Trump spent about an hour on a tour Wednesday of the 17th century Cape Coast Castle, including inside the castle’s dungeon for male slaves — used as a holding area before they were sent across the Atlantic Ocean. She said the tour is “really something that people should see and experience.”
“This is a very special place. I will never forget the stories,” Trump said at the castle. “What happened so many years ago … it’s really a tragedy.”
Trump laid a wreath near the “Door of No Return,” which leads to the ocean. She also signed a guestbook, telling reporters she inscribed an appreciation for the “warm welcome” she has received.
Prior to her tour at the Cape Coast Castle, Trump participated in the ritual of asking permission of Ghana King Osabarimba Kwesi Atta II to visit the grounds. The cultural formality took place in the “Obama Hall” at the Emintsimadze Palace.
On Tuesday, Trump visited the Greater Accra Regional Hospital in Ghana and spent some time with a baby clinic. She passed out teddy bears and baby blankets as she spoke with children and held infants.
Trump’s trip is expected to include plenty of visits to hospitals, schools and shelters as part of her efforts to focus on the well-being of children. The mother of a 12-year-old son, child welfare is a particularly important issue for the first lady, who launched her advocacy initiative “Be Best” earlier this year. As Trump says, the campaign is “shining a spotlight on successful programs and organizations that teach children tools and skills.”
Trump also met with Ghana’s first lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, at the presidential palace Tuesday. The pair had previously met earlier this year during the U.N. General Assembly in New York.
The women traded gifts Tuesday: a White House tray in a signed leather case for Akufo-Addo and a Kente cloth and artifacts for Trump.
Next up on her trip are visits to Malawi, Kenya and Egypt. Trump joins other first ladies – Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama – who also made solo trips to Africa.