But this rain was brown and made everything in its path (which was everything) horribly filthy and dirty. I'd never seen rain like it before. Turns out it has a name: Sirocco. About once a year a huge wind blows dust and sand all the way from North Africa into Spain and France. The parents we see at St. Martin school all made it clear that the Sirocco arrives, lasts for a few days and then dies out. Usually it happens in March or April but this year it came much later. Other bloggers that we really enjoy have also complained about this horror. Thank goodness it's gone.