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Long-Distance Love

Five years and continents apart, their love held on



In 2005, Dona Giorgadze was living in Georgia (the country), with her estranged husband and two young daughters. She was 29, had never left her country, and decided to attend a childhood friend’s wedding in Austin, Texas. Her visa was good for six months, so she decided to stay and work for a bit, until it expired.

After the wedding, she moved in with a friend in New York City, and within three days she had secured a full-time babysitting job in Scarsdale, for two girls the same ages as her own daughters back home. “It was luck,” she says of the job she grew to love. Dona became the girls’ caretaker, housekeeper, and cook.

The family had a Memorial Day barbecue and Dona met her boss’ friend, David Augustine. “David stayed and talked to me longer than anyone else did,” recalls Dona. “We had this chemistry and connection from first site.”
“I was amazed by everything about her from the very first meeting,” adds David. “She was beautiful and kind and had such a positive and strong personality. And I loved the sound of her voice.”

After the party, he realized he had left his sweatshirt at the house, so he asked Dona to hold onto it for him. “I went back two days later and that was the beginning of our relationship,” says David. “That next Sunday I took Dona on our first date to NYC. We went to the Guggenheim, the Nicholas Roerich, and the MET.”
“It was an unforgettable first date. I remember every single second of it,” she says.

For the next two months, David and Dona spent as much time together as possible. On August 17, her birthday, David took her to the airport to say goodbye (pictured below). “We were both crying,” she says. “I said, ‘Let me go back. Time will show if our love is really true.’”

When she returned to Georgia, she knew her marriage was over, and she moved into a new place with her daughters, where they lived for five years. During those five years, she and David were in constant communication. In 2008, they spent three weeks in Italy. It was the first time they had seen each other in three years. “You don’t know if you’re going to have the same feelings,” she says. “But we did.”

The following year, he went to Georgia for three weeks and met her daughters, who felt like they already knew him because their mom talked of him so much.  
In the fifth year of their long-distance relationship, he sent her a fiancee visa and started looking for places to live. On September 23, 2010, just over five years since they had met, Dona and her daughters moved in with David in Ridgefield. “We woke up the the first morning and walked through our neighborhood in Fox Hill. Everyone was so friendly,” she explains.

David and Dona were married on December 11, 2010. Dona jumped right into local life by joining Newcomers and applying for jobs. If she looks familiar (pictured in a recent photo, top), it’s because she worked for Ross’ Bread for two years—first as a barista, and then as a manager. David says, “So many people know Dona now I think she could run for mayor.”

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