As a part-time SAHM and part-time substitute teacher, I have a fair amount of time on my hands from day to day.  I could spend that time surfing the web, playing on Twitter, Facebook & Pinterest and sleeping (which I’ve done and still do from time to time) or I could do something worthwhile with my time.  I decided that since I couldn’t find paying work, that I would occupy myself and give something back by volunteering in the community.  Over the holidays I worked at the H-E-B Feast of Sharing event and really enjoyed giving of myself and being involved with the event-goers.  This past weekend, I volunteered with the 25th Annual Asian Festival celebrating the Year of the Dragon at the University of Texas – San Antonio‘s Institute of Texan Cultures.

Saturday was a beautiful, sunny, blue-sky day.  Not a cloud in the sky, a little breezy but a gorgeous day for a festival.  I had a great volunteer job working in the “Command Center” which is the nerve center for the festival.  We sat at the loading dock at the ITC and waited for someone, anyone, to call or radio us from elsewhere at the festival and ask for help.  Usually it was that they needed something brought to them like ice or drinks or a cart for loading or unloading.  Then I or one of my other fellow volunteers would load up and head to wherever they needed us.  So, along the way we got to see pretty much the whole festival.  All of the vendors, concessionaires, and I got to see a couple of performers inside the ITC while waiting to load up some instruments.

The Command Center also happened to be in a great place to see the acts on one of the outdoor stages so we got to experience nearly the whole festival while we were working.  One of the groups performing on the outdoor stage was a Chinese Dragon Dance, in honor of the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Dragon.  This dragon was 16 feet long and the staging area was right in front of our table.  It was beautiful to watch this team of dancers work together to make this 16 foot dragon move and undulate as if it was a real, living being.  They were quite a talented troupe.  I was surprised to see what a large and diverse Asian community San Antonio has.  After my volunteer shift ended, I was able to partake in some of the WIDE array of Asian street foods that the concessionaires offered for sale in the courtyard.  There was something from almost every country in Far East and South Asia that you could think of. Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Filipino, Pakistani, and even Burmese! I was surprised at that one.  I got adobo chicken and pancit from the booth run by Tabares Filipino Market and some sushi from the Sushi Zushi booth.  I’d never had Filipino food before and was blown away at how good it was.  The market is fairly close to where I live so I hope to go by there soon to try more of their goodies.  A Filipino friend I know through Twitter says I have to try Lumpia, which are Filipino egg rolls.