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The First Lady in Hawaii for APEC

Summary: 
This weekend, First Lady Michelle Obama joined the President in Hawaii to help host the conference of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders.
201111114 APEC cultural event

Leaders and their spouses watch cultural performance at the APEC summit at the Hale Koa Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

This weekend, First Lady Michelle Obama joined the President in Hawaii to host the conference of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders.

At a luncheon for APEC spouses, Mrs. Obama discussed why Hawaii is uniquely suited to entertain talks like those held between the 21 nations in attendance: 

Hawaii is an incredibly diverse place; it's home to people of all different cultures.  And there’s a special spirit here –- a spirit of openness and tolerance. And I have experienced it myself. I feel like this is my home away from  home, a place where I feel welcome and open and optimistic. Folks here view their differences as strengths –- not as weaknesses. And people of all different backgrounds live together and work together and seek to learn from each other. 

The meal featured produce from the MA'O Organic Farm -- which the First Lady toured over the weekend. Guiding her through the farm, which is also home to a youth leadership program, were high school and college interns.

At the luncheon, the First Lady presented each of the spouses with a personal gift created by Hawaiian artists.