Welcome to Senegalease: Musings and Memoir.
In December of 2008, my husband and I moved from the United States to Senegal, West Africa with our two children, then three and four, to build an earth house and create an autonomous life. We installed solar panels and built our own wind-turbine, dug a well for our water and devised a composting toilet system, all of which enabled us to live bill-free and off-the-grid.
Three weeks after we arrived, on the day of my 43rd birthday, I learned that my best friend had passed away unexpectedly from coronary thrombosis. Her loss was a catalyst for me to begin writing about the trials and joys of our lives, about the daily beauty found in discovering a new land and the richness of its culture and people.
Leah Camille McCollough was a life coach and dreamed of one day becoming an ambassador to an African country. Our house is named in her honor: “Keur Leah,” Keur in local Wolof means both heart and home. Her spirit is woven into my daily life and much of my writing. She inspired me to always consider the unseen, the calm, the void as valuable and immeasurable. Her memory lives there.
Bio: Ellen Rowland is a freelance writer living in Senegal, West Africa, in an off-the-grid earth house she helped build with her husband and two young children. She writes about culture, family, interest-led learning and things that are good for the planet. Since moving to Africa in 2008, she has learned to live without TV, pluck a chicken and play in the mud. She is also founder and writer at http://amuddylife.com/