This is an extraordinary job.

Trying to bring about stabilisation – nurturing the conditions for effective governance and leadership, overseeing a vast swathe of reconstruction and development efforts, pushing forward notions of law and order  – in a place such as Musa Qal’eh – is nearly impossible to describe.

Looking back on these past three months (already?), I’ve found it a relentless and demanding task, impatient for results and solutions. Requiring boundless patience, but with an insatiable appetite for action and progress. Endlessly frustrating, spiced with moments of deep satisfaction. Turning on its head in a moment, shocking with the bare knuckles of human tragedy, violence and suffering. Fusing into more and different moments, suffocated with bureaucracy, politics and administrivia. Yet offering glimpses of hope amidst confusion and doubt.

One moment you find yourself a construction manager. In another a political advisor, or a humanitarian specialist, intelligence analyst, negotiator, programme designer, human rights advocate… and you bounce across an endlessly fascinating spectrum – governance, agriculture, infrastructure, security, politics, education, private sector development…

Like a swiftly incoming tide, as I’ve already learned, it can overwhelm you in a moment, humble you in a second. It’s a test of fortitude, principles and resilience. And of taking the odd risk or two… and you never really know just what might come of it.

But then, perhaps that’s part of the fascination for it all.