Phaedra Parks

Phaedra explains how her time vacationing with Jane Fonda inspired her to plan the Africa trip.

on Jan 26, 2012

Often change requires an initial visit to an uncomfortable place both literally and figuratively. In order to effect change it may be necessary to "unlearn" some things and get into a place which forces you to think differently and redirect your perspective. In such a space the environment is ripe for mental and spiritual evolution. As I began planning our upcoming voyage to Africa, I reflected on a perspective changing vacation in 2009, which not only renewed my spirit but also enlightened my purpose. During that summer I had the distinct pleasure of vacationing with Jane Fonda in South America, touring the picturesque Galapagos Islands. This trip proved to be a pivotal turning point in my life. I soaked up the exquisite wisdom dripping from each conversation. Ms. Jane's courageous spirit and feisty personality gave me insight and direction. Even in the moments of silence, my spirit was afforded bountiful guidance and wisdom. Everybody knows it is not what you say but what you do that sets the best example for others. Listening to Ms. Jane speak about her experiences and her beautiful African American daughter and meeting her birth children gave me hope that anything is possible if you dare to dream and are willing to work hard.

The reflection of my time with Ms. Jane in 2009 propelled me to create a life changing experience for myself and the ladies by arranging an adventure to Africa. I want to pour into others that which has been poured into me – purposeful perspective, while having an amazing exploration. I knew it was imperative for me and the ladies to be mature enough to look beyond any unresolved issues to include everyone on this voyage to Africa. With the majority of us being descendants of Africa, as African American women we should lean on the wisdom of Jane Fonda who eloquently noted, "We are the pioneers of this generation, the ones who need to compose together a template for how to maximize the potential of this amazing gift of time, so as to become whole, fully realized people over the longer life arc." I know this trip to Africa will inspire a shift in perspectives while opening our minds and hearts to richer possibilities. During this New Year, I pray that you find your physical, spiritual, and mental beings in a state of order, and that your steps are ordered by God.