ILOMANTSI. Several gunshots have been fired in the forests surrounding Ilomantsi during the last 24 hours and at least seven casualties have been reported. One more soul is destined to leave behind its earthly vessel before ceasefire. Probably by dusk, the blood of one more will have been spilled into the rich soil of North-Karelia – and Ilomantsi’s killing quota filled.
It is the never-ending struggle between man and bear taking place once again, as it does every autumn in Finland. For those worried about the county’s bear population, let us remind you that there are some 200 adult bears plus from 1 to 4 baby bears per bear mother living on Ilomantsi’s grounds (3172km2).
Ilomantsi’s hunting quota of eight bears this year is excellent news for VK and MSL scholarship holder Florent Nagoba who competes under the number 24. Why is that? It’s simply because of the magic of the number three. Aha! Three times eight equals 24. This is a very simple case of natural math practiced daily in VK. Let us now present you some hard evidence behind this calculation.
Three is of course an important divine number in many worldviews. It is present i.e. in the Christian trinity, the Hindu Trimurti and the three layers of the ancient Finnish mythical cosmology.
And there is also the so-called rule of Three in story-telling and writing. This rule implies that three is good and three is nicely unstable and that whenever there’s a three, something is bound to happen. Ceasar’s famous line veni, vidi, vici, The Three Musqueteers by Alexandre Dumas and Goldilocks and the Three Bears are well-known examples of this truth.
All this evidence presented to you is to describe the good story we are all living in today in Ilomantsi (except for the eight bear casualties, of course). Florent is working side by side with colleagues from Finland, Italy, Lithuania, Estonia, Hungary and Russia. There’s lots of laughter and sharing: “Here, try this tool of mine!”, “Hey, could I see some pictures of your work?”, “Sure, thanks, kiitos, grazie, akpe, spasiba!”
In a couple of days, at noon on Saturday, when the competition will end, we will know the ending of the story. Here, we know it’s going to be good, whatever happens.
Today we’ll let Florent concentrate on his work, but before that we’ll to ask him how are things this fine North-Karelian afternoon.
“Ça va!”, he says with a smile.