Michelle Obama today wrapped up her weeklong tour of Africa, a whirlwind trek in which she hobnobbed with schoolkids, celebs, and dignitaries, and was hailed as American royalty by enthusiastic crowds. As Nelson Mandela's wife, Graca Machel, said: "We welcome you as a daughter of African heritage and we can call you the queen of our world." The first lady appears to have hit her stride, reports the AP in a fawning piece.
"She gives hope not just to women of color, but to women everywhere," says one Soweto native. Obama promoted youth leadership, education, HIV awareness, and generally kept a schedule more typical of a president than a first lady. "I have the advantage of really being able to set my own agenda," she says. "That's a privilege and there is real opportunity there." And, she adds, "I just want to be useful." Click through the gallery for scenes from the first lady's visit, or here for more on her visit with the Mandelas.