I have come to realize that my hometown of London, Ontario is an internationally known corner of the world. Until I began my summer at Banting House NHSC I was somewhat oblivious to the international visitors the Forest City welcomed. What continues to amaze me is how Canada’s London has become that sought after destination for tourists and people personally affected by diabetes. We happily welcome visitors through our doors who can cross off Banting House NHSC from their own bucket list.
Our world map, located in our gift shop, has evolved into the final ‘exhibit’
we show our guests on the guided tour. Each visitor places a pin on
the map to represent what corner of the world they have traveled to us from.
The week of July 30-August 2 will serve as our case study. My week began with a tour group of students from Bogotá, Columbia. They were not our first school group from Columbia this year – I gave a tour to a group of teachers from Bogotá just a few weeks ago!
These pins represent just some of our visitors from Columbia.
As the week continued I had the pleasure of meeting quite a few Americans who made Banting House NHSC a stop on their Canadian vacations. They traveled to us from North Carolina, Los Angeles, Texas, Illinois, and Staten Island … impressive statistics for just the past three days, eh?
On Tuesday we paid a special welcome to our friends from Scotland, some of whom were returning to the museum after several visits over the years. This summer we have been fortunate to welcome three families from Scotland to our museum, and one couple from Wales. Just today we welcomed visitors from Stuttgart and Delmenhorst, Germany!
The week would not be complete without a handful of visitors who live just a stone’s throw away from 442 Adelaide Street North. For our guests who live in St. Thomas, Ilderton, Sault Ste. Marie, St. Catharines, Toronto, Bond Head, and London it seemed a ‘staycation’ was the perfect plan to lead into the Civic Holiday weekend.
Our map has evolved into a visual representation of the global impact of Dr. Banting’s work. Each pin represents a name, a face, and a story that we have welcomed into our museum.
And did I forget to mention– our map is ‘reset’ at the end of each year. The pins you see only represent the visitors who have arrived at our door since January 1, 2013. Last year we had over 80 countries represented in our guest book!
I’d like to leave you with a handful of letters left in Dr. Banting’s bedroom. Although nearly 90 years separates us from the first patients who received insulin, we are forever connected through our gratitude to Dr. Banting, no matter what country we come from, or language we speak.
This blog was posted by Katrina Pasierbek
Banting House NHSC Museum Intern
August 2, 2013