In Kemantian, apple pie is a rare treat that we make only for special occasions, like Thanksgiving or Christmas. It involves bringing in apples from the lowlands, which cost about 50 cents each. You could make a banana pie with no problem, but apple pie takes more money and effort. So, we make it only occasionally.
Holidays here in Kemantian are interesting occasions. Chances are, you might be sick during the holiday as the malaria cycle comes and goes. But if it’s the day before Thanksgiving, you drag yourself out of bed, make an apple pie as quickly as you can, and then lie down again. On Thanksgiving day, sick or not, you’ll probably work at the clinic in the morning and then go back home, collapse on the floor and sleep until the company arrives for the Thanksgiving meal. Then you pull yourself together and go to dinner, watching everyone eat all the special food and trying to eat a little yourself even though you have no appetite. Once the company leaves, you head back to bed.
You might spend much of the rest of the evening in the outhouse as your sick stomach struggles with the little bit of thanksgiving dinner you were able to get down. You didn’t even try the apple pie. You look at the remaining pieces and sadly realize that again this precious treat will end up either being given away or thrown out. You think back to the Christmas when about half of the staff were sick in bed, or the previous Christmas when you just barely got well enough to be hungry for Christmas dinner and that precious apple pie, but your poor roommate spent the whole night throwing up everything she had eaten.
Oh well, apple pie, we will try again next time.