Site of Planned Adolescent Centre Welcomes a Very Special Visitor!
The following post was written by Peter Butzen,
US Peace Corps Volunteer and Teen Club Project Assistant.
On Friday June 24th, 2011 , The First Lady of the United States of America, Mrs. Michelle Obama, helped Teen Club leaders paint a mural at the future site of the Botswana-Baylor COE Teen Club Adolescent Centre. The thrilling occasion will no doubt be remembered as the most electrifying event in Teen Club’s history.
The long-awaited moment became real as the enormous motorcade turned onto Hospital Way. The only thing louder than the wailing sirens of the police escort was the enthusiastic crowd at the Botswana-Baylor Children’s Clinical Centre of Excellence. Across the street, at the site of the Adolescent Centre to-be, Teen Club leaders’ insuppressible grins of excitement betrayed their otherwise cool demeanor. The mounting anticipation peaked as Professor Gabriel Anabwani approached the First Lady’s black SUV and welcomed Michelle Obama to the Adolescent Centre with a warm hug.
After introducing Mrs. Obama to some of the teens’ caregivers and explaining the planned Adolescent Centre, Professor Anabwani led the First Lady to the awaiting teens, who were anxiously anticipating their chance to work beside and speak with such an inspirational and extraordinary individual. While they painted together, Mrs. Obama spoke candidly with the teens about their dreams and aspirations; she offered some advice and shared words of encouragement.
Time seemed to pass in an instant and both the Teen Club leaders and the First Lady were reluctant for the visit to end. Mrs. Obama gave each of the adolescents affectionate hugs and then gathered the ensemble for a group photo. The teens then thanked her for visiting and presented her with Teen Club ya Chesa t-shirts for her, President Obama and the entire family.
Mrs. Obama was accompanied by her mother, Marian Robinson, and her two daughters, Malia and Sasha, as well as her niece and nephew, Leslie and Avery . The whole family displayed their artistic abilities as they all painted with the Teen Club representatives. Disappointed that she did not have time to blend the colors in the sun she painted, Mrs. Obama mused that she and the family would have to return to finish the mural and to see the Adolescent Centre when completed.