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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. First Lady Tours Nursing School

APMichelle Obama meeting with nursing students at the St. Dmitry Nursing College of Sisters of Mercy on Tuesday.

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama took time away from her husband’s public diplomacy, summit speeches and protocol meetings Tuesday to visit a school for orphans and a nurse training college.

At St. Dmitry Primary School, where around 160 children, many of them orphans, study, Obama was met by around two dozen students at a second-grade classroom, where she listened to them read several poems in English and sing a Russian folk song.

Two of the children gave her homemade presents, and a girl in a wheelchair then asked Obama in Russian if she had any children. The first lady responded through a translator that she has two daughters — Malia and Sasha — who she said remained behind in the hotel with their grandmother.

“Those children have wonderful souls,” she said. “We will pray for you and them. I hope you will pray for us. I’m saying this on behalf of my country.”

Later Obama went on a tour of the complex’s St. Dmitry Cathedral and met with several dozen nursing students at the St. Dmitry Nursing College of Sisters of Mercy, established in 1992.

“It’s very important for us that you are doing a lot of charity. You have scored a record in fundraising and attracting volunteers,” the church’s chief priest, Arkady Shatov, told Obama.

After listening to the nursing students speak about their work in HIV and AIDS treatment projects, she said: “The education of the broader public is just as important as taking care of the patients.”

She was also given a nesting doll — dressed as a nurse.

Svetlana Arzamastseva, director of nursing college, later called Obama “a very beautiful person, an openhearted person” and noted Obama’s experience developing volunteers and fundraising for the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Later Obama and her daughters accompanied President Dmitry Medvedev’s wife, Svetlana, to the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theater, Interfax reported.

(AP, MT)