For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 25, 2008
President Bush Visits Northwest Boys & Girls Club in Hartford, Connecticut
Northwest Boys & Girls Club
11:30 A.M. EDT
MS. DOOLITTLE: Actually, Mr. President, I know that you went to Africa. I got a great chance to go to Africa with your wife and kind of see firsthand in Zambia what the disease does to people and how much they are appreciative of these bed nets. I know you got to travel, so I'd love it if you'd share with us what --
THE PRESIDENT: Sure. I think the thing that I would start with was how appreciative people in Africa were of the fact that total strangers cared about their lives. You see, if you are a mother who is holding a baby that is sick because of a mosquito bite, it creates a lot of hopelessness, and you really wonder whether anybody cares. And the fact that total strangers would come together -- in Boys and Girls Clubs, or basketball teams, or singers -- and care about them really lifts their spirits.
And so it's been really interesting to travel to Africa and see how appreciative the people in Africa are of the United States and its citizens. Isn't it interesting that -- there's a call to love your neighbor like you'd like to be loved yourself, and that's what you're doing. And I'm here really to thank all the people, not only here but across the country, for being so supportive of a humanitarian effort that is worthy of a great nation.
So the trip was great. It was really a lot of fun. You know what it's like there.
MS. DOOLITTLE: I do, I do.
THE PRESIDENT: Exciting.
MS. DOOLITTLE: Yes, and I think the thing that struck me the most is that in the midst of all of that devastation that you see -- they are the most joyful people you will ever meet in your entire life. And that also is infectious. So that is one thing that I wanted to catch going out of Africa, is that joy that they had in the midst of all that they were going through. These are people that absolutely love life, they cherish it. And we need to help them cherish that life a little longer. So it's a wonderful, wonderful thing you do.
I would love to have each one come up and --
THE PRESIDENT: I'd love to. I don't think there's enough cameras. (Laughter.)
END 11:31 A.M. EDT