The longest-standing member of Culture Yard after Ilya is Li Leqing, whom we lovingly call Ayi (our Chinese auntie). Neighbor, security guard, custodian, and “vice principal,” Ayi plays an indispensable and versatile role at Culture Yard.
Staff, teachers, and students alike adore her for her brisk yet tender approach to everything. She’s the one who makes sure you have hot water for tea, wipes the boards clean for the next class, ensures we don’t miss an electricity bill, and plies you with snacks if you are hungry. When she’s not taking care of all of us, she enjoys playing mahjong!
You’ll know when you meet Ayi because she will be sure to greet you with an exuberant ni hao!