Good day all,
It was an extra early-rise day Saturday, but the chilly wind helped keep us all high energy and functioning. It was very encouraging to see how many volunteers showed up for the 6 a.m. shift–20+ to be sure–and humbling to experience the functionality of people coming together for a cause that we all stand behind. We completed all of the ‘set-up’ tasks far before expected and we were all able to help out in areas we did not initially expect to, which was both a positive learning experience and a true test of multitasking. One of the many highlights of my volunteer experience was the fact that I was able to spend my entire volunteer shift with my husband, which is incredibly rewarding, being able to experience the fun together. Another highlight was a young mother who decided to bring her young baby along with her the entire morning by carrying the baby in an Ergo type carrier, marsupial style. She was one diligent marsupial momma and she became my inspiration for that particular day and days to come. It was encouraging to see someone being active and volunteering as a woman and mother, deciding to not let her world stop because she is now a mom. She chose to involve her young one and display an act of community giving that is priceless. I know I’m about to sound terribly cliché, but it made my heart grow three sizes bigger. I was so taken aback, I had to tell her!
After our volunteer shift was completed, we decided to disguise our VegFest tees’ and become official guests of the event. Though we were a little rushed, I feel like the time we spent went swimmingly! The flow of the crowd seemed to be better circulated than in years past due to–in my opinion–better organization of the booths. Also, there were many more vendors and food stops where you could get information, samples, and a full-blown meal!
While walking around and getting to know the vendors–some old hats and some newbies–we came across a new company called Uber Foods that makes energy bars. After just one small sample and hearing about their new company from an eager young man, I decided to buy a bar; ‘dos cacao’. It’s made here in Austin, has only six ingredients and it’s gluten-free and vegan! It was pricy, but I never mind paying a little more for quality and in support of a growing company.
My tummy was soon grumbling for a meal following our volunteer shift and I had my eye set on Aster’s Ethiopian booth. It was good gloop! What’s wonderful about Ethiopian food is the manner in which they go about eating. They not only use their hands, but they consume the food with a spongy bread call injera made with teff flour, which is rich in amino acids and several vitamins and minerals. Some Ethiopian restaurants add wheat to their injera, however, Aster’s is 100% gluten-free! Happy tummies all around. 😀
We ended our Texas VegFest time, much like we did our second year, with a bowl of Sweet Ritual ice-cream–salted caramel. No sprinkles were on hand this year, but the ice-cream left nothing to be desired for a sweet tooth.
Attending Texas VegFest was a pleasant reminder that we should all take a moment to re-evaluate the way we approach our time and how we devote it, not only to the food we eat, but to other people around us. You get what you give in life, so let’s all try to give a little more. And if you can, involve the little one’s in your life in your activities. Experiences are the best gifts you can give and will last longer than all the toys in the world! Oh, and remember…bite responsibly!