TLC’s 90 Day Fiance Talks to Rocking God’s House
I recently stumbled on a television program by accident — one that caught my eye by the title alone. And now I find myself setting my TVR every week so that I am able to catch every episode of this very interesting journey in the lives of four couples. Sound typical? Well, it is anything but. The show is TLC’s (The Learning Channel) 90 Day Fiance. The show offers an in-depth look into the lives and relationships of people who have decided to find love in the realm of international dating and matrimony. Most of the couples take advantage of a 90-day fiance visa, or k-1 visa, which offers four women from foreign countries the opportunity to come to the United States to live with their overseas fiances for the first time. The stipulation and basis for this television show (that I am now finding myself glued to non-stop) is that the couples only have 90 days to decide if should they walk down the aisle and embark on a relationship together or if they should call it off. The show is filled with mostly PG-13 comedy as these American men assist these women in overcoming culture shock, language barriers, the stereotype of “Mail Order Bride,” and introductions to skeptical family and friends. The clock starts the second these ladies step on American soil.
The couple I am really enjoying and relating to the most on the show is Russ and Paola (pronounced POW-la). Russ is 27, a Christian southern gent from Owasso, Oklahoma, and his fiance Paola, 26, is from Colombia, which is located in northwestern South America and bordered by Panama and Venezuela (and has an awesome view of the Caribbean Sea).
Russ, an oil rig consultant, had moved to Colombia for work where he met Paola at a local house party get together. According to their testimonies on the show, they were immediately drawn to each other and soon started to date thereafter. Just as love started to blossom, Russ’s job called him back to the United States. They had been separated ever since, except for one trip he took to Colombia to propose to her on their anniversary. It is interesting to watch these two worlds collide as Paola, who is used to fast paced city life in Colombia, moves to Russ’s hometown of Owasso where they will live with Russ’s parents in separate rooms and learn the lay of the land: enjoying Oklahoma cuisine, riding mechanical bulls, and truly discovering what southern living really means.
Paola, how is life adapting in Oklahoma?
Well, I am doing the best I can. It can be difficult at times because I cannot drive myself or go anywhere. There is not many things to do, but I have to do the best I can to stay together.
Russ, how is life in Colombia compared to Oklahoma?
It is completely different — the culture, the traffic is way busier — they drive on the different side of the road than us. The traffic stays backed up, and it takes you a long time to get anywhere. It is a lot more busy there than here, but it is very beautiful.
Russ/Paola, I see that your family prays at every meal and are very adamant about faith and boundaries while you are under their roof. Has it always been like that?
Russ: Yes. My family has always put God first in every way. They want us to take this marriage engagement seriously, and we respect their wishes while we are under their roof. My parents have been married a long time and with our strong sense of family I would like to be a part of a lasting band with Paola in the same regard.
Paola: They are wonderful people. We all love God, and we pray and we all have a lot of fun being together. I love Russ’s mom and dad. They are very kind to me.
Russ/Paola, do you think 90 days is enough time to get married?
Russ: We have already been together a year and a half, so we had already decided that we wanted to get married. I don’t like the fact that the government can decide for me how long I have to make the decision, but we will do what we can to be together; we both want this.
Paola: When you are in love and you want to be together, you just gotta do whatever it takes to be in love, stay together and eventually be married.