortly after her arrival in Malawi, Melania’s husband, President Donald Trump, took to Twitter to praise his wife, congratulating her on the success of her tour thus far.
‘Our country’s great First Lady, Melania, is doing really well in Africa,’ he wrote. ‘The people love her, and she loves them! It is a beautiful thing to see.’
During her trip to Lilongwe, Melania was scheduled to visit a local primary school and tour classrooms, observe an English lesson, meet teachers, and donate textbooks and Be Best-branded soccer balls.
She was seen arriving at Chipala Primary School and delightedly waving to the waiting crowd as head teacher Maureen Masi showed her around the premises.
Visit: During her trip to Lilongwe, Melania visited Chipala Primary School, a local primary school, with head teacher Maureen Masi showing her around the premises, including the soccer field
Greetings: The first lady waved to children and others as she visited the school, having changed out of her suede high heels and into the same pair of $49.95 snakeskin Zara loafers that she wore in Ghana on Wednesday
Activities: During her visit, Melania was scheduled to tour classrooms, observe an English lesson, meet teachers, and donate textbooks and soccer balls
Ready for a game? One of the young players handed Melania a ball at one point, although she didn’t seem overly eager to jump into the action
Branding: Melania donated several baskets of Be Best-branded soccer balls to the school, and was no doubt delighted to see the children playing with them
Introduction: There was a massive crowd of children and teachers gathered around as Melania was given her tour
Melania changed her shoes for that part of the visit, swapping her Manolo Blahnik heels for flat snakeskin loafers XCHARX the same $49.95 Zara pair that she was seen wearing on Wednesday while touring the Cape Coast Castle XCHARX a former slave-trading site XCHARX on West AfricaXCHARXs Gold Cost.
The shoe change was certainly a sensible choice, because part of Melania’s school tour involved her heading out onto a dirt soccer field, where she happily cheered on several young players as they practiced.
At one point, Melania was pictured handing one of the soccer balls to a player, however she didn’t appear to make any attempt to actually join in the game – instead choosing to leave that up to the young experts who were happily running around the field as she watched on.
Learning: Melania sat in on what appeared to be an English language lesson, watching on as a teacher spoke to the class
Crowds: Dozens of uniform-clad children took part in the class
Helping hand: During the language lesson, Melania, whose 12-year-old son Barron attends a private school in Maryland, leaned over to help one youngster with her reading
Greetings: Melania was led around several different areas of the school, including an outdoor classroom, where a group of students was gathered in front of a chalkboard
Lessons: Melania perched on the edge of a cement bench as the teacher addressed the class
Happy: Several of the kids stood up to speak to the first lady, as she looked on with a wide smile
The first lady, whose 12-year-old son Barron attends the private school St. Andrew’s in Potomac, Maryland, also had the chance to sit in on a few lessons, joining two students at the front of the classroom during what appeared to be an English language class.
Melania was seen leaning over to help one youngster read from a book, and also watched on as one of the teachers instructed the class at a chalkboard, using a wooden pointer to indicate to different words, like ‘leg’, that had been written in several columns.
Many of the young children were seen wearing name signs around their necks, with the two children sitting next to her in the classroom both wearing cardboard labels with their monikers written in marker.
Melania also plans to visit the Statehouse during her first day in Malawi, where she will enjoy a private tea with her fellow first lady Gertrude – just as she did with the first lady of Ghana during the first day of her trip.
The first ladies also are expected to walk through the gardens and watch a traditional dance performance.
Melania opened her first extended solo international trip on Tuesday in Ghana, arriving in the African country after a 12-hour flight from Washington, D.C. Her day in the capital of Accra was spent visiting a local hospital to learn more about local welfare initiatives for children, while also getting the chance to promote her Be Best initiative.
Celebration: The first lady was met by cheering crowds and dancers, with many waving both the American flag and the flag of Malawi as Melania walked past
Counterpart: Malawi’s first lady Gertrude Mutharika greeted Melania as she stepped off the plane; the pair are set to visit a local primary school together
Friendship: Melania and Gertrude will also enjoy a private tea together on Thursday afternoon
Quick change! Melania changed out of the jeans and Converse sneakers she was seen wearing at the airport in Ghana during the six-hour flight, before landing in Malawi in a new ensemble
Early start: The first lady left Ghana in the morning on Thursday, boarding her presidential plane at Kotoka International Airport, which is where she first landed in Africa on Tuesday
She then enjoyed afternoon tea with her Ghanaian counterpart at the presidential palace in Accra, and on Wednesday, Melania toured the Cape Coast Castle, a former slave-trading site on West Africa’s Gold Coast, after meeting with local Fante tribe chiefs in order to ask for their permission to visit the UNESCO site.
Melania became emotional as she visited the 17th Century slave trading outpost, which is located two-and-a-half hours from the capital of Accra, where she stayed the night before.
She spent around an hour at the castle, touring its dungeons and walking through the sacred XCHARXDoor of No ReturnXCHARX which thousands of slaves passed through in the 1800s before boarding cargo ships which ferried them across the Atlantic to the Americas to work for white masters.
According to her spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham, the focus of Melania’s tour, which also includes trips to Kenya and Egypt, is humanitarian efforts, specifically those funded by US government aid, and those that work to better the lives of children.
Another key purpose of her tour is to promote ‘education, healthcare, some conservation, and tourism’.
Melania is expected to return to Washington, D.C. on October 7.