The children raised their arms as high as they could reach. At the Embangweni School for the Deaf in Embangweni, Malawi, the sign name for Keyon Carter was “very tall.”
The 6-foot-8 Carter, who finished his Old Dominion basketball career in March, spent 16 days in the African nation last month, distributing toothbrushes, T-shirts and basketball instruction in one of the least-developed countries in the world. An hour from the nearest paved road, in a village where most people don’t have electricity or running water, Carter was surprised by what he saw and what he took away from the trip, he said. “To say we don’t have opportunities to do things in this country is blasphemy, when you look at those people who are literally imprisoned by poverty.
A chance meeting got Carter in. ODU director of athletics Wood Selig ran into the Rev. Robert Davenport, rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd, an Episcopal parish in Norfolk. Davenport and his wife, Lizzy Allen, visited Malawi in March 2010, and Davenport worked with the Episcopal Diocese there. Allen is a former teacher and interpreter for the deaf. They got to know the staff and students at the rural school, which serves 180 children.
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