Electricity here in Harare often goes by the name of the company that provides it, Zesa. As in "oh, blast, Zesa is out again," or "Papi, do we have Zesa?"
It's not unknown to have Zesa for an entire day, but it's rare. More often, electricity will be off for some portion of the day. Entire days without Zesa are also rare, fortunately.
We do have a generator for when Zesa is out. It's a big diesel beast, quite noisy, but invaluable when we loose power just before dinner, for example.
To run it, we just turn the key, just like starting a car. The there's a switch in our breaker box that toggles between Zesa and the generator. (In the middle, labeled Z/Off/G. There's also a switch that activates a buzzer, so we know when the power is back on and can shut off the noisy beast (lower right in the picture).
We're getting pretty used to this routine; even William isn't much phased when the power drops any more.
On Friday, Michael had a sleepover at a friend 's house, so Juana and I had a nice dinner out. William figured out how to make a fairly stable hat out of his bread, which I didn't even know was possible. The other couple in the restaurant were quite amused.