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January, 1917 "Oganga, The Giver and Taker of Life" Cont.

[Depicted in Oganga, The Giver and Taker of Life, the 11th episode from the Adventures of Young Indiana Jones, produced by George Lucas - released in 1999 - it’s original edit is from The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles; Episode: Congo, January 1917 - released in 1992]

  • Once arriving at Port-Gentil, Indiana was not given any support by the French commander by way of more manpower, thus Indiana vows to make the return journey home with the surviving members of his unit. Indiana is reunited with Remy, however, who initially refuses to accompany them until Indy pulls rank on him.

  • Once voyaging back up the river the unit becomes further decimated by disease, and as Remy predicted the entire crew was soon on the verge of a sure demise. Delirious himself Indiana gets knocked out by a German when trying to set off explosives, and after regaining consciousness he wakes up in a German hospital.

  • Indiana sneaks out of the hospital but is followed by the doctor and his wife, who introduce themselves as Albert and Helene Schweitzer. The Schweitzer's offer Indiana tea and tell him that he’s been unconscious for five days, yet still skeptical of their nationality he elects to remain on his boat.

  • The following morning he begins to trust the doctors, who tell him that only five of his company had survived, including Remy whom Indiana later apologizes to. He spends the evening touring Lambaréné and dining with the Schweitzer's, whom further explain to Indiana about their missionary work in Africa.

  • The next day messengers arrive from a Pahouin tribe upriver requesting ‘Oganga,’ a label given to Dr. Schweitzer which means ‘Giver and Taker of Life.’ The chief's son had fallen ill, thus Indiana offers to accompany the doctor to the village using his boat as transportation.

  • Schweizer operates on the boy and saves his life. On their return to Lambaréné, the doctor explains to Indiana a philosophy he developed called ‘Reverence for Life,’ which focuses on promoting life as opposed to ending it. Indiana then begins to contemplate his purpose in the War.

  • When they arrive back at the hospital they find French soldiers who are there to seize the Schweitzers, on orders to apprehend all Germans on French territory for expulsion. Indiana tries to negotiate with the French but is denied, and is further told his mission to bring guns to Tabora was unnecessary as the city had already fallen.

  • As Indiana and the Schweitzers make their way back to Cape Lopez, Lambaréné is effectively shut down leaving the natives to return to the jungle and die. Traveling back downstream Indiana comes to the realization that the entire voyage had been for nothing.

  • Thus during this failed mission Indiana has direct interactions with:

  • Albert Schweitzer - French-German theologian, organist, philosopher, and physician who received the Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of ‘Reverence of Life,’ exemplified mostly by his work at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, Gabon, where he and his staff saved lives throughout both World Wars.

  • Helene Bresslau Schweitzer - medical missionary, nurse, social worker, and wife/confidant of Albert Schweitzer, of which she is also the co-founder of his Hospital in Lambaréné. Although she was rarely mentioned at the time, history tells the full story of her contributions, which include playing a critical role in the advancement of medicine, feminine independence, and societal justice

  • Pahouin - aka Fãn or the Fang people - a Central African ethnic group located in Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Cameroon. Between the 16th and 19th centuries they were some of the worst victims of the transatlantic and trans-Saharan, where they were stereotyped and mischaracterized as cannibals to justify their enslavement.

  • Locations in this journey are as follows:

  • Gabon - country in Central Africa, located on the equator.

  • Port-Gentil - aka Mandji - second largest city and leading seaport of Gabon, adjacent to Cape Lopez.

  • Lambaréné - town and capital of Moyen-Ogooué province in Gabon, based in the Central African Rainforest at the Ogooué river - also the home of the Albert Schweitzer Hospital, still in operation today.

  • Tahora - capital of Tanzania’s Tabora region, founded by Arab traders in the 1850’s where it became a centre of the slave trade. Today it’s known as the fruit capital of Western Tanzania, with streets lined with century old mango trees.


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