Sweet Potato Sticks
Baked sweet potatoes are an old favorite in our house. We love “fries” but we prefer to bake. One of our absolute favorite are these Sweet Potato Sticks – they are simple, healthy, and super tasty.
Cut sweet potatoes into nice long strips, almost an inch thick. Toss them in olive oil with salt, pepper, and some dried herbs like oregano. Bake at 400 F (200 C) for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. When they look ready, I add a little minced garlic, then bake for another 2 minutes. Serve them nice and hot!
Our XO Laptop
The XO is our new favorite computer 😉 This tiny green laptop is roughly the size of the slate I loved to write on when I was a little girl. If I had an XO back then, I would have been the happiest girl in India!
XO was developed by a wonderful bunch of Geeks, business leaders, artists, and everyone wanting to create a brilliant piece of technology at a low cost — all for educational use by under-privileged kids through the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program. You can donate an XO and it will be shipped to a needy kid anywhere around the world. OLPC is a perfect example of giving big in a small way. It is an effort for which this generation will be remembered and should be remembered. You can read more on the progress of this program at OLPC’s site.
I also want to share some of the reason why my husband and I got involved. When we married, we intentionally had a very low-key ceremony. We were and still are sick of the excess, the waste that happens, during weddings and otherwise among the wealthy. We decided to save the money spent on the cost of a big wedding, and to start our marriage off right by instead giving that much money away to the world’s neediest.
For the same reason, we asked everyone who wanted to give us a gift to first donate to one of the non-profits we had designated. They included Asha for Education for example, with whom we had both volunteered. Well, you can’t stop some family from giving you a wedding gift! so to square the results of our wedding gifts with our intentions, we also gave away a percentage of our cash gifts.
It’s not that we had a lot of cash we didn’t need. In fact I was out of a job, and at that time we had significant debt to go along with the financial uncertainty. If you wait until you feel rich enough to help those in need, then in the end you will have given much less than you were able to. It was hugely important to us to start our new life in the way that we wanted to live our whole life. When times are better, we do give more, but giving itself has been and will be a constant in our lives.
How you give is also important. We don’t just drop checks. We do our research and we are activists! We volunteer, attend meetings, petition, and even protest, whatever is needed. The OLPC project was a great combination of education and technology, giving both hope and real help to those in need. We were just about to donate to OLPC when we found that for a limited period of time, there would be a “Give One, Get One” promotion. How much better could it get?! My husband loves creating and engineering new ideas, and he loved the free and open source philosophy of the XO, too. Now that we have an XO to tinker with, we can do even more to contribute ideas for the needy kids of the world 🙂
The demand for donating these laptops was so high in North America (where the promotion was available) that although we gave several months ago, we only recently received our XO, but it has been so much fun. I might do some follow-up posts as I find more cool things to write about this cute green laptop. Until then, indulge in the simple joys of giving — and baked sweet potatoes!