FOR MY “WOMEN OF LITTLE COMPTON” INTERVIEW I THOUGHT FOR A LONG TIME ABOUT WHO TO INTERVIEW. IN THE END, I DECIDED THAT THE BEST PERSON TO INTERVIEW WAS ANA BAREND; LOCAL SURF TEACHER AND FORMER, LADY’S SURFING CHAPLIN, BRAZILIAN SURFING CHAMP, 2ND BEST SURFER IN THE WORLD, AND RESIDENT OF LITTLE COMPTON…
HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED IN LITTLE COMPTON
I have lived in Little Compton since 2003
WHERE DID YOU MOVE FROM AND WHY
I moved here from the north shore of Hawaii and it was more of Chuck’s (Ana’s Husband) idea because I loved Hawaii. I loved the weather, I loved the waves and I loved my friends and community there. There were a lot of Brazilians there and I felt very at home there but our twins were three and Chuck wanted to provide them with more of a wholesome childhood because kids on the north shore had a lot of things to worry about like drugs and things like that. Just things that kids shouldn’t have to worry about so I definitely see his wisdom now. But the other reason we moved here was that we had always wanted to start a Christian surfing group which we did and we did it for a long time. That reason was probably more of a mutual reason to move to little Compton.
DID YOU GROW UP SURFING AND HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN SURFING
I started surfing when I was 12 and a lot of people started surfing earlier so I had started late. Because I did not grow up surfing I grew up doing ballet and playing competitive tennis and I did that for a long time. I actually quit tennis to start surfing, because tennis took up way too much of my time and it got too hot in the summertime in Rio and I was 12 and all my friends were at the beach and I was sweating at the clay court. So I QUIT and I could not stay still at the beach and all of my friends were lying on the sand sunbathing. And I couldn’t sit still so I started surfing. So I have been surfing for 35 years.
HOW HAS SURFING INFLUENCED YOUR LIFE SO FAR?
Well, I met my husband through surfing which is huge. I met him when I was in Hawaii and competing so surfing provided the means for me to meet my husband. Well also that’s pretty much what we do as a family. Because every time there are waves my family and I are together. We surf. Like we don’t get together and watch football, or baseball. We watch surfing events. So yeah surfing is a big part of my life. And also I learned to appreciate the simple things in life because of surfing. You know just being outside there in nature and just noticing a seagull fly over and noticing and admiring a day without wind. When the ocean is perfectly silky smooth. I mean I just love noticing those little things in life and not only surfing but just in life it just fills me with gratitude
WHO WOULD YOU SAY YOU LOOK UP TO THE MOST
That’s a good question, I mean it’s hard to say because I have had so many people at different times in my life. So my answer will have to be unsung heroes. You know there are some people who do great things selflessly and don’t have to broadcast it out to the whole world. So there’s a lot of them out there that I don’t know. But if I have to choose one person it would be Mother Theresa who took care of very poor people and I just really admire her and her life and what she did to give people who had no dignity to show them that they had worth and value. I just really appreciate that.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT HAS HAPPENED IN YOUR LIFE SO FAR
This was a very hard question, But I guess I would say when God became real to me. I had always known of God but he was always very, very, very distant. But then I felt like he became real and my faith became real and it was so tangible.
WHAT IS ONE PHRASE THAT HAS STUCK WITH YOU YOUR WHOLE LIFE AND THAT YOU CONTINUE TO LIVE BY.
It is from 1 John 3:18 and it is “let us not love with words or speech only, but with actions and in truth.” And what he means is that a lot of people say a lot of stuff but their actions don’t match. And I think that in the world today a lot of people say things but their thoughts and actions do not match.
WHAT IS ONE EXPERIENCE THAT WILL STICK WITH YOU FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE
Definitely when I had just had the twins and we were driving home and it just hit me before we had been a family of two and now we were a family of four.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT LITTLE COMPTON
The trails around my house where I like to run and point breaks where I surf.
IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT LITTLE COMPTON WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE
For there to be no winter and for it to be warmer!
WHAT IS ONE SURPRISING FACT YOU LOVE ABOUT LITTLE COMPTON
I love the simplicity of Little Compton and all the farmers and the great sense of community. It gives off a great sense of home.
LIST YOUR 3 FAVORITE PLACES ON EARTH IF LITTLE COMPTON IS ONE OF THEM, AND WHY YOU CHOSE EACH OF THEM
Sunset Beach (North Shore of Hawaii) because it’s my favorite wave and I have a lot of really good friends there, also Rio de Janeiro because it’s my home town and Little Compton because it is my current home and you should bloom where you are planted.
IS THERE ANY WORD OF ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE ANYONE READING THIS
This is something I used to tell my kids all the time,” our mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds, you can either plant flowers or you can plant weeds. Also For kids your age you shouldn’t be worried about your career. Just keep loving your life and don’t force anything to be set in stone about it.
WHAT DO YOU THINK HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST MOMENT IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR
I was the Brazilian (SURFING) Champ twice and competed on the world tour for 3 ½ years long. My best result in a competition was that I got 5th at Sunset Beach and that is my favorite wave. And then at the end of the year, I got seventeenth in the World. Another big point in my career was the Caribbean Cup and that’s with like teams, it was almost like a mini Olympics. Each country had two girls from those countries compete, and so I got second in that and that was really cool because I could say that I was like second in the world, and that was really neat. Those were like my biggest events because then I stopped, became a mom and moved to Little Compton. And then I started competing again but it was kind of as an amateur. I was an east coast champ a bunch of times. And then I was the girl’s coach for the east coast team and I coached them in many ways physically, spiritually, mentally it was a very nice time. Oh, and then I officiated a wedding which I had never dreamed of doing, yeah so I officiated Carissa Moore’s (4-time Women’s World Tour Surfing Champion) wedding which was really fun! (At this point she pulls out her phone and shows me a picture of her and Carissa Moore before the wedding!)
I would like to thank Ana Barend for agreeing to do this with me. It was really inspiring!! Also to all the women in Little Compton because they all deserve to be recognized. And to the historical society for assigning this project. Thank You!
Written by: Mays Miller, Grade 6 – Wilbur & McMahon School