I Need Some Help
As in a Lot of Money

In the past couple of months, I have gotten into the literary style of starting my essays with backstories. Sometimes, I have used two backstories in the same essay. This back story I have utilized many times. I have mentioned about reconnecting with an old colleague of mine. Every Saturday like clockwork, I’ll call, and we chat about important issues. Several months ago, I was venting about trying to raise a half million dollars for 1250 laptops for the students at the two schools that my granddaughters attend in Taunggyi, Myanmar (Burma). I had wanted to raise the money, improve the Internet reception, and get the laptops in less than a year.

My friend listened patiently. I just went on about Trump shutting down the government just after I sent my application to the IRS to get the designation as a charitable not-for-profit organization. That type of request could take up to 90-days even when the government is functioning. It took longer.

Once I got the designation approved, the online source which collects the donations entered the wrong web address of my organization and some other minor problems. It was apparent that I had lost precious time due to both delays. My friend patiently let me vent, which I did for a while longer. Then she said in a simple sentence, “You need to get corporations to donate.” I acknowledged that reality and had already decided to do precisely that.

In addition to those delays, my nearly three-year-old Irish Setter, Ginger, had some medical issues that necessitated me driving to Purdue Veterinary Hospital for a couple of days of tests and a treatment plan.

Beyond caring for Ginger, I am still teaching and writing essays for my webpage. I was behind the eight ball for the most important thing that I will have ever done…helping 1250 students halfway around the world.

In the midst of all those problems, my air conditioner died on one of the hottest days during the summer. Ginger and I dealt with a week of 80 degrees in the house waiting for my air conditioning unit to be repaired. However, it couldn’t be repaired; it needed to be replaced. Finally, after the 4th of July, my new unit was delivered.

Before you get tired of my litany of problems, please, continue on reading. I’m getting to what drives me. When the guys came to replace my air conditioning unit, I decided to move my car out of the garage so that they could back their truck and trailer in my driveway. All was going well with the installation when the front doorbell rang. I went to the door and found a neighbor from across the street telling me that she just backed out of her driveway and in doing so backed into my car’s back door on the driver’s side. She apologized, but I wasn’t upset. She dented a backdoor of an eleven year old car with a quarter million miles on it. I could still drive the car. It wasn’t a big deal.

Later that week, I drove to Indianapolis to visit Jack and Owen, my grandsons. We played, went to the park, and had a great time. As I was getting ready to leave, their father arrived home after work. We chatted as we walked to my car. It was then that he noticed the dent. I told him about what had happened, but I added that I wish I could leave the dent in the door and use the insurance check for my family in Myanmar. To my surprise, he said that I could. He had an old truck that had hail damage, and he just kept his old dented truck and used the insurance money when he got a new truck.

I took his advice and when I got back to my home, I called my State Farm agent about whether I could do that. However, it was after hours. My call was transferred to a State Farm adjustor located some place in Texas. I told her the story about this minor accident and asked her whether I could keep the dent and use the insurance money for my family in Myanmar. I told the adjustor how important my family is to me and gave her my webpage address. She was interested reading about them and said that she’d visit my website when she went home after work. She did and called my agent the next morning. She told my agent’s secretary about what I wanted to do with the insurance money. However, I needed to get an estimate for repairing the door, which I did. A day or two later, I went to my agent, Bob Morath, with the estimate. He thanked me and added that he was retiring at the end of the week.

A couple of weeks later, I received the insurance check for the dent in the door. I emailed Moh Moh, who is the mother of my three granddaughters.

Moh Moh had been my tour guide six years ago in Myanmar, and her husband, Ko Ko, was my tour guide two years ago. I told Moh Moh about getting the check and attached a copy of the letter and check from State Farm to this email.

Moh Moh,

I wrote an essay about the dent: https://www.wolverton-mountain.com/articles/either-or-2.html. Well, after a long wait, the check arrived the other day from State Farm. You can use it for the needs of the family. When we discussed, months ago, about my wanting to take my family on a hot-air balloon ride over Bagan, a part of my desire was that traveling is a great teacher: https://www.wolverton-mountain.com/articles/a-teaching-moment.html. When the girls can see acres of pagodas and stupas as we float above them, it is something that can’t be learned in a textbook. I tell my college students that travel is the best educator. I often use this quote by George Santayana, “A child educated only at school is an uneducated child.”

The issue of education is important. That is why I gave Ti Ti her laptop two years ago. She labeled probably 1000 photos of Myanmar for my website and put them in Dropbox for me. Then I gave Sandy the photos Ti Ti’s work, and she put them on my website’s travel section.

However, Ti Ti’s laptop quickly morphed into wanting to get laptops for the two schools where my three granddaughters attend. Essentially, travel and access to the Internet will help those 1250 students. Additionally, I need to get better Internet reception.

Well, it is getting late, and Ginger wants to go for a walk. She is getting much better with her irritable bowel syndrome. I also found a gal to stay with her for the month while I will be overseas.

Take care and give the girls a hug for me. I leave Chicago in 11 weeks.


This is Moh Moh’s reply.


We got the copy of the check that you attached in your email.We look forward to seeing you again.The kids look forward to seeing you.I understand that you want to use the money with us when you come to Taunggyi.

Thank you and thank State Farm. May be that company will help you get the $500,000.

Finally, we miss you and take care of you.

Moh Moh

State Farm employees have been very interested in my family in Myanmar including David Santana, my new State Farm agent, and his wife, Regina, who also works in his office. I have also done a video the president and CEO at State Farm. They might want to contribute to the fundraising drive for the laptops. Additionally, I am asking State Farm to send a person with me, in just over a year, when I return to Myanmar with the laptops. In that way, they can see how State Farm’s contribution is helping the next generation of leaders in Myanmar. Myanmar is an emerging country, and those 1250 students will assist their country to more fully develop.

Additionally, we could take the State Farm representative on a balloon ride over Bagan.

Bagan is now a part of the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

I am remind by a saying attribute to either Lao Tzu or Confucius, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Actually, the original statement was, “A journey of a thousand Chinese miles starts beneath one's feet. Regardless of the person who utter that truism or the exact words, I am midway in my journey. However, I do need help on my journey.

The road

The road is long, but the destination is worth it…believe me.