So the foundations are complete, they look beautiful and strong. The one thing which I found with using a local builder was to explain what I am actually doing. The idea of not using any bricks seems hard for everyone to get their head around. I have explained time after time that there are no bricks, cob will be added wet to the stem wall to make a continuous monolithic structure. Misheck has done an amazing job, but in his mind I am still laying bricks so the walls must be level at this point all the way around. This has left a small section of the wall without a stem wall coming above ground level as the site is slightly slanted. It's not a problem as I will do this last section myself. It's important that the bottom of the cob wall is protected from rain and moisture. The last thing to do is to then fill in the soil around the foundation and level off the floor area before I can start cobbing. Although there is a natural building tradition in zimbabwe, even building with mud, brick moulds are made either from wood or paint tins and then either fired or sun dried. The structures are not load bearing as cob is and so poles are used in the ground to support the roof structure. This is a problem with termites unless very good hardwood such as mopane or acacia are available, which in our case is not. The huts are beautiful and comfortable but largely need alot of maintenance. People are using more modern expensive materials if they can, I'm hoping that cob if it works well in this climate that it can offer a comfortable, durable, inexpensive and environmentally friendly alternative, we will see!!