The things a girl will do for love.
Davina Reeves, a fetching former Miss New York, has given up the glamor of Gotham for new life with husband Ireneusz Ciara in a pretty but poky Polish town.
Instead of trying to make it on Broadway, the 29-year-old Harlem actress and model is now working the stage at a local theater company in Walbrzych, a city of just 120,000, and raising their now 1-year-old son.
And she’s doing it all in Polish, a tongue-twister of a language most Americans find daunting.
It was very difficult, but you feel like a new person when you speak a new language,” Reeves said. “And people are happy when I speak Polish. They are very surprised when I just say ‘thank you,’ and it’s only one word.
For the record, ‘thank you’ in Polish is “dziekuje,” which is pronounced jane-koo-yeah.
Reeves, who won the Miss New York crown in 2010, said she sometimes misses her New York pals and that being half-black and half-white in a mostly white country like Poland is an adjustment.
But I feel a great warmth here,” she said. “And that’s why I love Poland — because Poland loves me.
Reeves fell for Ciara, a 46-year-old nutritionist who had lived in the U.S. for two decades, before she fell for Poland.
I actually hired him when I was Miss New York to prepare food for me,” she said. “There’s a Polish saying about how the stomach leads to the heart. Well, that’s what happened to me. He taught me how to make food and taught me to find more of a center in myself.
Then in November, they flew to Poland to see Ciara’s family and to show off their infant son, Ilia.
We thought we were going to Poland for just a vacation,” she said. “My husband’s mother had broken her leg, and his father was recovering from a stroke. But I ended up getting a job, and we decided to settle down over here.
Reeves said the Poles have made her feel right at home.
Everyone in America always claims that it is great, but we don’t really know what they are thinking,” she said. “They hide their emotions behind a kind of mask which makes it not real. Here people are more real. Open, honest and direct.
Reeves also turns heads wherever she goes in Poland.
“She’s so exotic and unique to them,” her sister, Ashley Reeves, said.
Located near the Czech border, Walbrzych is a scenic city that had been, up till now, best known as the hometown of NFL placekicker Sebastian Janikowski.
People often ask me why I live in Poland, Reeves said.
To me, it’s a strange question. I’m living in a beautiful country full of great people.
‘Everyone in America always claims that it is great, but we don’t really know what they are thinking,’ she told the New York Daily News.
‘They hide their emotions behind a kind of mask which makes it not real. Here people are more real. Open, honest and direct.’
She’s even learning Polish, a language that most Americans find incredibly challenging.
‘It was very difficult, but you feel like a new person when you speak a new language,’ Reeves said. ‘And people are happy when I speak Polish. They are very surprised when I just say “thank you”, and it’s only one word.’
Davina Reeves (29) met Irek Ciara (46), nutritionist, during her reign as Miss New York in 2010 when she hired him to prepare meals for her.
‘There’s a Polish saying about how the stomach leads to the heart,’ she told the paper.
‘Well, that’s what happened to me. He taught me how to make food and taught me to find more of a center in myself.’
She and her husband decided to settle in Poland after traveling there to visit his family. His mother was recovering from a broken leg, while his father was on the mend after having a stroke.
Reeves explained that being half-black and half-white in a mostly white country like Poland is an adjustment – and, according to her sister Ashley Reeves, she gets lots of attention because she is ‘exotic and unique’ to the locals.
But I feel a great warmth here,’ she said. ‘And that’s why I love Poland — because Poland loves me.
Reeves is also no stranger to taking leaps of faith.
Two years ago, she caused a stir at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade by hopping uninvited on the float with then-Miss USA Rima Fakih. She rode down the route for five blocks, blowing kisses to adoring fans before she got the boot.