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A Conversation
Two women STELLA JELIMO and EUNIA ATIENO meet on their way from the market and after exchanging greetings fall into conversation about a peace forum both had heard about:


STELLA JELIMO: Rotich told me that the peace forum went well and people spoke truly from their hearts and that there was a mzungu there and we really told him how it really is!
EUNIA ATIENO: That’s funny! And that’s good. I hear the talk was serious… but I also hear that you people were claiming that this land is not ours?! That you people hate us!  So do I take it that you hate me? That you hate me too? After all we have been neighbours for years! We’ve shared many things. You helped me when my son was born, and that time you had visitors I came over to help you!
STELLA JELIMO:  Listen my sister, my problem isn’t with you but with your people.  This was our land and now ever since you moved here, the boundaries have moved and the names have changed.We used to call this place KIPSISIN but you changed it to OWIRO.So we feel we’ve lost our land and our young men feel very bitter, they are so bitter.
EUNIA ATIENO: My sister, I don’t think you’re getting this right. My people never grabbed land from anyone; we own this land and even have titles to it, I think it’s something else and you’re not telling me. We have the same rights to this land as you do because we bought it with good money!
STELLA JELIMO: What about my children? We have no land to leave them so how will they live when we die? This is our land yet I have no title!
EUNICE ATIENO: Well, I am troubled because our cows have been taken so we have no milk for the children unless I buy it and your men are grazing cattle on our land and even damage our cabbages and have burned down sugarcane on our shambas!
STELLA JELIMO: We don’t do that!
EUNIA ATIENO: But somebody did it and no one has done anything about it. There’s impunity!
STELLA JELIMO: But I don’t have a problem with you, my sister!
EUNIA ATIENO: But I know you want me to leave!
STELLA JELIMO: Not really…
EUNIA ATIENO: I know you do and it hurts me deeply, it makes my belly boil with anger!  ….But my sister I have nowhere to go, this is my home , this is where my grandpa and father died and they were buried here so we can’t leave without them. I ask you my sister, do you want me to die?
STELLA JELIMO: No I don’t want you to die but how can we live together while water is boiling in the pot?
EUNIA ATIENO: Now… I don’t know and yet you are my sister. What can we do? Let’s hope and pray that God intervenes.