Imagine what your life was like when you were 16 years old. Were you cramming for a test, going out with friends, or getting proposed to? Not many people can say the third option, but Consejo Nucum, the grandma of a KUNR Youth Media reporter, Janelle Olisea, can. Janelle sits down with her grandma to discuss one of the most unexpected moments in her life.
JANELLE: You told me a story about how, when you were 16 years old, your boyfriend proposed to you. Can you tell me more about that?
CONSEJO: We were classmates from grade one to grade six. Every semester break, we were in our town doing some, you know, happenings. I was 16 and he was 17. Then one time he told me, ‘what if before I go to Manila,’ because he will take up medicine, he said, ‘let's get married now.’ I said, ‘Huh? I haven’t gotten married yet because I'm young.’ Then he said, ‘if you don't want to get married now, I will go to Manila, take my medicine and then you just wait for me.’ ‘Oh, okay. That's a good deal,’ I told him, ‘I’ll just wait for you.’ My boyfriend keeps on writing. Every week, I received a letter from him. After seven or 10 years, he's already graduated, but he's already married.
JANELLE: Did you wait for him? Did you have any other boyfriends?
CONSEJO: I really [waited] for him. I did not have any boyfriend.
JANELLE: Why didn't you get mad at him?
CONSEJO: Because I feel that I still love him, but maybe that's God's will, that that is my destiny. That the Lord will give me another man, and he will give my boyfriend another girl.
JANELLE: And as a result, you had six children! So obviously it wasn't that bad.
CONSEJO: I had six children. Yeah.
JANELLE: I'm 16, and I can't imagine getting proposed to at this age. What [are] your words of wisdom on love?
CONSEJO: Just enjoy your life, but not too much to destroy it, because you have plenty of time to meet young people before deciding on a life partner.
Janelle Olisea is a student at the Academy of Arts, Careers and Technology in Reno, as well as a reporter for our youth media program, a special partnership with the Washoe County School District to train the next generation of journalists. Since the start of the pandemic, the program has met remotely, and students have not been reporting in the field in order to avoid the transmission of COVID-19.
Music by Podington Bear.