\Hi! My name is Mackenzie, and I’m originally from Halifax, Massachusetts in the United States. I graduated from Villanova University in 2018 with a B.S. in chemical engineering and minors in biochemical engineering and sustainability studies. During that time, I developed a passion for sustainable international development, which led me to participate in various projects in India, Indonesia, and Madagascar.
Currently a graduate student pursuing my master’s degree in the international development track in the Sustainable Engineering program at Villanova University, I originally started this site while working as a 2019-2020 U.S. State Department Fulbright Student Research Fellow. With this grant, I initially planned to spend 12 months in Indonesia completing an independent research project titled “Analyzing the Rural Utilization Potential of Alternative Feedstocks for Anaerobic Digestion in Indonesia.” My research was intended to last from December 2019 – December 2020, though it was terminated in March 2020 due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, I’ve chosen to share my wanderings through the eyes of a traveler, not of a tourist, and I’ve chosen to document only those locations which I’ve experienced personally to incorporate authenticity into my accounts.
So why is my page titled “Dirt on Your Shoes?” Well, the best way to gain an understanding of a place is to visit it yourself – to get dirt on your shoes, as one might say. In Indonesia, I was getting my shoes a bit dirty as I attempted to understand the feasibility of renewable energy via anaerobic digestion from agricultural wastes in rural communities. Now, I’m adapting this philosophy to explore history, culture, and tradition worldwide.