EDIT I have shortened my original question because I feel the lengthy preamble added nothing of value, I have accepted Simchona's answer and I don't like wasting people's time. So, here it is the nitty-gritty question.
Does EL&U have a private message mechanism available to its members?
Is it the chat rooms? If it is, is there a guide for dummies on how to use it?
Apart from answering old questions is there another way of bumping them up? I tried adding comments but that doesn't seem to work.