When I was 23 years old, I met a 20-year-old mother washing clothes outside her house who I thought was older than me. Way older. She looked like she was 30 years old. She had THREE children and was married. She asked me if I had a problem because I’ve been in a relationship for 3 years and I wasn’t pregnant. I said no. I said that I used condoms. I couldn’t afford to have a child yet.
She said, “But you’re rich (I earned 6t a month at that time and lived on my own in a dorm). Your family’s rich.”
So I told her, “My family is rich but I am not.”
She couldn’t understand what that meant.
In the next house I visited, a girl was pregnant at 16 and was going to get married to a guy of 17. In the legal papers they both placed their age as 18 so they could get married. They were going to live in the garage outside their in-law’s house.
In the house across was a 30-year-old grandmother who had 10 kids and 8 grandkids. She greeted me while fanning her grandchild that slept on her lap. Her almost-toothless grin made her look 20 years older and her back was already bent with age. A half naked child cried in a cot nearby. They stripped off the mattress so the child stood on the bars, his urine dripping down on his legs and onto the floor. They do it this way so that at the end of the day, they wash the floor, the cot and the child. They only use diapers at night.
Nobody pays attention to what the priest says about contraception. They can’t afford it. By the time they reach their 20s they regret having families and wish they were still single. They live out the lives they wished they had through their children, their daughters. Until their daughters end up having boyfriends and get pregnant at the age of 12…13…
Then the cycle continues.
Makes you wonder if parents and society play a big role in teenage pregnancy.