The Owner's Story
Anneliese Schimmelpfennig was born in 1939 in Tussling, a village near Munich, Germany. Soon after her birth, World War II broke out and her father, an army officer, was captured by Russian troops and imprisoned in Siberia until 1950. She was 12 years old when her father was released to return home. In postwar Germany they had to rebuild their country and those years brought them suffering and misery. Anneliese had to make bricks out of stones of the bombed buildings and carry sacks of potatoes that her family depended on for food. Fortunately, in the meanwhile, she did not have to neglect her studies. She was 27 when she graduated from the University of Munich, receiving a Master’s degree in psychology and education. Planning to open an international school in the United States Anneliese emigrated to California in 1968 with plans to open a private school. Of present, Anneliese’s Schools in Laguna Beach, California has an enrollment of over 800 students.
In 1995, she traveled to Australia to experience local culture and tour the schools. What she did not expect was the poor treatment of the aborigines, the country’s indigenous people. By contrast, a subsequent visit to Fiji provided the opposite experience. Mary, a native Fijian, invited her to their village of Nabukelevu near a resort on the island of Kadavu. There, she felt in tune with the Fijian people and appreciated their traditions and proud, free attitude toward life. She also visited the village school and got involved in its educational planning, and saw the need to furnish books and school supplies.
Each year after that Anneliese returned to the Kadavu resort. On one of the many trips she saw an advertisement in the local newspaper saying that another resort, the Malawai Bay Resort, was for sale. She visited the site and was impressed by the beautiful spot, surrounded by a virgin forest. She also noted the property’s rich soil which was right for planting. Anneliese returned to the United States, made financial arrangements and returned to put a bid on the property. The tender was accepted and she renamed the resort Papageno after the Mozart Opera.
Business at home–the running of her schools–summoned Anneliese back to the United States, but later on, she made several subsequent trips to Kadavu to work with the villagers to plant trees and vegetables. That was the time when she first realized that island’s threatened Shining Parrot were captured daily by foreign interests in the exotic pet business. Anneliese saw to it that a law was enacted prohibiting the catching of the birds. Overtime, she also became more active in the local schools and founded an education exchange program. Twice a year, a group of children and their parents from her US school travels to the island to bring books, houseware items and gifts of money.
Anneliese realizes the importance of honoring and taking part in the village traditions, so she only employs people from the neighboring village so that they may learn here how to plant vegetables, bananas, mangoes and all kinds of decorative and useful plants. Many projects are in the works such as building a new water tower for the area, extending the village’s plantation area and building a community center for ceremonial gatherings. Future projects may include installing solar panels to provide electricity for the schoolhouse and to provide supplies for the wardens to take care of the freshly protected marine reserve in front of our shores. We are aware of the areas ecological sensitivity and are careful not to overfish the waters or cause any type of pollution.
Anneliese’s plan at Papageno Resort is to welcome nature lovers from all over the world so that they can explore and help to preserve Kadavu’s natural beauty and its beautiful, traditional values.
Sustainability & Community
At Papageno, we are absolutely committed to the natural environment and surroundings which enable us to live healthy here and host visitors from all over the world. Some of our ecological principles are listed below:
To reduce our impact on the air and our dependence on non-renewable forms of energy, Papageno uses a combination of solar, micro-hydro and a backup diesel generator to meet our power needs.There are plans to expand our renewable energy sources by adding solar panels in increasing the size of our battery bank and by researching the feasibility of installing a wind-powered generator.
Papageno treats its wastewater by passing it all through a series of septic tanks and beds. Our organic waste is composted on site.
We do not use any artificial chemicals on our vegetable gardens. In fact, most of our food you eat at the resort is organic and is produced locally, thereby aiding the local economy.
We invest a large amount of time and resources into nature conservation and community development projects. These go beyond the resort’s property to aid nearby villages, schools and natural preservation areas. Our goal is to keep Kadavu as beautiful and natural for future generations as it is now.