The Day of the Dead

Jacira Pereira

Early in the morning Kiara woke up and opened her eyes wide as she heard the alarm go off. She quickly jumped out of bed, rushed to the bathroom and a rather cheeky face smiled at her as she looked in the mirror while washing her face. She got dressed at top speed. Then she listened to all the noises coming from the kitchen.

She slipped through the lounge on tiptoe to reach the door, stretched her neck to peek round it and looked into the kitchen.
Early in the morning Kiara woke up and opened her eyes wide as she heard the alarm go off. She quickly jumped out of bed, rushed to the bathroom and a rather cheeky face smiled at her as she looked in the mirror while washing her face. She got dressed at top speed. Then she listened to all the noises coming from the kitchen.

‘Are you going to meet your brothers? Without having breakfast?’ shouted Mum.
She slipped through the lounge on tiptoe to reach the door, stretched her neck to peek round it and looked into the kitchen.

‘Yes… Mum it’s 6am. I must go now. People will be arriving at the entrance of the cemetery already!’ Kiara then took two empty 500g paint containers, one in each hand, and set off together with her brothers to work in the cemetery.

Kiara was a little girl who lived in a far distant country in South America. She was from a big family with many brothers and sisters and her parents struggled to provide food for them to eat, clothes, shoes and a home where they all could live comfortably.

In South America once a year there was a celebration called ’The Day of the Dead’. On this day, Kiara and her brothers worked at the large cemetery, selling water to people visiting their dead relatives.

It is a date celebrated by the Catholic Church in many countries like Kiara’s. On this day, Christians pray for their dead, visiting the graves of the martyrs and praying for those close to them who have died. They bring fresh flowers to put in the vases on the graves.

Kiara and her brother waited for their customers at the busy entrance to the cemetery. Lots of people turned up and brought fresh flowers for their loved ones’ graves. But they had no water for the vases. Having to walk a very long distance to collect water from the fountain, the best option was to pay just a pound for Kiara and her brothers to provide the water.

Kiara collected water from a tap in the far corner of the cemetery and filled up her two containers. She then stood for just ten minutes with the water containers full, before the first customer asked for her help.

This was her first pound of the day. She and her customer walked a long way together until they got to the grave. Kiara poured water into the vase and then rushed back to the cemetery entrance for the next customer… there were a lot of people coming in.

It was a sad day for many visiting their dead relatives. However, for Kiara and her brothers, this was a really happy, lucky day. They worked long hours but it was fun and even better, they helped people with water that kept their flowers alive and looking beautiful for their loved ones. Moreover, they earned good money which helped their parents have food at home.

Kiara was the youngest and the happiest of all, as she was allowed to spend her money on the funfair and sweets.