Begin forwarded message:
From: Anita Kumar >
Date: May 23, 2016 at 11:16:54 AM GMT+7
To: Desiree Barnes >
Subject: Preset pool #1
Monday, May 23, 2016
POTUS's motorcade arrived at the Presidential Palace at 10:33 a.m.
He was greeted at the corner of the complex by President Tran Dai
Quang of Vietnam, who came outside the palace a couple minutes
earlier. The two presidents interacted but your pooler's view was
obstructed by the motorcade.
The two presidents then walked onto a platform in the center of the
stone square in front of the palace. A military band played the two
countries' national anthems. POTUS held his hand over his heart for
the US national anthem.
Soldiers in white and green uniforms stood next to the red carpet on
the square and on stairs in front of the Presidential Palace.
The presidents then walked along the red carpet reviewing the troops.
POTUS came to the side of the square with the Vietnamese and US
delegations, greeting each person with a smile and a handshake.
The two presidents walked up the stairs and inside building at 10:44 pm.
POTUS's arrival route in the presidential complex was lined with
children in red, white and blue outfits waving small American and
Vietnamese flags. The boys wore navy blue shorts and the girls navy
blue skirts. All wore white shirts, plaid vests and white shoes.
A few minutes before POTUS arrived, Secretary of State John Kerry
walked out of the palace with Vietnamese officials.
The Presidential Palace, an ornate dark mustard colored building, has
sculptured gardens and a massive water fountain in front. Vietnamese
and US flags were on two poles near the fountain. There is a dark
green gate in front of the complex. US and Vietnamese flags adorned
the fence next to the gate.
Just next door is a beautiful white building - as some people called
it the "white house" - where the prime minister's offices are. Across
the street is the office of the Communist party.
Dozens upon dozens of Vietnamese and international journalists were
already set up in two areas by the time your pooler arrived.
Your pooler was told the weather is pleasant today though it's extremely warm.
Throughout the arrival ceremony, there was the not so faint buzz of
insects that sounded a lot like cicadas. The sirens of the motorcade
were drowned out by the insects.
Surprisingly, traffic continued to be allowed in front of presidential
complex until just before POTUS's arrival. Your pooler did not see
huge crowds waiting for POTUS or even buildings with government or
handmade signs welcoming him like in other countries.
Apologies on the delay. Wireless and a working cell phone are hard to
come by in Vietnam.
White House Correspondent