Wayne Besant vividly remembers the first day he set foot in Vietnam in May of 2015. The sky was whirling in the heat of a tropical summer day; it felt like entering a giant sauna!
“And then came the next discovery, the density of life and the huge numbers of people and motorbikes everywhere. It was quite mind-blowing!” he recalls in his book. From that first day in May and with limited knowledge about Vietnam, he now proudly claims to be 50% “Người Việt”.
Some of his colleagues refer to him as “Mr. Vietnam” — an endearing and fitting name for someone who has a tremendous love for this country. Throughout his journey in Vietnam, the experiences, the memories, and the gratitude to the country and people, nurtured the inspiration and gave life to the book “Trên mảnh đất kiên cường – Wayne in Vietnam: In the Land of Resilience.”
Seven years in Vietnam, a special journey – nurtured the inspiration for Wayne to write “Trên Mảnh Đất Kiên Cường – Wayne in Vietnam: In the Land of Resilience.”
Wayne’s adventure in Vietnam grew even more amazingly shortly after his arrival. After the introduction of 30 AIA Vietnam managers, he flew to Hue to meet the AIA General Agency Directors. Despite not being able to speak or pronounce Vietnamese, Wayne attempted to remember and pronounce the names of the directors, and at the conclusion of the session, he properly named each of them Dung, Phuc, Loan, and so on. That effort demonstrated the new CEO’s goodwill, genuine connection, honesty, and eagerness to learn. Wayne instantly got compassion from everyone, and things home built from that foundation.
Since then, he has had countless personal interactions with the people here. “I travel a lot. So far, I have been to more than 50 of Vietnam’s 63 provinces,” a particular mark highlighted in the book. The more Wayne travels, reads, and interacts with people here, the luckier and happier he feels to be in Vietnam.
And, without a doubt, seven years is not the end. “I am so grateful to have this experience, to give back, and contribute to the development of the country.” Wayne’s passion for Vietnam is evident throughout his book.