Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ana Rocha: Family, Friends & Food


Ana Rocha hates bacon.

Yes, the salty, fatty, delicious slices of pig that most people would eat by the pound if it weren’t so bad for you. To Ana, all she thinks about when she sees or smells bacon though, is the one morning her daily drink of milk turned sour as a child.

“I had to drink a glass of milk everyday so that I would grow big and tall like my dad—which clearly didn’t happen—but I only drank milk if it was warmed up, and one day the milk smelled like bacon and it tasted awful and I just hate bacon now,” explained Ana.

Despite her disdain for bacon, Ana is a huge foodie, which is why she was so elated when she found out she would be interning at Food Network Magazine this summer.

Having grown up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Ana was surrounded by a culture that emphasizes family and the importance of gathering together, especially around food.

“Every Sunday we would have lunch at my grandma’s in the city neighborhood Leblon,” said Ana.

With her subtle southern accent, you would never guess that she is 100 percent Brazilian. Ana, her parents and younger sister Alice, lived in a small 2-bedroom apartment on the top of a very steep hill in the Botanical Gardens area of the city, with a 150-year-old fig tree out front that she worried would fall through her window.

“The road was cobblestone—which is very rare in Rio—so cab drivers would refuse to take us up it because it was so awful to drive on,” laughed Ana as she reflected on her childhood.

It was because of her dad’s job with Allstate, that Ana and her family relocated to the United States, to Wheeling, Illinois when she was seven.

Even though her entire family was in Rio, Ana was excited to move into a “real house,” and experience snow for the first time, which she thought fell from the sky in big round globs like they did in the Charlie Brown Christmas movie.

Ana’s parents had only panned on living in the United States for two or three years, but two moves later—to Ramsey, N.J., then Fairfield, Conn.—it was clear that they would make their stay permanent.

Now a rising senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ana studies Journalism and Mass Communication with a concentration in multimedia as well as Global Studies with a concentration in Latin America and Politics.

Ana claims she “doesn’t like a lot of things” and “never had a real hobby,” but when iterating her expansive list of activities, that’s very difficult to believe.

She is the University Editor for her campus magazine Blue & White, co-president of the UNC’s chapter of Ed2010 The Carolina Association of Future Magazine Editors (CAFME), and has had multiple internships in addition to studying abroad in Spain last year.
Ana in Ronda, Spain—her favorite place she visited abroad.


“Ana is very on top of everything,” said Courtney Lindstrand, Ana’s editor in chief at Blue & White and co-president of CAFME. “She is driven and motivated and a great writer and awesome editor. She always knows how to get to the point and really transforms her writers.”

But Ana’s talents go beyond her impressive journalism resume. Most people shy away from the questions that may reveal hidden truths, but Ana had no problem delving into discussing facts no one knows about her.

“I can touch my nose with my tongue. I can do a headstand in yoga—which is my pride and joy—I love olive and mayo sandwiches, and I raised a guide dog name Fagan,” said Ana grinning with pride.

As for her future, Ana sees herself writing or editing for a food or women’s magazine. After she graduates she plans to move back home, go to the World Cup in Brazil and start her search for a job.

Ana’s best friend Chloe Dougherty says five years from now, she “sees Ana with a killer apartment in Manhattan working for a magazine, newly engaged and enjoying life.” In 10 years, she “sees her sipping martinis on a yacht in the French Riviera.”

As for now, Ana is just enjoying soaking up all of the experiences she’s having this summer, making 5 a.m. runs for cronuts and building shelves, but especially learning the ins and outs of a major magazine.

“I really have no idea where I’ll be a year from now. All I know is that I have to take a science class with a lab next year, and I’m not looking forward to it… it’s going to be hell.” 

by Andrea Baumgartner, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Good Housekeeping 
edited by Adam Pincus, University of Florida, Field and Stream Magazine

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