Dinner at Moyo was on July 6th, I think.
Monday this week some new friends of ours took us to a restaurant in Pretoria, South Africa, called Moyo. The wife of the couple described it as, ‘what Africa should be.’ We pulled into the nature preserve where it was located, parked, and were immediately greeted by two smiling hosts dressed in long tunics made of heavily patterned clothe. We walked up the long walkway chatting with them about the World Cup, we quickly noticed that the pavers in the grass were made of large slices of log. We ended up hopping from each one to another like children commenting on the resourcefulness and creativity of these pavers.
The restaurant had a gigantic wrap-around patio covered in couches and tables. Being winter we opted to sit inside. A large circular bar was stationed in the middle of the circular building. There were tables tucked in around staircases and couches in the corners. The inside of the restaurant was covered in beautiful glittering mosaics and there was a gently repeated peacock motif. It was gorgeous.
We perched on chairs and wrapped fleecey blankets around us (they were draped over the chairs) and pored over the menu. We had to send the waiter back three times until we could decide on what we wanted. The menu featured entrees inspired by Nigeria, South Africa, Ethiopia, and a few other countries. Literally the best of Africa on a plate. Emma woke up from her car ride induced nap and began to look around. She was squirming around in my arms and couldn’t seem to get enough of the surroundings.
Our meals arrived, ostrich fillet coated in Ethiopian seasonings and Nigerian beef Kebabs. Scott and I took turns holding our baby and eating our meals. After dinner the staff had been tipped off that it was my husband’s birthday. The waiters and hostesses surrounded us and began a rhythmic drumbeat on several bongo drum, they thumped and sang my husband into his next year of life. Emma was enthralled, my back was to the performance she strained and stretched herself over my shoulder, her wee little hand gripped the back of the chair. Her pink tongue poked out of her rosebud mouth as she stared in amazement. I kept waiting for her to burst into tears out of fright, but she didn’t. She was thrilled. For the first time in a long time some of the cynicism that my heart has gathered about Africa was shucked. I felt the drums and heard the singing through my daughter’s big eyes.
I think that is one of things about becoming a parent you can see the world through the eyes of your children. Some of the chinks and jadedness that we gather as adults go away when we see things we have seen a million times before through their brand new perspective.