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Globe Trotter
by Danielle Brown
Clowning Around | Assumptions Challenged
Two years ago, a cardiologist cousin told Rita Golden Gelman about his experience in clown school, and how he and his wife practice therapeutic clowning. Intrigued, but unable to afford both the course and a flight to the school’s Minnesota location, she filed it away in the back of her mind as a possibility for later on. Fast forward to this summer; Rita gets an e-mail from a woman who is a fan of her book, “Tales of a Female Nomad” and would like to meet her. The woman invites Rita to come stay with her…in Minnesota! Rita accepts, and goes to clown school while she is there. This is how life unfurls, and comes together, for Rita Golden Gelman.

“Tales of a Female Nomad” is Rita’s tell-all, true-story account of how, at the age of forty-seven, she decided to turn her life around and start living her dreams. Over the past eighteen years, she has traveled and lived all over the world. A divorce was initially what spurred Rita into action, but traveling soon took on a momentum of its own. A self-described “modern-day nomad,” Rita has no permanent address, and no possessions that she cannot carry. Her plans for the future are vague; she prefers instead to rely on a successful combination of instinct and serendipity. People are her passion, and knowledge of their language, rituals, food, and culture, is her quest. She does not visit, she settles in.

Rita has lived in Guatemala, New Zealand, and with families in a remote Zapotec village in Mexico. She was in Nicaragua under the Sandinista government, watched blue-footed boobies dance their mating dance on the Galápagos Islands, and spent eight years in Bali, living with a prince and his family on their royal compound. Rita’s career as a well-known author of children’s books has allowed her to connect more easily with the many different people she meets, as well as support herself in her travels. She has, in fact, authored over seventy children’s stories, and often writes books about children in the places she has lived.

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