Thursday, June 23, 2011

Michelle Obama's Visit: Thursday

Thursday was actually pre-Michelle's visit, the FLOTUS (First Lady of the United States) visit.

One good thing about a small mission like ours is that when something big like this happens, you are likely to be called on to handle more than one task associated with the visit.

Among my tasks: Gifts.

I was the local point of contact for the White House gift officers. Yes, they have people whose job it is to bring (and wrap!) trunks of gifts for giving and fill those trunks with gifts received.

I made lists of who should receive gifts from the First Lady, and who had given gifts to her. I logged gifts for the First Lady and First Family on special forms, and made sure gifts were distributed to those the First Lady was gifting.

I was also in charge of the Big Gift Exchange: the gifts between the First Lady and the President of Botswana.

DSCN5552

I had to get some pics!

For security and logistical purposes, their gifts were exchanged on Thursday, the day before they were scheduled to meet.

I would love to have my own professional gift wrapper! Look how lovely this is! The wrapping is gold foil embossed with the Great Seal of the United States of America. There is a white ribbon overlayed with a gold tulle ribbon, secured with a gold sticker of the Great Seal. The pen is for perspective.

DSCN5549

My FAVORITE part was the card, hand-written by the White House calligrapher!

DSCN5550

p.s. shhh, since the President of Botswana is a nature lover and conservationist; the gift was an Ansel Adams photography book, signed by Ansel Adams!

Here is the gift from President Khama to the First Lady:

DSCN5565

I know what's inside ... it's a beautiful baked clay tea set, handmade in Gabane, Botswana. It's nestled in rich dark green velvet inside a big wooden box affixed with a brass plate with a description of the contents and the President's name.

I love the wrapping paper! The colors and stripes mimic the Botswana flag, and the design is highlighted by the coat of arms of Botswana, which features a pair of zebras. Beautiful.

4 comments:

Anne said...

What an awesome collateral duty to have! I love your job right now!

stephanie joy said...

Such an amazing experience and I love the wrap as well!

nomadic gnome said...

i love it. i live 2 miles from her and have never seen her in person. you live a billion miles from her and got to hang out with her for a few days.
your job is pretty cool, huh? :)

Z. Marie said...

I think I need an in-house calligrapher.