Friday, September 24

How We Met: ‘He had a great tan, but I made fun of his hair’ | Relations


In the summer of 2005, Waverley Grainger traveled to upstate New York to work as a counselor at a children’s summer camp. “I am originally from New Zealand and lived in Melbourne. It seemed like a great opportunity to travel, ”he says. “I was going to work with the children and give riding lessons.” Dave Kwong, a student from London, was working at the same camp. Although they knew each other from the beginning, they had different friendship circles and didn’t spend a lot of time together. “I remember having a great tan and making fun of [dyed] white tips in her hair, ”he laughs. “They were all the rage back then.” The following summer, they returned to the same camp, but both had summer romances with other people. While Waverley returned again in 2007, Dave did not, and after a disappointing summer, he had no plans to return. “I didn’t enjoy it as much as in previous years, but something told me I should come back for another year,” he says.

In 2008, they both returned to the field. This time, they were assigned to work in neighboring cabins and became close friends. “It was really cool to see her again,” says Dave. “She was that familiar face that I hadn’t seen in years. Returning counselors are placed in the same group and I got to know her a lot better. “The relationship moved quickly.” It’s a pretty intense bubble, “says Waverley.” We did nighttime activities with the kids and then we spent every night chatting. ” She found that she and Dave shared similar values, and he had a great sense of humor, while being drawn to her cheerful and caring personality. “It was also fun meeting someone from another country,” she says. “We love traveling. adventure and we wanted to explore a lot. “

Towards the end of the summer, they kissed and the next day Dave told her how much he liked her. Soon after, he left camp to travel, while Waverley took the older children on a trip to Disney World in Florida and then to the Bahamas. “I missed him while I was away, and I realized that this could really be something.” They met in New York at the end of August and decided to get the relationship going. Waverley returned to Australia to earn some money to come to the UK. Dave returned to Plymouth to finish his master’s degree in engineering. “I moved to London in May 2009,” he says. Later that year, they moved in together. Dave found a job in engineering, while Waverley works in retail design. They bought a house together in Colliers Wood in 2012 and live there with their cat.

The couple at a wedding in 2018.
The couple at a wedding in 2018. Photography: Waverley Grainger

Last year, Waverley’s father became seriously ill with cancer and the couple flew to New Zealand in September to say goodbye. “We had to quarantine ourselves for two weeks in a hotel, and then Dave was only able to stay in New Zealand for nine days,” he recalls. “He did that for me. He’s an outstanding guy. ”After his father’s death in December, he stayed for another month to support his family.

The couple, who got engaged in July 2019, spent the confinement planning their wedding. “We were destined to get married last summer, but had to move due to the pandemic. We hope it can move on in August, ”says Dave. As her family is originally from Hong Kong, part of the celebrations will include a traditional Chinese tea ceremony, and they also plan to host a party in New Zealand when it is safe to travel again. “We are very positive about the wedding, but we have decided not to stress over something that we have no control over,” says Waverley.

Dave loves that his partner is so considerate and always puts the needs of others before his own. “She is always thinking of me and gives me little gifts.” Waverley says that while it sounds cliché, she is lucky to have fallen in love with her best friend. “I’m still excited to see him after all this time together. It is so genuine and fun. Nothing puzzles him. Always find a solution. “

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