@andamo - Ubuntu MATE definitely wants your help! You don't need to code, but if you want to learn, that would also be awesome!
You lived abroad and came back. Did you speak other languages while there? Could you help with translations? That's always necessary too! We use Transifex for translations.
Just using the system and reporting any bugs, issues, or even missing features is very helpful. Since you have some admin chops, you are probably able to describe bugs in a way that developers can understand. As you guessed correctly, Wimpy had plenty on his plate, so anything to removes guesswork will be very much appreciated. Developers will love you for that too
As you learn the system, helping people in this forum is a great way of contributing. The more people helping in the forum, the more developers are able to work on the code. Also this leads to more people helping each other, which snowballs into good stuff.
If you have at least some cursory knowledge of programming, and want to learn more, let me know and I will happily give you an overview of different parts of the code that could use some love. Mostly the project uses C for upstream MATE, and Python for the Ubuntu MATE bits. There are also plenty of things like configuration files, themes, and whatnot. Anyway, let me know if you want that path.
There are probably other ways to contribute that I haven't thought of (helping people on IRC maybe?).
What do you think? Anything above resonates with you?