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Song and a dance as Michelle Obama embarks on her first solo foreign visit

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On route to Mexico - her first solo trip abroad as first lady - Michelle Obama made a surprise stop in Haiti to help draw attention the plight of the country's people following January's earthquake
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 Photo: © Getty Images

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Upon finally arriving at her scheduled destination, she was greeted by a large gathering of youngsters, who all clamoured to catch a glimpse of President Obama's wife
 Photo: © Getty Images

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The energetic mum-of-two continued to be a hit with children on her visit wherever she went. On Wednesday, she really threw herself into the spirit of things, jumping around and dancing with the children of a local school
 Photo: © Getty Images

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During her visit to the facility, America's first lady found herself surrounded by young performers, whom she was only too happy to shower affection on
 Photo: © Getty Images

15 APRIL 2010

Wherever she went in the world, Michelle Obama's first solo international trip was going to make headlines.

And so, on route to Mexico for her debut foreign visit, America's first lady decided to make an unannounced visit to Haiti to help bring awareness to the ongoing plight of its people.

On Tuesday, Michelle made a stop over in the capital of Port-au-Prince with the vice president's wife, Jill Biden.

The two ladies saw first hand the devastation caused by the catastrophic January 12 earthquake, which claimed the lives of some 230,000 people, as they took a helicopter ride over the city to survey the scene.

"It's powerful," President Obama's wife said of the experience. "The devastation is definitely powerful."

During her trip, mum-of-two Michelle spent several hours visiting projects set up in the wake of the disaster, including a centre established in the capital's central plaza for children, who greeted the 46-year-old singing: "We are glad to see you," in Creole.

Speaking to reporters about her decision to visit Haiti, which has seen a number of celebrities arrive recently, Michelle told reporters: "We are at the point where the relief efforts are underway, but the attention of the world starts to wane a bit."

There are fresh concerns for the island's people as the rainy and hurricane season approaches.

Continuing on with her scheduled visit to Mexico, down-to-earth Michelle recorded a special video message from her plane talking about her hopes and plans for her visit.

As a self-proclaimed "mom-in-chief", she confirmed that her own "international agenda as first lady" is a "focus on speaking to young people".

It was fitting then, that as she stepped off the aircraft  in Mexico City, Michelle was warmly greeted by scores of youngsters, all waving flags and desperate to catch a glimpse of her.

That welcome really set the tone of the visit – taking place from April 13 to 15 – which saw the Harvard Law School graduate meet with a number of children during her stay in the area.

On Wednesday dozens of young people - some in wheel chairs and some working in sign language - gave a performance in her honour as she visited Mexico City's National Museum of Anthropology, where the beaming first lady thanked them in their national tongue.

And later that same day, energetic Michelle was seen jumping up and down and dancing around with a number of children from a public elementary school, some of whom were dressed up as Aztecs in homemade costumes.

Hugging the proud performers, who screamed and cheered her name, the first lady proclaimed: "That was beautiful, everything you did.

"I loved the singing, I loved the dancing. I love to see you all moving and exercising. Everyone here got to see the best of Mexico's young people."

On Wednesday evening, Michelle was due to dine with President Felipe Calderon and his wife Margarita Zavala, before meeting with community youth leaders the following day.

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